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June 3, 2020

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Kindergartens reopen with new health measures

Public kindergartens in Shanghai reopened yesterday with efforts taken to protect the youngsters from health risks.

At about 8am, 6-year-old Wu Tianle, wearing a face mask, arrived at the entrance of Wanlicheng Experimental Kindergarten on Fuping Road, Putuo District, with her grandpa.

Pupils were asked to go to the kindergarten at different times. When Wu was waiting in line quietly to enter the kindergarten, her grandpa scanned a card on a machine set outside the gate, which is provided by the kindergarten to all its parents in order to make a record of sending and picking up their children.

“It’s nice to meet my friends and I want to do more joyful things with them!” an excited Wu told Shanghai Daily.

After she got into the kindergarten, Wu first went through a channel installed with infrared temperature sensing devices. Anyone found with an abnormal temperature would be sent to two tents on the other side for a second temperature check and further observation.

At the end of the line, teachers checked their health conditions and whether they wore masks properly. The children were then asked to wash their hands at sinks with infrared sensing soap dispensers which help prevent them from touching each other.

According to Gao Yan, a teacher at the kindergarten, if a student is found with any symptoms, they will take him or her to an observation zone and inform the parents, who should give a response within two hours and pick up the kid by themselves or have the kindergarten call an ambulance and deliver the child to hospital.

“Before today’s opening, we’ve done lots of preparation work. The faculty was divided into two groups, one for classroom affairs and the other for security and sterilization issues,” Gao said. “The former prepared protective gear like hand sanitizer and placed stickers in classrooms to guide the children to sit in proper places and keep a distance from each other. The latter arranged all the measures for children’s health checks during entry and the sterilization work.”

A sanitation worker there told Shanghai Daily that they do three rounds of thorough disinfection at the kindergarten every day.

The teachers also taught pupils about how to use different types of masks to enhance their awareness of protecting themselves during the epidemic.

Although the kids were eager to meet each other and their teachers yesterday, only 201 children showed up on the reopening day, about 45 percent of the total number. The majority of them are about to graduate and go to primary school.

The kindergarten did surveys among parents on whether they would like to send their kids back to the school. “For those staying at home, we will provide them with online resources like games and interact with them through online activities. We also encourage the kids at school to send greetings to those at home by writing letters or drawing pictures,” said Ye Guanghong, head of the kindergarten.

Shen, a mother of a boy named Diandian, said most of the kids in his class went to the kindergarten yesterday.

“He cherishes the last month before graduation to be together with his classmates and teachers,” Shen said. “As a mother, I’ve learned a lot about the kindergarten’s work on epidemic prevention and think it did very well. Besides all the on-site measures, the parents are also told to report the health conditions of the kid and other family members living with the kid. So I feel secure to let my boy return to the kindergarten.”

According to Ling, a father of a 7-year-old girl, the city government and the kindergarten have done a lot of work to ensure the children’s safety and health. He said although he felt a bit lonely after sending the kid back to school, who had been with them at home for several months, it’s glad to see her full of vitality with the other children.

“I think the company, love and care from family cannot replace the companionship between her and her classmates and teachers,” he added.

However, there are still some parents deciding not to send their children back to school for different reasons.

One of them is a mother surnamed Gu who keeps her 4-year-old son at home.

“There are a lot of prevention measures and I’m afraid whether he could abide by them well. And if he develops a fever, he will need to take the nucleic acid test, which is uncomfortable especially for such a young child,” she said, adding that now is the season when children can easily show high temperatures.

Xu Jing, another mother of a 4-year-old boy, said she was actually eager to send her son back to campus, but her parents were worried about the safety risks.

“My son is very naughty and I feel so tired after looking after him at home round the clock,” she said. “But my parents were worried about the risks as the pandemic is still developing around the world. They rushed to Shanghai from our hometown in Anhui Province to help me look after him.”


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