by Priyanka Pruthi- Senior Producer UNICEF

Hey Teacher, as the coronavirus outbreak intensifies, we know you are grappling with a new reality. A record number of school around the world are closed, and if you are going to school, keeping yourself and your students protected would understandably be your top priority. So, we have put together a simple checklist for you and the staff at your school.

Six ways to keep your students safe

1) show them how to wash their hands : That doesn’t include rinsing their hands for a moment, wiping their hands with their clothes, and calling it a day.

There is a proper way to do it. They should wash their hands thoroughly for twenty seconds. That’s, as long as it’s takes to sing the happy birthday song twice. Make it fun for the students. Maybe, try sing along or a hand washing challenge.

Make sure the bathrooms, at school are cleaned more often and that there’s always soap and water available for handwashing.

Place hand sanitizers in toilets, classrooms, halls, and near exits in your school. Use hand sanitizers that contain at least 60 percent alcohol.

2) DISINFECT THE SCHOOL BUILDING: Clean and disinfect the school building, classrooms, and especially water and sanitation facilities at least once a day; particularly, surface that are tounched by many people, like railings, lunch tables, sports equipments, door and window handles, toys, teaching and learning aids.

3) INCREASE VENTILATION IN ROOMS: Increase airflow and ventilation. Open the windows and use air conditioning where available.

4) SOCIAL DISTANCE IS A KEY: Introduced the concept of social distancing like standing further away from friends, avoiding large crowds, not touching people if they don’t want need to. Have children sit further apart from one another.

5) LISTEN TO THEIR CONCERNS: Make sure you listen to children concern and answer their questions in an age appropriate manner. Don’t overwhelm them with too much information. Encourage them to express and communicate their feelings.

6) PREVENT AND ADDRESS STIGMA: The outbreak of coronavirus has brought with it numerous reports of racial discrimination, so its important to check that your students are neither experiencing or contributing to bullying. Explain that, coronavirus has nothing to do with what someone looks like, where they are from or what language they speak. It does not differentiate between borders ethnicities, disability status, age or gender. Emphasize the importance of being empathetic, respectful, inclusive, supportive and kind. You can learn more about how to have conversations and organize the right activities for a range of students from preschoolers to those in upper secondary, on our website. UNICEF.ORG

And remember be prepared. There is no need to panic. There are alot of myths and misinformation that’s being shared online. Make sure your sources of information are reliable. For more of this info, visit

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