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Home » Maktab in COVID-19

Maktab in COVID-19

COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our lives since March 2021, forcing on and off school closures pertaining to the overall Coronavirus situation in the province. 

Research has shown that ventilation and distancing are crucial to stopping the spread of the virus. Maktab’s 3.5-acre campus was designed for only 300 students. Each classroom has excellent airflow with over 150 square feet of openable windows. It is rare for any school in Lahore to have such luxuries. Hence Maktab’s extraordinarily spacious and green campus, exceptionally small class size, well-ventilated classrooms, make it a school with a safe and healthy environment, especially in these current times.  

These have been extremely challenging and trying times for a unique school such as Maktab, as its main focus has always been on academics, sports, and extracurricular activities.  We have risen up to the challenge and blazed a new trail in online learning despite many constraints and limitations.  

Maktab consults WHO and covid.gov.pk as our official sources of information regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. Our health and safety requirements meet and, in many instances, exceed those set by the Punjab Government and Education Department.  We will update our protocols as needed, based on their evolving guidance and will notify families, faculty, and staff accordingly.

Returning to physical/ in-person school is important for the well-being of many of our students, and a return to greater normalcy will lay the groundwork for an easier transition in the upcoming new academic session in coming August.

 

Maktab’s Online Learning Initiative

Online learning has been hard on all stakeholders, especially children. However, without it, children would have lost at least an entire year.  Maktab has carefully organized its online learning to minimize the disruption caused by the pandemic.

We are proud to have accomplished many firsts in online learning:  Maktab is the first school in Lahore to have introduced the concept of prerecorded lectures and weekly diaries that are uploaded in advance in each subject’s online classroom. This helps the students and the parents prepare for the upcoming week. During the week, live Zoom sessions are used to reinforce and interactively teach the material. These live Zoom sessions are also uploaded daily so that children can revise the material or can make up for a missed class. Feedback to students on their written work is a critical component of all learning. Maktab ensures that while online learning is going on, copies of all children are checked every other week. Online assessments are also used for continuous feedback.

This hard work has been richly rewarded by our students, who have shown resilience and by defying the virus, have continued their academic journeys with perseverance.

Safety Measures by Maktab

Maktab takes the safety and health of all its community members extremely seriously. Our spacious, airy campus acts as a natural ally in our battle against the virus. We strictly follow all WHO and Government of Pakistan guidelines. Some of the steps that we have taken to ensure a safe environment at Maktab are:

Daily On-Gate Screening:

The temperature of everyone entering the school is checked and they are asked to use hand sanitizer at the school gate, before entering the school. This is monitored by Maktab’s administrative staff. If any child is perceived to be even slightly unwell, he/she must stay home, and families must show evidence of a negative COVID test before returning to school. Families, students, and the school cannot determine for themselves whether a student’s illness is or is not COVID.

Masks:

All students, teachers, and staff are required to wear masks while in the school. The expectation is that students will bring their own masks: 3-layered fabric mask, surgical mask, etc.  However, the school has a supply of masks for students who lose or forget their own.  

Students may not remove their masks while in the building (including—and especially—in the bathroom) unless they are seated in their assigned area during recess while maintaining social distancing and eating lunch. Students cannot converse with each other inside the school unless masked.

Hand Washing:

Hand washing is encouraged among the students and teachers. Hand sanitizer is being provided in our corridors, offices, and in every classroom through conveniently placed dispensers. Hand washing or sanitizing is required at the start and end of each period, after using the restroom, and before lunch as well. 

Social/Physical Distancing:

Everyone in the school must always maintain a minimum of 3 feet of physical distance from others and 6 feet of distance while eating indoors (during recess or lunch when eating outdoors is not possible such as during rain). Also, all students during free periods must be 6 feet apart. Posters and information regarding social distancing is displayed in the corridors and notice boards.

All desks and workstations have been pre-measured and distanced at least 3 feet apart in classrooms, offices, and in all labs. 

Cleaning and Sanitization:

Maktab’s maintenance staff cleans and disinfects the building after-school and throughout the day. This includes thoroughly disinfecting classrooms and shared surfaces such as handrails and doorknobs.

Expectations from Maktab Community

The fight against Coronavirus must be fought by all of us. Maktab is trying to do its utmost to create an environment that maintains the health of all its community members. In order to ensure the safety of all the Maktab community, we request the community members to step in and do their part.

Expectations from Students

We expect all students to:

  • Stay home if they feel sick.
  • Follow all posted health protocols, including: 
    • Wearing a face covering at all times when in the school (except when eating).
    • Maintaining at least three feet of physical distance from others at all times.
    • Washing or sanitizing hands upon entering the school, upon entering classrooms, and as needed throughout the school day.
  • Sit in their assigned seats (chosen on the first day of class) during class periods.
  • Report immediately—any COVID-19 symptoms they may be feeling to a teacher or staff member if they are in the school.
  • Report immediately—results of a positive COVID-19 test in their household to our medical point of contact, Syeda Pernia Zaidi. 
  • Follow all instructions for quarantining and returning to school if and when given.
  • Let an adult know if they see any behavior that may endanger the health of other members of our community.

Given the seriousness of the coronavirus, any student who does not comply with measures aimed at keeping our community safe may be subject to disciplinary action. 

Expectations from Parents:

We expect all parents and guardians to:

  • Familiarize themselves with all guidelines posted on this page.
  • Talk to their children about these guidelines and the importance of following public health protocols (e.g., mask-wearing, social distancing, hand washing/sanitizing, etc.).
  • Report—immediately—results of a positive COVID-19 test in their household to our administrator.
  • Uphold instructions for quarantining and returning to school if and when given to their child.

Risk

Despite our best efforts, there is a certain risk associated with the Coronavirus that cannot be eliminated. COVID-19 is mostly spread person-to-person by respiratory droplets released when people talk, cough, sneeze, or even sing. The disease is extremely contagious, and individuals may spread it to others without feeling sick themselves or before developing the signs and symptoms of the disease. Although many people who are infected do not experience serious symptoms, tragically, some become seriously ill and even die.  It is not possible to reduce the transmission risk to zero in any setting. There will be some residual risk even after significant targeted, science-backed, and layered risk reduction measures are implemented. Even with all our precautions in place, students may get exposed to COVID-19 and contract the disease; they may transmit the disease to others, and that as a result, they and members of their household may experience COVID-19 symptoms and may require isolation, quarantine, and hospitalization.

We hope and pray that all our community members and all human beings stay safe and healthy, and together we overcome this pandemic.