Mumbai: BMC teachers get COVID-19 ready for 'safe shala'

Updated: 22 October, 2020 07:49 IST | Pallavi Smart | Mumbai

Sion hospital's Department of Community Medicine is training teachers to ensure safety of staff, students when city reopens schools.

Some of the COVID-19 guidelines prepared by Sion hospital's Department of Community Medicine for schools
Some of the COVID-19 guidelines prepared by Sion hospital's Department of Community Medicine for schools

As the city is reopening gradually, sooner or later it will be time for schools to resume on-campus classes. And as the novel coronavirus outbreak drags on with no end in sight, the teachers of civic schools are getting ready to return to work amid the pandemic.

The Department of Community Medicine of Sion hospital has prepared thorough guidelines and training 144 civic teachers currently in case schools are reopened. After the five days of training, these teachers will conduct further camps to train other employees at their respective schools and at zone levels. The plan is to involve private teachers in the future too.

'Safe Shala Module'

The proactive initiative, 'Safe Shala Module', is prepared as an advisory or guidelines for schools to be ready with a plan before reopening amid pandemic. The 70-page document contains instructions on regular disinfection of school premises and buses and rules on maintaining a safe physical distance. It also explains many other specifications like taking daily health status of school and bus staff, and setting up a health committee at each school and emergency plan in case anybody falls ill at school.

"This initiative is certainly beneficial to all schools to ensure safety of children and the staff amid the pandemic. While BMC school teachers are already getting the training, we plan to reach out to private schools in the future. The idea is to make it available for all and shall reach as many schools as possible," said Dr Mohan Joshi, dean of Sion hospital.

Involve students in process

The department also suggests including students in the process, by involving secondary school children in awareness initiatives at the school level — such as writing, creating posters and making announcements on the campus about COVID-19. The module states that this will help effectively instil the new normal in children.

For higher secondary school children, pandemic should be included in their curriculum, suggest the department, adding that they can be taught about the disease, precautions and treatments. In social science, a chapter can be added to explain the history of pandemics, the socioeconomic and political consequences, etc.

Talking about the BMC's involvement, education officer Mahesh Palkar said, "Right now, our school teachers are getting trained by the experts of the Department of Community Medicine. They will then train others at zonal levels. But it is important to note that the guidelines are beneficial for all. Our plan would be to encourage all schools to benefit from the module designed by experts."

No. of teachers training to return to work

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First Published: 22 October, 2020 07:49 IST

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