Schools gearing up to the COVID-19 realities

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Several schools are currently very busy making decisions and arrangements on how to handle the upcoming scholastic year. With the precautions required because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the main concerns for schools revolve around space for distancing between students, online tuition and protective clothing.

St Aloysius College as well as other Church schools, has been on the forefront of such preparations. A comprehensive strategy has been communicated to the students and parents, ranging from clothing to tuition.

  • Uniform: the school blazer has been put temporarily out of commission in favour of clothing which can be cleaned more easily such as PE kit and the school jacket/anorak.
  • Masks and visors: these are compulsory and have to be in the recommended styles, kept clean and separate.
  • Sanitisers and alcoholic wipes: Children are to be equipped with sanitisers and alcohol wipes for their own use.
  • Limiting number of online platforms: The school will communicate on just two platforms: Klikks and MS Teams. The teachers are being trained on both platforms. 
  • Limiting number of students on school premises: The school plans to keep the 1.5/2m distancing rule. This means that it cannot accommodate all students at once and it is working on models as to how the students can alternate in their physical attendance to school.
  • Physical attendance at school and online teaching and learning: Although the preferred mode will remain the physical class teaching and learning, amongst the provisions being considered are considerations about online teaching and learning to students whose needs preclude them from physically attending school in the current context.  To get better optics on the attendance preferences, the schools has asked to families to indicate their preference.

“Expensive but Necessary”

Meanwhile, other schools, both Church and Private have been busy with similar preparation, some quite innovative. One private school created clusters for the younger children, grouped together by particular masks. The rationale here was that if one child teats positive, the ‘cluster’ will be easily identified and quarantined. Another school has used all available rooms, barring the bathroom, decreasing class size and encasing desks in Perspex. Another school has taken the added precaution of installing wash basins in all classes. A comment from a head teacher who preferred not to be named was that these initiatives were “Expensive but necessary”.