Beaconhouse School System’s response to COVID-19 (coronavirus)

Last Update: April 06, 2020, 3:40 pm, Pakistan Standard Time

Beaconhouse is actively monitoring the local and global health situation around the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). With the presence of the virus now clearly established in Pakistan, we are intensifying our institutional response. This website offers the latest updates and information on what we are doing, though the guidance may change quickly as new information comes to light; please keep visiting this page regularly.

Beaconhouse schools have complied with notifications from provincial governments and that of Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK).

Please rest assured that Beaconhouse has the capacity to provide online education and support services through our platform Beaconhouse Schooling Uninterrupted (BSU)

This is the forum through which classwork will continue, while teachers will be available to facilitate the continuation of the class curriculum online. There is provision for one-to-one interactions between students and teachers, as well as guidelines that have been developed to facilitate parents to the greatest degree possible under these trying circumstances. Students, parents and teachers remain connected through virtual classrooms for a seamless learning experience, while curriculum tools such as exercises, videos, and art & music have also been catered to.

For more information on BSU, please visit http://bsu.beaconhouse.net/.

BSU was initiated on 24 March, 2020, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the Islamabad Capital Territory and Punjab. It has already been operational across our campuses in Sindh and Balochistan.

CAIE EXAMS 2020

Cambridge Assessment International Education (CAIE) released its official statement regarding the CAIE exams 2020. Earlier, it was announced that O and A Level exams of Cambridge due in May and June have been postponed until the examination authority announces new dates. However, now CAIE has cancelled the O/A/IGCSE May/June 2020 exam series and will be awarding grades to students based on evidence of student performance provided by the schools. They have given schools an option to withdraw entries from the May/June 2020 series and register them for another series if they don’t want students to be awarded grades. After careful consideration, the policy of Beaconhouse has been announced and can be viewed here: https://bsu.beaconhouse.net/cambridge-assessment-international-education/ 

Please note:

  1. Do not panic! While there is no assurance of anything in life, global numbers on COVID-19 infections and fatalities strongly indicate that children and younger people (those under 60) are on very solid ground;
  2. Please do not travel abroad unless absolutely necessary;
  3. We strongly recommend extra emphasis on health and hygiene measures to prevent the spread of the virus.

We appreciate your cooperation and understanding as we work through these trying circumstances.

Information about the virus

According to the World Health Organisation, coronaviruses are a large family of viruses common across the world. COVID-19 is a new strain first identified in Wuhan city, China, in December 2019. The incubation period of COVID-19 is between two and 14 days. This means that if a person remains well 14 days after contact with coronavirus, it is unlikely that they have been infected.

The following symptoms may develop in the 14 days after exposure to COVID-19:

  • cough

  • difficulty in breathing

  • fever

Generally, these infections can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, the elderly, and those with conditions such as diabetes, cancer, and chronic lung disease. There is no evidence that children are more vulnerable – globally, very few cases have been reported in children.

How COVID-19 is spread

  • The virus is thought to spread mainly through droplets (termed respiratory secretions) containing the virus when an infected person coughs or sneezes and these droplets are transferred into the mouths or noses of people who are nearby (within 1 metre) or are inhaled into the lungs;
  • It may also be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it.

It is likely that the risk increases the longer someone has close contact with an infected person.

Preventing the spread of infection 

By being proactive, we can safeguard our own health and the well-being of those with whom we interact. 

Wash your hands frequently

Clean your hands regularly and thoroughly with soap and water or with a sanitiser.

Maintain social distance

Maintain at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing.

Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth

Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you ill.

Practice respiratory hygiene

Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Then dispose of the used tissue immediately in a dustbin.

If you feel unwell and have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, stay home and seek medical care in order to protect yourself and others from the spread of the disease.

There is no evidence that face masks for the general public are effective in protecting from infection.

What to do if your child becomes unwell

If you notice symptoms such as cough, difficulty in breathing and/or fever in your child, you must seek immediate medical consultation, and isolate the affected child for 14 days until they test negative for COVID-19.

The unwell child should be kept in self-quarantine, i.e. in a separate room with minimum contact with others. The child should avoid touching people, surfaces and objects and be advised to cover their mouth and nose with a disposable tissue when coughing or sneezing.

Further information

You may refer to the following web resources for more information on the virus and how to create awareness about hygiene in your children.

COVID-19 Outbreak – World Health Organisation

Global Coronavirus update – Channel News Asia

Coronavirus Updates – BBC

Coronavirus Information-National Disaster Management Authority

Coronavirus Precautions – Punjab Primary and Secondary Healthcare Department

Daily Situation Report – National Institute of Health, Pakistan

Coronavirus Dashboard – Pakistan

O&A Level/IGCSE Exam Plans 2020-21

Information on this virus and how to control its spread may change in the following days and weeks as the situation evolves. We will continue to communicate with you about our ongoing efforts regarding the virus.  In the meantime, stay connected to the news and ways to stay safe. Sharing accurate information during a time of heightened concern is one of the best things we can do to avoid creating panic. We look forward to your support as always.

References:

https://www.gov.uk

https://www.who.int

https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus