A big wave of educational shift has hit most of the countries with the arrival of COVID -19 turning all classrooms into digital rooms. Since the lockdown, all students have turned into a virtual world to seek learning without losing the flow of studies. The preferred educational trend during this phase is being conducted online because of the unprecedented situation that happened out of the blue. We are clueless about how long this would continue but the educators are engaged in distinct ways to offer a meaningful education even during this period by making the most of digital platforms and technology.
However, no one would have given a thought about the learning scenario post-pandemic situation. As they say life has to move on and so does we have to adapt to the newness which is going to happen in the forthcoming times.
The disruption that has occurred due to coronavirus has given educators time to rethink about rebuilding education. As technology has stepped into the forum, they will have to bring reforms that reckon with the advanced models which complement present-day pedagogy.
A Post Pandemic Classroom structure
The Korean government is on the move to reopen schools with stern guidelines and measures. There are thermal cameras, dividers in cafeterias, disinfectants, and masks ready in the classroom premises. Apparently, there is a marked slowdown in infections and the easing of social distancing, students are prepared to get back to the learning avenue starting with high school students
The new model which is followed by Korean schools can be adopted in the Indian schools to minimize the risk of infections at school, maintaining personal hygiene and physical distancing.
They will have to get accustomed to the new ways of running schools and divert their attention from the heavy dependency on technology.
Let’s survey through necessary measures which Korean schools have embraced for the smooth transition of educational institutions:
Regular health checkup- whether they have a fever or not before attending the school. Students get fever check-ups on the arrival of the school entrance and before recess hour. Those having fever higher than 37.5 degrees Celsius or respiratory problems are first separated and taken to nearby clinics.
Students must wipe down their own desks once they enter the classroom. Sanitizers, masks, and thermometers are available in every classroom
The size of the class will be smaller with students sitting alone on the desk placed 2 meters apart from each other. Each class is supposed to take breaks during different times to reduce physical contact among students. Group activities are discouraged.
The lunch timings vary for students and they should line up 1 meter apart from each other. There are partitions installed and students should sit in rows or zigzag manner so that they don’t face each other. The cafeteria should be disinfected after they finish their meal.
It takes only one infected person for the whole school to shut down and go back to online learning. It is compulsory for everyone at school to self-quarantine themselves for two weeks. The health authorities would conduct regular investigation in the school. According to the education ministry around 100 percent of schools completed quarantine measures like disinfecting classrooms, rearranging desks, and installing thermal cameras to welcome back students. The officials have carefully carried out reopening of schools with sufficient amenities for students to appreciate the “new normal’’.
According to JeongEun-Kyeong, director-general of the Korea Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, there is still a possibility of a rise in infections in schools. The chances of virus spread which is posed as a threat for the community and children and its movement from whether children are less prone to get infected to how easily it could catch children is still unknown.
The commencement of schools should not be seen as the end of the outbreak. There is still a probability of a second wave of coronavirus if the guidelines are not obeyed properly. In India, the count is still increasing and the authorities are engaged to figure out coping mechanisms to contain the spread. We can take inspiration from countries like this revive the education sector without causing much harm.
Founder & Consultant - School Serv
Vinod Kakumanu heads a team of school services professionals and is an independent commentator on Indian school education scenario. Vinod has assisted school promoters establish 35+ schools besides providing ancillary services to over 1000 schools across India. He envisions a future where quality education is made available to every child of the country. The focus he places on the quality of the deliverables and customer satisfaction has made him renowned in the field of K-12 school education.