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Circumspect, Cognizant and Conclusive: The 3 “New Normal” C’s for Schools

— May 27, 2020

However, not everything will be the same once the schools reopen, as the termination of the lockdown won’t actually mean that the threat of the highly contagious pandemic is over.

Children have never been so impatient to go back to school as they are in the present scenario of time. This is because the long period of lockdown has ignited in them a spirit to break the shackles and breathe in the fresh air, as they did once before the outbreak of the pandemic. However, not everything will be the same once the schools reopen, as the termination of the lockdown won’t actually mean that the threat of the highly contagious pandemic is over. Thus, there is a need to introduce a new normal in the school environment. Of all the modifications, the main changes are to be made as 3 C’s. The 3 C’s represent the most important responsibilities that need to be fulfilled by the teachers and the students when the schools reopen.

The Three “New Normal” C’s for schools

1. Circumspect

This is the first and foremost of all the 3 C’s. By ‘Circumspect,’ it means that the entire school administration along with the teachers and the students will have to be on a constant state of guard. This implies that they’ll have to stay cautious at all times and shield themselves from the slightest remains of the contagious virus, which may be present on any surface they come in contact with. The virus has a different lifespan on different surfaces which ranges from a few hours to a few days, depending on what the infected surface is made of. Thus, it is extremely important for teachers and the students to ‘circumspect’.

2. Cognizant

By ‘Cognizant,’ it means that the teachers and their pupils will have to remain in constant awareness of everything which is related to Covid-19. It is only in an extreme state of awareness that they can keep track of the risk factors around them and take the necessary precautions accordingly. Furthermore, cognizance will play a great role in the detection of the second wave of the deadly pandemic, of which there are many apprehensions about. Thus, this new normal C is a must for the schools to adopt.

3. Conclusive

Being ‘Conclusive’ constitutes the third new normal C, which needs to be embedded in the school environment. This simply means that the school authorities and teachers will have to make quick, firm decisions and then draw a fine line between what is necessary to be done and what has to be avoided under all circumstances. For example, the school administration will have to make a strict declaration that no sharing of things such as stationery items, lunch, and other things is allowed for anyone, be it themselves, the teachers, or the students. It is only in the presence of this conclusiveness, that the apprehensive threat of the second wave of the pandemic can be averted.

How to ensure the execution of new normalcy?

With the strong need for the new normalcy to be introduced, there is also a great need to be assured of its execution. Below mentioned are some ways which will help the authorities in the execution of the new normalcy.

1. Conducting informative workshops for teachers

The first and foremost step which needs to be taken for ensuring the proper execution of the new normalcy is to familiarize the teachers with the concept of the 3 C’s. This is because the teachers are the guardians, who will have to shoulder the great responsibility of making the children adapt to the new normalcy. It is only when the teachers will themselves be completely aware of the 3 C’s and their importance that they can take charge of ensuring its execution by themselves and their students. Furthermore, educating a single teacher about the practice of the new normalcy is equivalent to educating the entire school. Therefore, informative workshops should be conducted to introduce the teachers with the 3 C’s of new normalcy.

Children wearing surgical masks during a swine flu outbreak in Mexico. Image via Wikimedia Commons/user:sari huella. (CCA-BY-2.0).

2. Organizing awareness sessions for the students

The students can be made aware of the concept of the 3 normal C’s by organizing awareness sessions for them. In order to create maximum impact on the students, it is important to make these sessions interesting for them. This can be done by using colourful flow charts, models, and smart audio-visual means. Furthermore, concluding these sessions with related quizzes and puzzles can serve as a great way to enhance the students’ retention of the discussed information.

3. Implantation of a medical team

With the ongoing threat of the pandemic, it is extremely important for the schools, all over the globe, to implant a proper medical team of experts on the premises. This is because even slight negligence can result in dreadful consequences and only an expert team of medical professionals can handle the situation with complete care. 

Furthermore, there is an essential need for the medical team to be on a constant state of guard. This implies that even if the slightest traces of symptoms of Covid-19 are detected in anyone from the school premises, the medical team should immediately gear up for taking the necessary actions.

4. Ensuring proper cleanliness

Proper following of hygiene and cleanliness practices is by now, the only way to prevent the transmission of the highly contagious and deadly Covid-19. Thus, the authorities should ensure the proper following of all these practices, such as regular washing and sanitization of hands, by everyone present inside the school premises. Along with this, there should be a proper availability of essentials such as hand wash, sanitizers, and masks everywhere within the school.

5. Assuring the norms of social distancing

The last but not the least, the authorities should make all the necessary provisions for assuring proper abidance to the norms of social distancing by themselves, as well as the students. The most effective way to do so is by making a seating arrangement, in which the seats are arranged at a distance of 1m from each other, from all sides. This seating arrangement should be made with proper care everywhere inside the school premises, be it the staff rooms or the classrooms. 

To conclude, it is the need of the hour to introduce the three new normal C’s for the schools. It is only with the proper execution of the “new normal” that the schools can emerge as victors in the battle against the deadly pandemic.

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