TO ALL KPSA MEMBER SCHOOLS.
RE: KPSA COMMUNICATION TO SCHOOLS ON PREPARATION FOR REOPENING
The above subject matter refers.
As we prepare for reopening of schools, we thought it best to advise our members on the most critical information/requirements necessary as they prepare for school reopening as and when the date is announced.
This Communication summarizes COVID-19 management Protocols as issued by the different government agencies and specifically as guided by the MoH; The MoE guidelines on health protocols for reopening of schools remain the parent document that should be referenced in the reopening process.
Teachers are expected to be in school not later than 28th September, 2020 to prepare for reopening as per the guidelines issued.
This is a brief on what will be required before the school eventually reopens.
1. Establish and operationalize a School based COVID-19 response committee of at least 5 members that include; School management, teaching staff, a critical non-teaching staff. This committee shall take into consideration the representation/views of parents and learners.
The core responsibility of this committee shall be to ensure implementation and compliance with COVID -19 guidelines on health and safety protocol as promulgated by the Ministry of Education and MoH for school reopening.
2. Be assigned through the SCDEs office working in partnership with KPSA local officials to a cluster of not more than 10schools.
The cluster shall be a platform for information sharing, experience sharing, bench marking and monitoring of COVID-19 behavior for appropriate action.
3. Key essential supplies to be stocked in school;
The following essential supplies will be required as mandatory when the schools reopen;
o Handwashing stations at strategic places within the school with adequate supply of clean running water.
o Liquid soaps at the hand washing stations.
o Sanitizers and disinfectants.
o Appropriate facemasks for learners and staff taking into account the needs of persons with special needs.
o Non-touch thermometers,
o First aid kits.
4. Mapping of an emergency health facility that is within 10 km with a health personnel assigned to the institution for regular health monitoring, Mental and psychosocial support.
5. Provision of training and/or sensitization to staff and other key stakeholders on school based COVID-19 health and safety protocols.
6. Ensure there is a designated room/place within the school premises for use as a sick bay or for temporary isolation in case presumed cases occur in school.
7. Appropriate and specific communication to parents, learners and other stakeholders on the health and safety measures in place in relation to COVID-19.
8. Marking and/or signage at strategic places on the floor, walls, doors etc to facilitate compliance with health protocols, particularly in the most crowded and frequented areas of the school.
9. School to develop appropriate and safe procedures for COVID 19 waste management.
During reopening and after reopening;
1. During reopening at least enough time should be dedicated to sensitization on health protocols and psycho social support programmes for learners.
2. Ensure institutions reorganize respective activities to ensure a social distance in all aspects of the School (classrooms, lecture halls, dormitories, halls of residence, libraries, workshops, dining halls, water points, toilets etc),
3. Maintain updated bio data of all learners/trainees and contact numbers and home addresses of the parents/guardians/caregivers/teachers/ non-teaching staff for ease of management of emergencies,
4. Ensure availability of liquid soap, hand washing facilities with adequate supply of clean running water, disinfectants, thermos guns, and face masks and enforce their proper utilization,
5. Develop a program for cleaning, disinfecting and for use of School ground and facilities to ensure hygiene,
6. Desks/working tables shall be arranged in rows with the desks facing forward to minimize learners/trainees being in face to face contact with each other,
7. Desks/working tables and lockers will be cleaned and disinfected daily and will not be shared
8. Dormitories/halls of residence shall be adapted to ensure there is no congestion and maintain an appropriate distance between beds from either side.
9. Toilets should be disinfected regularly on a daily basis.
10. Door knobs and other frequently touched equipment should be cleaned daily with the approved disinfectants/ alcohol based detergents.
11. Break times shall be staggered to limit the number of teachers in the staffroom/offices at any time,
12. Staff shall explore other ways of communicating such as memos, mobile chats, text messages and emails.
13. Undertake a rapid assessment to determine the different levels of trauma to inform the design and provision of appropriate psycho-social support to learners/trainees, teachers and education officials including care givers to manage the impact of COVID -19 and deal with future crisis,
14. Ensure guidance and counselling departments are active to deal with stress related disorders arising from effects of COVID-19 such as stigmatization and to provide mental and psychological support to learners/trainees, as well as teachers and non-teaching staff,
15. Teachers and ALL learners/trainees shall use face masks while in classrooms or in other learning facilities. Note that exchange of face masks SHALL is prohibited and any loss of masks shall be reported immediately for replacement.
General offices guidelines
These guidelines apply to all office spaces found in schools, including the administrative offices. Schools shall;
1. Maintain appropriate distances between co-workers and clients wherever possible; limit the number of people in meetings as much as possible.
2. Designate clear workstation areas and tools for individual employees that are strictly not to be shared. Set up screen barriers at work stations that have heavy traffic (e.g. reception/ finance) where possible
3. Limit external visitors as much as possible and request they abide by all workplace safety protocols whilst on the premises. Use of phone or online
platforms where possible should be encouraged. Innovative ways of attending to visitors without appointment at the school entrance should be explored.
