Background: Elementary School closures are much less effective than other social distance interventions in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic because of the low rate of SARS-CoV-2 transmission ...
Background: Elementary School closures are much less effective than other social distance interventions in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic because of the low rate of SARS-CoV-2 transmission between children in educational settings. Therefore, Identifying facilitators and barriers to school re-opening can help parents and school staff plan for students' return to school. In this study, we examined the facilitators and barriers of school re-opening during COVID-19 from the perspective of parents and school staff of Zahedan, southeast of Iran.
Methods: We did a qualitative study using conventional content analysis. Participants were selected by purposive sampling in May 2021, in Zahedan, southeast of Iran. Data was collected through semi structured and in-depth interviews. Credibility, dependability, confirmability, and transferability were established to assure data trustworthiness. Audio-recorded interviews were transcribed verbatim and analyzed in accordance with Graneheim and Lundman.
Results: We recruited 14 parents, five teachers, and five school principals from 7 elementary schools in Zahedan. Data analysis showed that overcrowding, financial problems, failure to comply with protocols and lack of proper educational space were identified as barriers to school re-opening. Also, teaching health protocols, providing health conditions for schools and preference for in-person learning were identified as facilitators of school re-opening.
Conclusion: Parents and school staff expressed their views on facilitators and barriers to reopening schools. Due to the different strains of covid 19, there is a possibility of re-peak at any time. Identifying facilitators and barriers of school re-opening will be effective in planning and policy-making of school re-opening programs during the COVID-19 and after Corona pandemic for promoting the health of school staff and students.