The COVID-19 pandemic caused a huge amount of disruption to education in 2020, as schools and institutions across the UAE - and around the world - closed their doors to students in a bid to protect wider communities in the face of the Coronavirus. In August, after months of distance learning for schools across the UAE, the Ministry of Education announced the reopening of schools under strict measures.
While many parents had genuine concerns over the return of their children to school following months of isolation, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) added 100 safety points for schools, students and parents to follow to ensure the safety of staff, parents and students from the current pandemic in all educational institutions.
Schools also worked hard independently to protect their communities and ensure a safe return to learning. Horizon International School Dubai is the perfect example of an educational institution putting a strategy into place to safeguard and protect the pupils, staff, and wider community it serves. This undertaking was done in cooperation with hygiene and wellness partner Fine Solutions, the away-from-home division of Fine Hygienic Holding (FHH), one of the world’s leading wellness groups.
“For us at Horizon International School, hygiene, student safety, health and well-being are non-negotiable,” said Darren Gale, Principal of Horizon International School. “This year, in particular, was a very uncertain and anxious time. While we wanted our students to return to school and be a part of the whole school experience, we also wanted to ensure that we were not rushing to return. So, as soon as the protocols were issued by KHDA in support of the DHA, we analyzed them to ensure that we were able to fulfill the expectations of the authorities and ensure a safe return for our staff and students. As we did that, we realized that we could reopen with the support of the KHDA, the DHA and the parent community,” Gale added.
Horizon School Strategy: Partnering with Fine Solutions
Fine Solutions offers a 360° approach to hygiene and wellness through a wide range of services which ensured the highest hygiene standards and ensured the reopening of the school was a smooth process. With its exclusive Back to School Program, Fine Solutions facilitates the safe reopening of schools while navigating the COVID-19 pandemic in the UAE. The program features state-of-the-art disinfection services, antiviral personal protective equipment, mobile hygiene hotspots, sterilized paper products, and touch-free hygiene solutions to ensure a germ-free environment for both staff and students, assuring their families of their safety at all times.
Fine Disinfection Services
Surfaces and objects that are touched often can become the source of significant infections and deadly diseases. Walls, floors, desks, chairs, doorknobs, computer keyboards, and faucet handles can transmit viruses between the students and staff making the risk of infection significantly higher. Therefore, Fine’s Back to School Program started with Fine Disinfection Solutions, superior disinfection solutions for complete peace of mind. Fine Disinfection Solutions protects the school using EPA (Environmental Protection Agency)-approved disinfectants which kill 99.999% of bacteria, germs, and viruses, including Coronavirus, to ensure a germ-protected environment.
Fine Sterilized Tissues and Touchless Hygiene Solutions for Germ-Protected Environment
As the sterilized brand of the decade, Fine Solutions equipped Horizon School with the only Medical Wellness Association (MWA) approved sterilized paper products for washrooms, cafeterias, offices, and public areas through state-of-art touchless dispensers, which avoid any cross-contamination.
EPA-Approved Ecolab Disinfectants and Detergents
In partnership with Ecolab, Fine has provided its EPA-approved disinfectants and detergents to Horizon School to maintain its high standards of hygiene. Ecolab products are high quality and globally respected for being fast acting and effective, hence they were used for cleaning and disinfecting the high-traffic areas in school such as restrooms, lobby, and classrooms.
Fine set up a series of mobile hygiene hotspot stations to make Fine sterilized paper products and hand sanitizers available at all high traffic locations and high touch points around the premises i.e. entrances and elevators. These mobile hygiene hotspot stations reinforce hygienic behavior to better protect the students and staff and contain the spread of the germs and harmful bacteria.
Antiviral Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Powered by Livinguard
To ensure the safety and protection of students and staff, Fine provided its antiviral personal protective equipment to students and adults at Horizon School. Powered by Livinguard technology, Fine Guard face masks and gloves ensure the protection of children and adults alike, and are verified to destroy 99.9% of germs, bacteria, and virus. The facial masks have been proven to kill Covid-19 by clinical studies and academic trials from the University of Arizona and University of Berlin.
Trained Staff to keep the Environment Protected
As an integral part of the Fine Back-To-School Program, the facility management staff of Horizon School all received extensive hygiene training to ensure the maintenance of an effective hygiene protocol which ensures the environment remains protected and germ-free. Training covered best practice in applied hygiene protocol, the use of Ecolab disinfectants and detergents professionally, and considerations such as contact-time, deletion, and other technical aspects. The training also covered safety aspects as well as waste management as a critical determinant to controlled environments against infection and germ-spread.
Nedal Zatari, Chief Fine Solutions and Global Developing Markets, said: “By calling on a trusted hygiene and wellness partner such as Fine Solutions, Horizon International School Dubai fully committed to the exceptional hygiene standards needed to support their ‘Back to School’ strategy. Fine’s world class disinfection solutions are known to effectively sanitize and disinfect premises, and prevent the spread of germs. Our extensive experience and our commitment to superior products, solutions and best practice bring genuine peace of mind and reassurance to a wide range of clients and partners.”