Safety in mind as students return to school

Wu Ruofan Wu Huixin
Graduating students from middle and high schools in Hangzhou returned to campus orderly on April 13, safeguarded by strict prevention measures.
Wu Ruofan Wu Huixin
Safety in mind as students return to school

A teacher shows students at Chunhui High School the correct way to wear a mask on April 13, the first school day for graduating students in Zhejiang Province. Other non-graduating and elementary school students officially start the new semester today. 

A week after middle and high school graduating students returned to classes, other non-graduating and elementary school students finally get back behind their desks and officially start the new semester today.

Under the guidance of the Ministry of Education, careful safety precautions have been made by schools for students, including health monitoring, traffic control and safety management. Local medical institutes have dispatched a health instructor to each school to ensure prevention and control measures.

Returning students have to go through some quick health procedures before entering the school, including temperature checks and health codes scanning.

A 1-meter safety distance is observed between returning children as they queue up in separate lines.

Safety in mind as students return to school

Graduating students from Chunhui wash their hands before entering the classroom.

At Hangzhou No. 13 Middle School, infrared thermometers have been set up at the entrance, as well as blue marks at 1-meter intervals on the floors of canteens, restrooms and stairways.

Inside classrooms, all desks are arranged in single file with backup masks and hand sanitizers allocated to each class.

A lucky pocket of two masks and a bottle of hand sanitizer awaited every returning student at Hangzhou High School after taking necessary health checks, along with a “welcome back” note.

Jin Jie, a teacher at Hangzhou No. 2 High School, made it known that health and safety are the main concerns at the moment. Jin reveals that staff and children will have temperature check three times a day, and anyone registering higher than 37.3 degrees Celsius will be sent to hospital for examination.

Parents may have had concerns about the safety of school canteens, but food safety supervisors revealed that 855 school canteens across the city and five food delivery companies have been inspected to eliminate potential risks.

Canteen staff also have to take health checks and wear facial masks before going to work. Artificial intelligence and facial recognition technologies are applied to monitor indices such as sterilization and humidity as well as whether the staff on duty follow standard operation procedure.

Safety in mind as students return to school

A teacher takes a student’s temperature as she enters the classroom at Chunhui High School. 

Strict measures have been implemented at Hangzhou No. 2 High School during lunchtime. Students are guided to take boxed meals prepared by the school into the classroom or dormitories to avoid a large gathering, while children can choose their set menus for the upcoming week.

At Hangzhou High School, each student is assigned to a seat in the canteen where the capacity of each table has been reduced from six to three. They also have to space out during lunchtime.

Education officials recommend the “first class” after returning to school should focus on the new regulations and mental health guidelines because of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The first week’s study seeks to release pupils’ agitation due to long absence from school, said Qu Qiang, principal of the No. 13 Middle School.

“I didn’t get up until 7:30am when taking online classes, but now I have to wake up at 6:20am. I need time to get used to the new biological clock,” said a student surnamed Lu.

At Hangzhou Xuejun High School, apart from regular prevention measures, recap and discussion on former online studies have been arranged. “We’ve been taking online courses for two months and never missed communication with our students, but it still feels different to pass on knowledge face to face,” said teacher Chou Yuan.

“We literally can’t wait to get back to school. A good atmosphere is essential for our final semester. I really miss solving problems with my classmates,” said a student surnamed Xia.

According to the principal, parents can relieve their anxieties as the two-month school postponement has little disruption on the college entrance examination.

“Feedback through online homework revealed our students had been highly efficient so it won’t be hard for us to make the upcoming syllabus,” he said.

The significance of physical education is also emphasized. Although exercise during class break is cancelled, students are encouraged to do more outdoor activities in open areas instead.

Safety in mind as students return to school

Marks are placed at Zhuji Binjiang Junior High School to remind students to keep at least 1 meter away from each other.

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