HWT Primary principal committed to keeping COVID at bay
Principal Carol O’Connor Clarke is on a mission to keep COVID-19 out of Half-Way Tree Primary School and has instituted a strict hand-hygiene regime to which visitors, including students and staff must adhere, before entering. A washbasin and liquid soap are prominently placed at the entrance. and for those who prefer the option of having the sanitiser sprayed on their hands, the gates are manned by someone who dutifully sprays the hands of everyone prior to entry.
“Since COVID-19, handwashing has become more frequent and in fact, is compulsory here. “We see to it that it takes place on a daily basis, and everybody coming through the gate – either they wash their hands, or they are sanitised,” she told The Gleaner.
The compliance level is very high and O’Connor Clarke is convinced that it is because parents/guardians are educated as to the reason for the stringent measures.
“We educate them. Every meeting we tell the parents; we send home notifications advising what they should take once they come onto the compound; what they are supposed to do, because COVID-19 is not gone. It’s still here, so we have to be careful and vigilant,” she pointed out.
The principal was speaking after the recent donation of two 1,000-gallon water tanks by Bigga soft drink, in keeping with its ‘water storage and sanitation in schools’ initiative. The company is on a mission to assist schools across the island with continuing the observance of sanitation measures since the full resumption of classes. As water storage and the availability of the commodity remains a challenge for some, the school at 34 Burlington Avenue, St Andrew, was the first to receive its water storage tanks.
Wisynco Group Limited’s Director of Marketing, Francois Charlifour, told The Gleaner that the returns on such investments to the society are immense.
“Anywhere, anyhow you can assist with our children’s education, where things can be made easier, it’s tremendously important because the more these children are educated, the more options they will have to hopefully decide and influence what they can do in life, and how they contribute to the development of others. A lot of requests come to us for various things, and this is a much easier one to respond to and help with. We impact their lives and their families, and we are very happy to do it.”
Principal O’Connor Clarke was really appreciative of the donation, especially with 1,040 registered students, 41 teachers and 15 ancillary staff.
“We need these tanks, especially with such a large population of students, because whenever we are without water, the National Water Commission has to truck water to us. So this is very important in the event of a lock-off ... we do have a tank, but the water is quickly used up whenever there is a lock-off.
“We are just so happy to have these two tanks, and I am so looking forward to getting them installed and put into operation immediately. We emphasise flushing of the toilets and cleanliness of the bathrooms, and we just have to be vigilant in terms of what is happening with the pandemic and make sure that everyone is involved, because personal hygiene is very important.”