Learning from the Science to Make Sure Schools are Safe

Broadcast date: 19 September 2020

Safety first

Safety first

Both the South African Paediatric Association and the South African Medical Association support the decision that learners should return to school.

However, in order for this to proceed safely, schools need to follow standard operating procedures (SOPs) that are in line with the latest scientific information available on Covid-19. Only then can schools ensure that teachers, parents and learners stay healthy.

However, these procedures can be difficult to implement. 

Health scientists have offered guidance to school leaders as they interpret the SOPs. There are two key pieces of advice they consistently emphasise.

The first is that well-ventilated school environments that avoid situations where learners have to gather in large groups should be the primary goal of every school. The second is that schools should make use of non-pharmaceutical interventions. This means that they should promote social distancing and regular hand washing or the use of hand sanitiser. Children should also learn how to cough without spraying others and wear face masks correctly.

If these practices are followed, the likelihood of a Covid-19 outbreak taking place is significantly reduced.

Read the blog about this topic here.

Two pieces of advice

Two pieces of advice

Learning from the Science to Make Sure Schools are Safe

Listen to Phepha uFunde episode three in full here:

Leading in Uncertainty - Covid-19 - Phepha uFunde

Advisory sites

Department of Basic Education

Psychological Society of South Africa
South African Depression and Anxiety Group
World Health Organization
South African Coronavirus Resource Portal

National Department of Health

Seed Education Trust