Chanushi discusses Covid rules in schools

Chanushi Yasasna is a 10-year-old student from St. Paul’s Girls’ School, Milagiriya. She is excited to be going back to school after the long Covid-19 break. Chanushi spoke to Little Stars about the things that should be kept in mind when students go back to school.

Chanushi, first tell us about yourself.

My name is Chanushi Yasasna. I am 10 years old. I am a student of St. Paul’s, Milagiriya and now I am in Grade Five. I am looking forward to sitting for the Grade Five Scholarship exam in October. I live in Nedimala with my parents and grandparents. My mother is Nilani and my father is Himal. My grandfather Prasanna is the one who helps me with everything. I am an only child.

I like to draw and paint when I am free. I also love to do handwork. I sing whenever I feel like it and try to study for the exam every day. I am also taking elocution classes now.

What do you think your special talent is?

I think my special talent is drawing. I used to draw since I was very little. Sadly, we don’t have art as a separate subject in school. But I heard that from Grade Six onwards, there is a period only for art. I am so excited to go to Grade Six.

My grandfather teaches me to draw properly. I don’t go to any classes. I have sent my drawings to different competitions too. I hope to learn and improve my drawing skills more.

Tell us about your experience in going to dharma school.

Well, we were told that we can come back to dhamma school from next week. We couldn’t go there too for a very long time. I am looking forward to going back. At the dhamma school, we get to do a lot of interactive work. I love the bhakti gee programmes and when we get to recite poems in the class.

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you what my dhamma school is. It is the Buddhist Education Centre in Mount Lavinia.

You said you love bhakti gee programmes and reciting poems. Does this mean that you can sing as well?

My family members and teachers tell me that I can sing beautifully. I like to sing too. I like the different sounds different instruments make. But I still haven’t properly started learning music or singing. I have participated in many bhakti gee programmes in my dhamma school. It brings me a lot of happiness when we sing in groups.

What kind of handwork do you make?

Mostly paper-based handwork, like flowers or collages. I was recently able to complete making a basket full of flowers. I can’t name all the things I have made. But there are a lot of things that I have made.

What are your other hobbies?

I watch cartoons on television in the evening and read books if there is a lot of free time.

What is your favourite cartoon or fictional character?

That is something really difficult to answer. There are many characters I like.

What is your ambition?

I wish to become a doctor when I am older. I like to help those who are hurt and sick. If I become a doctor, I will know the correct medicine to give to people who are sick and make them feel better. I have heard a lot of miracle stories on the news where doctors helped patients and saved their lives. I think it will be great to be able to help people like that.

Who is supporting you to do all this work?

My grandfather is my biggest supporter. He is the one who brings me material to make crafts. He is the one who teaches me how to draw and how to sing. He knows a lot of stories and poems and he teaches them when he comes back home from work. I love to spend time with my seeya. I love him very much.

Have you started going back to school regularly?

Yes, I have. It feels very good to be back at school.

Has anything changed in school during the time that you didn’t go to school?

Yes. I noticed so many things different in school. We have a new bus and the school has been renovated. It feels safe to go back to school as all of us are following the safety instructions to protect ourselves from this horrible coronavirus. My grandfather said to me that our schools are being frequently cleaned and disinfected so that we’ll be safe.

Can you share those safely guidelines with the Little Stars audience so that they too can follow the same guidelines to protect themselves?

First rule is to put on your mask. You have to make sure the mask is clean and it’s not the same mask you used the previous day. If you are using a cloth facemask, you have to wash it and dry it properly before reusing it. And you have to be careful in disposing of the used mask too. You should not throw it here and there. Put it into a dustbin properly.

Secondly, you have to remember to wash your hands properly. It’s not just washing with water. You have to use soap and wash it at least until you count to 20. I saw on television that it’s good to use a moisturising cream for your hands as the hands might get too dry when you use soap all the time.

You have to remember to always keep a one-metre social distance at all times. You should not gather around the teacher like we used to do. You have to maintain social distancing even when you are in the canteen.

Our teacher told us that it’s important to drink water and keep ourselves hydrated. If we can drink warm water, that is better.

You have to remember to cover your mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue when coughing or sneezing. Don’t keep that used tissue with you. Throw it into the garbage bin immediately.

We were also told to strictly stay at home if we are not feeling well, especially if we have a cold, cough, or fever.