After having the longest and the most unexpected winter vacation ever, Chinese students are slowly heading back to school. Under medical guidance, provinces have the power to decide when and how to reopen schools. But it's not business as usual. This process will take place gradually and will start with students who need to take high school and college entrance exams. Most schools in low risk provinces such as Qinghai, Tibet and Xinjiang have already been open since late March. Even the former epicenter, Wuhan, is planning to have high school seniors back to school starting May 6.
To prevent the “second wave” of coronavirus infections, schools have been taking extra precautions. What are some of their efforts and how can we learn from them?
1 Mass Testing
2 Temperature Checks
After SARS and H1N1, Chinese schools are used to screening students’ body temperatures before letting them onto campus. Over the years, technical advancements have made this even easier. Many schools have introduced thermal-imaging cameras to increase speed and improve accuracy.
3 “Green” Health QR Code
Chinese tech companies Tencent and Alipay are partnering with local governments to provide services to track the spread of the virus. After filling out forms online, individuals are assigned a color. The color code represents their health situation. Many schools have asked students to present the “green” code at the entrance.
4 New Dining Routine
To keep the cafeteria safe, many schools have put stickers on the floor to remind students to keep six feet apart. They have also reduced the number of people at each table or set up plastic barriers between seats. This gives students a secure environment to take off their masks while eating. They prevent students from talking with each other without masks on.
Schools with small cafeterias have also set up new dining schedules, letting students eat in small groups at different times. So each time, there are less people in the room.
5 Smaller Class Sizes
It is common for Chinese schools to have more than 50 students in one class. To avoid putting crowds in the same classroom, schools have divided each class into two. Many cities have limited class size to between 25 and 30 people. Some teachers teach one class in person while the other class watches the live stream. Some schools bring in more teachers to cover the classes. Others ask teachers to teach the same content twice for students in different classrooms.
Having read some of the measures taken by Chinese schools, how do you want your school to reopen? Comment below!