When the COVID-19 outbreak started in China a few months ago, none of us were prepared for it to turn into a global pandemic. While the world faces the trials of COVID-19, one thing we must remember is that there is always an opportunity for growth and change in any challenge.
Managing Health & Safety in the Time of COVID-19
Indeed, the WHO’s guidelines to schools and educational institutions during this time asks us to look to educating ourselves and our youth through this current pandemic:
“Today, children and young people are global citizens, powerful agents of change and the next generation of caregivers, scientists, and doctors. Any crisis presents the opportunity to help them learn, cultivate compassion and increase resilience while building a safer and more caring community. Having information and facts about COVID-19 will help diminish students’ fears and anxieties around the disease and support their ability to cope with any secondary impacts in their lives.” World Health Organization, Key Messages for Schools
As a group of educators and travel providers, we consistently do everything within our power to safeguard the physical and psychological safety of students while delivering hands-on learning experiences. During this challenging time, we have taken the opportunity to review, revitalize, and refine our current and future health and safety practices.
Existing Risk Management and Health & Safety Systems
Our existing health & safety protocols and emergency response systems cover 7 different categories over 3 different timelines. Pre-trip, on-trip, and post-trip, we look at the following 7 categories:
4. Force Majeure
6. Internal Staff
7. Students & Teachers
And assess our systems and protocols against each category. These systems include:
- – Training our staff
- – Vetting all staff
- – Regular risk assessments and audits
- – Reviewing contracts and agreements
- – Collection of medical care information
- – Provision of liability insurance (and medical insurance upon request)
- – Emergency response protocols
- – Crisis management teams
- – On-site, pre-activity briefings
- – Incident and near-miss reports
- – Feedback reviews and improvement implementation
We are incredibly proud that WildChina Education, though based internationally, meets all the requirements and recommendations for learning outside of the classroom as set out by the British government. We’re always more than happy to provide any of these documents to your school upon request – please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to know more.
Updating Our Health and Safety Protocols
The spread of COVID-19 has re-impressed on the general population something that those of us who work with kids are very familiar with: #washyourhands.
That being said, there are other precautions and measures that anyone planning or undertaking an educational journey should consider. Below are 17 precautions that we take at WildChina Education, many of which we’ve been strictly adhering to for years, as well as new protocols created in light of the current situation.
We are happy to say that many of the recommendations from disease prevention experts were already in place and being practiced prior to COVID-19. However, given the scale and nature of this outbreak, we are adding in new protocols to ensure trips within China and the surrounds are as safe as possible.
As always, we are happy to answer any questions you might have about the status of our outdoor activities for schools as well as any other queries you might have regarding experiential learning in the upcoming school year.