Educational Institutions are closed since March; therefore, all the students are at their homes and continuing their classes online and through various assignments that are being assigned to them. This mode of teaching cannot go on forever because nothing can compete with direct interactions; online schooling and online teaching methods are also depriving the students from many various other significant experiences. The State and the Centre are not being able to come with a conducive conclusion because they are unsure if it would be safe to re-start educational institutions and proper sanitation.
There are a series of discussions going on about the closure of institutions and how it has completely changed the way we attend our classes. Though, everything is subsequently opening, schools and universities are still closed. If every other thing is coming back to its normal form, then why not educational institutions. Many institutions are promising to re-open by November 2020, this also makes us wonder how are the educational institution going to implement various sanitation methods. If we consider the situation of Indian educational institutions, they go through a severe problem of unhygienic environment under normal circumstances. Therefore, there are a lot of concerns related to how educational institutions are going to implement new rules of social-distancing and maintain proper hygiene in their washrooms and classes.
Today, we are going to see how educational institutions can change the way they treat the topic of a hygienic environment, and how badly it can affect the students, teachers and the staffs if they fail to do the same.
Hand washing Facilities-
This is one of the major thing institutions would have to install, in order to, maintain a hygienic environment. According to a survey, 55% of schools do not have hand washing facilities. We all have had bad experiences regarding this aspect, many schools and colleges never had proper hand washing equipment. The ones that cared enough to at least keep a hand washing soap, was too dirty due to too much use. This can be a major source of transmitting the disease, and this is a basic thing we require to keep ourselves safe. It is unfortunate to see that educational institutions do not even have proper hand washing equipment to offer to its students. In a pandemic, an institution cannot perform if basic amenities are not provided for the safety of its people. Therefore, if the educational institutions are planning to re-start normal classes for its students, they would have to ensure these rudimentary supplements are available for all.
Proper construction of Toilets-
It is a shame that we need to look into very basic elements that is required for ensuring a hygienic atmosphere; and these elements are not just proportional to a pandemic, but it is regular essential in our day-to-day lives as well. Many schools do not have a properly constructed washroom, and many are accused of having really poor sanitization facilities in these washrooms. In a survey of 2,326 school toilets across fifteen states, 72% did not have running water and 75% were not maintained hygienically.
The impairment of schools to maintain a sanitized atmosphere calls for many considerations and proper management before opening educational institutions. If these basic amenities are not being provided to the students, nobody can stop the spread of the virus which emerges from unhygienic conditions. How are we to expect that schools would ensure these basic facilities to everyone? It becomes the responsibility of our government and the educational institutions to ensure that no negligence in the matter of hygiene is shown from their end. Proper construction of toilets must be ensured, the students must have access to proper hand washing facilities and sanitizers, these educational institutions must also see that they are supplying clean water and each and every space of the institution must be clean and sanitized.
We see that thousands of schools and colleges in India do not even have basic sanitation facilities; therefore, how do we expect them to take extra precautions to safely re-open when they are lacking rudimentary facilities? What are the new provisions these institutions would partake to ensure a safe environment? We need to start having these discussions before coming to a solid conclusion of whether educational institutions must re-open. Students being deprived of a proper campus environment is one thing, but student being deprived of basic sanitation facilities is another.
We cannot put our student’s life at stake, our educational institutions must transform their way of treating the issue of sanitation. Today, they are not just expected to provide proper elementary conveniences, but also they are expected to do a lot more to ensure that all the members of their institutions are safe. Of 1,967 co-ed schools surveyed, 27% did not have separate toilets for girls and boys. There is an estimation of 23% of girls dropping out of schools due to the lack of functional toilets, therefore, it is essential for schools to look into these utterly disturbing numbers and ensure basic facilities to their students.