4. Encourage/Sensitize on safe modes of transport for staff and learners;
Kitchen/ Dining Hall
1. School food handlers and cleaners will be required to have personal protective equipment (gloves, apron and facemasks) to promote basic health and hygiene.
2. Learners/trainees should wash their hands thoroughly with clean water and liquid soap before and after eating.
3. Tables and chairs shall be properly spaced as per the MoH protocols.
4. Staggered eating shifts by classes/ cohorts will be considered where population is high to avoid crowding in the dining hall.
5. Where possible, lunches and afternoon snacks will take place within each class.
6. There shall be no sharing of food and utensils in school.
Supplies delivery and receiving operations
1. All suppliers shall be advised in advance, to adhere to the required MOH
protocols while conducting pickups or making deliveries.
2. Number of persons carrying out supplies delivery and receiving activities within the establishments shall be kept to the bare minimum.
3. The entire loading/offloading area and all its surfaces shall be disinfected/sanitized at regular intervals and after every loading/offloading.
School food Handlers Protocols
1. All the food handlers should have the requisite food handling certificates and in addition be screened for COVID- 19 symptoms before being allowed to handle food.
2. All food handlers shall undergo a symptomatic screening for COVID -19 on a daily basis; those with symptoms of COVID -19 (fever, cough, shortness of breath, breathing difficulties, fatigue) should be allowed to seek medical attention and only resume when fully recovered.
3. Wearing of PPE should be routine in all School kitchens and dining areas for all persons either working or accessing the kitchen.
4. Stringent hygiene and sanitation measures should be observed while handling food.
5. The schools to ensure all kitchen items for food handling are thoroughly cleaned first with soap and hot water, then rinsed thoroughly with clean water before air-drying.
Managing Learner/Trainees at the Canteen
1. The number of learners accessing the school canteen to be regulated to avoid overcrowding;
2. Provide hand washing point with water and soap or hand sanitizers at the entry to the canteen.
3. Queuing with clearly marked control distance label marks between learners.
Learner/Trainee Transport Protocols
1. The school should sensitize all leaners and staff on the use of safe and compliant modes of transport to and from school.
2. Those using school transports shall while on board, wear facemasks appropriately and adhere to all Public Health guidelines on transport.
3. Records of learners/trainees using School transport shall be well maintained
and where learners/trainees are picked, the School will maintain updated information on who is authorized to collect learners/trainees from the School.
4. Learners/trainees and staff must not travel if they are feeling unwell with symptoms of COVID-19, even if these symptoms are mild.
5. Provide hand washing facilities and/or an alcohol-based hand rub at transport pick up points for those using school transports.
6. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces between each journey using detergent and appropriate disinfectants.
7. Advice learners and staff not to travel if they exhibit they are unwell or exhibit COVID-19 symptoms.
School Community Relations Protocols
1. No unauthorized visitor will be allowed in the School, all visitors shall be appropriately guided at the school entrance.
2. School events including career and motivation days are suspended until further notice;
3. Ensure essential service providers visiting the School are recorded during entry and exit at the School gate,
4. A record (name and contact details) of all persons visiting the School shall be maintained at the School gate.
5. The temperature of all visitors shall be taken and those with temperatures above the MoH recommended temperature will be denied entry and advised to seek medical attention outside the school.
Co Curriculum Activities
All inter school activities remain suspended with intra school co curriculum activities that can be facilitated under Covid-19 prevention guidelines prescribed by the Ministry of Health (MOH) and relevant agencies protocols to continue subject to;
1. Identification of a contact person/s who shall be responsible for responses on venue preparedness and related actions in strict compliance to COVID-19 management protocols.
2. Allocation of exclusive drop-off, pick-up and parking areas for athletes, athlete support personnel, officials and staff.
3. Adequate Supplies – constant water supply, hand washing facilities, soap, sanitizers and PPEs for staff undertaking cleaning.
4. Promotion of Positive Social Attitudes and Behavior that will not compromise COVID-19 management protocols.
5. Appropriate set up and marking of seating areas for athletes, athlete support personnel and officials. This should be done with due consideration for physical distancing.
6. Cleaning and disinfecting of handrails, gates and all equipment used.
7. Provision of more appropriate waste disposal facilities and safe removal of waste before, during and after events.
8. Provision of the necessary medical services and supplies at the venue.
9. In the context of physical and sports activities, shared objects and equipment to be disinfected regularly.
10. The sharing of team equipment and uniforms is not permitted.
11. After the training session or match, kits should be removed and washed with regular laundry detergent.
To win the war against COVID-19 requires that all the stakeholders’ work together and support one another. Any institution that will not implement strictly the guidelines as issued by the ministry of Education will not be allowed to operate by the government until when the necessary plans and systems have been put in place.
This communication therefore intends to brief and reemphasize the guidelines issued by the MoE that continue to serve as the primary source of guidance to schools.
It is the hope of Kenya Private Schools Association that all its members fully comply with guidelines and will continue to prioritize the best interest of its learners and staff as we navigate out of this medical crisis.
THE KENYA PRIVATE SCHOOLS ASSOCIATION (KPSA),
NDORO M. PETER,
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER.