The first day of school, as special as it already was, was also a social practice class for the students.
Customized school buses, wearing masks, temperature checks, designated routes to classrooms — the ritualistic preparations for class were educational enough for the students to learn how important it is to avoid the gathering of crowds and observe respiratory etiquette in public.
“It takes more time for me to get to my desk. But I feel safer and less anxious,” said Mao Yongli, a student at No.6 Senior High School of Guiyang, the provincial capital.
He took a “chartered bus” to school in the morning. The buses were specially designed to pick up and drop off students based on their needs, in order to minimize their contact with areas outside of school and home.
Schools in Xinjiang and Guizhou handed out free masks for students to wear. Meals were also served individually.
Each class is limited to 30 students, seating is staggered and temperatures are taken three times a day. All the classrooms, canteens and dormitories are disinfected regularly, while closed-off campus management has been adopted to reduce imported infection risks, according to Tian Yun, head of the educational administration office of Urumqi No.1 Senior High School.
Lessons about epidemic prevention and emergency drills were among the school activities on the first day.