10 Frugal Ways To Keep Covid-19 Out Of Your School
In East Africa, most schools have already reopened after a long Covid-19 shutdown. However, data presented by governments indicates a new spike of infection among citizens including students. These implies that not all schools are meeting the Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs) set by their governments in attempts to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 or to entirely eliminate the threat. Some of the SOPs already set includes;
- Schools to create isolation facilities for suspected cases among the students.
- School premises should be rendered Out of bounds for visitors.
- The isolation facility should be equipped with basic supplies to hold the suspected patients as they wait for the health teams to arrive.
- Frequently touched surfaces like door knobs and desks should be sanitized after every lesson.
- The schools should avail medical personnel to provide the first treatment to cases found in school.
- Erecting new structures for classrooms to enhance social distancing.
There are lots of other SOPs that were set, and after opening your school and resuming the teaching activity, you have to agree with me that these standards are so hard to maintain, given the costs related, and the fact that parents will not be okay with the idea of hiking school fees in response to the cause. This means you have to find ways to keep your school standing and free to operate, without draining your pockets or using more money than you earn. So, below are the 10 ways to keep Covid-19 out of your school.
10 Frugal Ways To Keep Covid-19 Out Of Your School
1. Use dormitory space for classroom extension.
Let’s admit, though this sounds pretty obvious. You can’t just erect a new building, to make more classroom space, yet you don’t really know if the situation is about to get worse, and lead to another lockdown or not.
If your school has a boarding section, you’re free to use some dormitory space, get the beds out and replace them with desks, so that your candidates can resume study activity there. This will save you from incurring unnecessary expenses in the name of meeting standards.
2. Set tents in the compound to substitute classrooms.
This actually helps a lot if you’ve been preparing to ditch your pocket and build new structures for classrooms. You can buy tents instead, and fill them with desks at a reasonable distance required, and have your academic activity go ahead right there.
See, a school is a business, just like any other, and simply spending money to erect new structures that haven’t been planned for, is not good for business. Another thing you have to consider, Covid-19 will be contained at some point, but your school will stay standing.
3. Fetch water from public sources.
I once attended a school with a problem of water scarcity, and all they used to do was use the school truck to fetch water from public wells and natural water sources, and that sustained us until water problems were solved.
Look, it might be really hard for you to connect water, and keep it flowing, given the amount of times that the children, teachers and other members of staff have to wash their hands. There’s also a lot of cleaning that has to be done, so even though you pay the water bills, it will become too much at some point, and you can’t hire someone specifically to watch as kids wash their hands, so they don’t waste water. Take advantage of the natural water sources and use their water to fill your tanks up.
4. Set up jerry cans connected to strings and a foot pedal
As one of the SOPs, you’re required to set up tanks that are connected to foot pedals where students have to wash hands. I agree, you have to set up like two of them, but then you have to improvise with others. Connect a jerry can to a string and create a foot pedal where the suspended jerry can pours water. Have enough around your school premises, so that everyone can wash their hands from wherever they wish, and there you’ve saved more than you imagined.
5. Use few unused classrooms/ dormitories as rooms for isolation of students.
Save one unused classroom as space where the suspected cases can be isolated and treated. This will make sure that there is a room where the virus can possibly be contained, without erecting a new permanent facility for a temporary purpose.
6. Have contacts of a local health worker working nearer your school.
Honestly, it’s really hard and expensive for you to hire well trained medical personnel, because maintaining them is real hell. However, you can have contacts of two or more medical professionals that you can call upon in case there’s any suspected case in your school premises.
7. Students should bring some equipment.
One of the things you have to consider; you have to pay bills, and many expenses that you incurred before are pretty much the same. This means you have to share a few burdens that you can with the students. If you send them for equipment like soap, bleaching agent and others that are not hard to afford, you can save pretty much that you would’ve incurred.
8. Wash touched surfaces Frequently.
I don’t know whether you see this a little controversial, but I have to tell you the truth, sanitizing all frequently touched equipment and desks is really expensive if you don’t have that much money set aside to deal with disaster.
We all know that Covid-19 can die with good exposure to soap. This is what you have to do. Get plenty of water and plenty of liquid or powdered detergent. This, you can use to cleanse the exposed surfaces of all traces of the coronavirus.
9. Use natural medicines like ginger and garlic.
Add this as part of the feeding process. All these students that you have need their immunity boosted a little bit, because if not, the symptoms will be severe. In addition to the fact that you will let them have regular physical exercises, you can have them take hot water with ginger or garlic or lemons, so It can help eliminate the smallest traces of the virus in their bodies.
10. Students and teachers to buy their own masks.
This sounds pretty obvious, because many administrators have it done this way, but this is for you in case you haven’t. Don’t take the burden that isn’t yours. Have all the teachers and students purchase themselves a good number of masks so that whenever they come around, thy have them on.
If it weren’t for all this pressure from parents that want their children back to school, it would be better to keep them closed until the situation is entirely contained. And if it weren’t for the risk of losing all your students, it would be better to keep your school closed. But now that you’re open, all we have to care about is staying open and running while the virus stays out of your gate.
- Ministry Of Education Guidelines On Health And Safety Protocols For Reopening Of Basic Education Institutions Amid Covid-19 Pandemic, September 2020
- Key Highlights In the Unveiled Health Protocols for Kenyan Schools