A few months after the initiation of a nationwide lockdown due to the COVID-19 outbreak, South African schools are starting to reopen. Not all schools, however, have been given the green light by their management boards or municipalities. All educational institutions must comply with the regulations outlined in the Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) if they are to allow pupils back in their classrooms.
Schools need to be clean and disinfected at all times. This will safeguard the health of the pupils, teachers and their families. This may require special planning, logistics and cleaning equipment, which can be costly. Alternatively, schools can opt to hire a professional contract cleaning company, such as IWESCO. We have highly-trained employees, specialised equipment and the right personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure a high-quality result.
The COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed the way in which education is conducted. Online classes and virtual lessons have been the only way to teach subjects, but these methods have severe limitations. Re-opening classrooms for face-to-face teaching is the best solution, especially for exam years - Grade 7 and Matric. But schools need to be clean, sanitised and ready for the influx of pupils.
School hygiene must be regularly conducted
If educational institutions want to protect their pupils and staff members, then regular sanitisation and hygiene must be conducted. This includes providing staff and pupils with the right PPE and limiting the number of pupils per class to ensure social distancing. Health experts also suggest that teachers must rotate classes, rather than pupils moving around to different venues.
Every day, pupils and teachers will need to wash their hands regularly. The classrooms will need to be sanitised at the end of every day and a professional contract cleaning company should be employed to conduct a weekly deep-clean of the school premises. This will entail fogging all classrooms, the staff room, offices, halls and storerooms. This form of whole-room disinfection is vital for the cleanliness of a school.
IWESCO uses thermal fogging machines and effective cleaning chemicals to sanitise entire rooms. We have the right equipment and knowledge for these applications. A thorough clean of a school can be conducted on Friday afternoons or over the weekend - ensuring the pupils and staff can return to a safe learning environment on a Monday.
High-risk areas need to be cleaned more often
Like any building, there will be certain high-risk areas at a school that need a more thorough clean on a more regular basis. These areas include toilets, drop-off zones and changing rooms. Many schools will not open tuckshops and the fields will be off-limits during breaks, but any area that will see students gathering should be identified as high risk. These areas need to be sanitised more often.
IWESCO can offer daily cleansing of these parts of a school property. Toilets will always be visited by students between lessons, so the taps, door handles and facilities within must be disinfected often. Drop-off zones must also be monitored by staff members to ensure social distancing. Pupils must wear facemasks or shields and are encouraged to bring their own disinfecting gels or wipes to school.
Screening and documenting pupils
Schools should adhere to the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines for daily screening. This means that pupils should have their temperature checked before entering the school premises. Any pupil that shows signs of a fever or high temperature should be asked to go home and a record kept of such instances. This will allow the school to track the health of its pupils and protect the well-being of its students and staff members.
Pupils that show symptoms during the course of the day should be sent to a designated isolation room where social distancing can be regulated while they wait for their parents or guardians to collect them. Experts encourage schools to convert a section of their school hall into an adequate isolation venue. Adequate PPE must also be made available to pupils and staff members at this venue.
Schools should partner with a professional cleaning company
The best way to ensure that all regulations are adhered to is to partner with a company that knows what it is doing. If a school is found to be negligent or fails to implement necessary cleaning regimes, then it can open itself up to lawsuits and possible closure by the government. IWESCO can help educational institutions maintain the correct hygiene practices on a regular basis.
Our expert team can be on-site within a day in all major cities in South Africa. We take all necessary precautions to protect our customers and their premises from germs and viral spores. To get a quote or to set up a virtual meeting with one of our managers, please contact us today. Let us help your school get up-and-running and continue the vital work of educating the next generation.
IWESCO offers specialised cleaning and waste control services to industrial and commercial customers in South Africa. These services are aimed at minimising our customers’ impact on the environment. Our services also include pest control, garden maintenance, fogging and disinfecting. Our staff are highly trained to offer the most professional services. IWESCO is a Level 2 B-BBEE supplier with ISO 14001 certification for environmental management.
We are a one-stop shop for all your contract cleaning and waste control needs and have a national footprint. Our head office is located in Tshwane but we can provide services to any industrial and commercial client in the major metropolitan areas around South Africa, including Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Mbombela and more.