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Enabling Readiness of a School to Reopen During a Pandemic – A Field Experience

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  13 August 2021

Pritish Baskaran*
Affiliation:
Department of Community Medicine and Family Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India
Pankaja Raghav
Affiliation:
Department of Community Medicine and Family Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India
K. H. Naveen
Affiliation:
Department of Community Medicine and Family Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India
Suman Saurabh
Affiliation:
Department of Community Medicine and Family Medicine, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India
*
Corresponding Author: Pritish Baskaran, Email: prrish.baskar@gmail.com.

Abstract

Modeling studies indicate that the closure of schools during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic may not be well grounded for the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection, as evidences indicate that children are less affected by this virus, and the clinical attack rates in the 0–19 age group are low. Experts also opine that school closures might have negative effects on the scholastic abilities of children and also an adverse impact on the economy and health care system, considering the responsibilities conferred upon the parents. Also, in a developing country like India, it is difficult for the rural population to afford distance online learning, which brings into importance the reopening of schools in a safe environment to avoid adversities such as increased drop-outs in the upcoming academic year, loss of in-person benefits such as mid-day meal scheme. This study highlights a field experience in relation to readiness assessment of a rural school in the Jodhpur district of Rajasthan, India, for a safe reopening to accept students in a safe and conducive atmosphere, which shall help prevent transmission of the virus in the schools among the children. In this regard, an indigenous readiness checklist has been developed to achieve the purpose, which assesses the readiness in 3 domains: (1) procedural readiness; (2) supplies, sanitation, and infrastructure-related; and (3) education and training.

Type
Concepts in Disaster Medicine
Copyright
© The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of Society for Disaster Medicine and Public Health, Inc.

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