COVID, To return to school or not?
The global pandemic Covid-19 has disrupted our worlds irrevocably.
More so for the children and young adults at primary, secondary and tertiary levels.
The burning contentious question : “Should our children be allowed to return to school?”
This is what an esteemed colleague posed to the South African President, Mr Cyril Ramaphosa :
Today I write this with a heavy heart. I could not believe that you just left the schools out of your speech. I want to tell you, I am a dad of a teenage girl. She is my life! I also heard you thank all the health workers, police etc, but you left out the teachers who are in the Frontline, please advise Why???
How do you say no family gatherings as the virus will spread and then you allow kids and teachers to go to school?. You also stated that this virus is airborne. Then WHY do you want kids at school?
Why is it so important for you to keep schools open, I would really like to know and why are you ignoring this topic?
You say THE STORM IS UPON US! Do you send your kids into the storm?
Mr President you do not care at all. I have lost faith in the government.
As for me I will not send my girl into the storm.
TN, 12th July 2020
Much has been said by the children and other scholars, many disgruntled over times and experiences lost in their young lives. Another disturbing, sobering fact? Children are fed meals at some schools. School is also the only socialisation outlet for some children. Sadly, there are those that are safer at school from the trauma of violence, abuse and extended family relationships.
Much has been said by the teachers who have posed very valid concerns. Admittedly our children have become their children and they are apprehensive.
Last month in South Africa, when the children and teachers did return to school, the mandatory mask that also became a somewhat glamourous fashion accessory, was not worn. Resorting to humour and a desperate need to educate the children, a teacher friend of mine used memes to reinforce the gravity of the situation.
Rosaliene Bacchus, a Mom like myself is relieved that her sons are out of school. Thankfully, my children are young adults and out of the equation. The younger son though, has put his part-time studies on hold in favour of more one-on-one tutoring interactions and safer learning practices. Had my children been in school. I would not have sent them to schools.
Time can be re-gained but given this widespread virus, there would have been serious health challenges and devastating repercussions. I would have reinforced concerted reading and learning in the safety of our home and the children would have been at a distinct advantage in the new year. Besides, most of the months have been eroded by the virus already, why cram more into the peak periods?
It would be very interesting and helpful to know your thoughts.
Would you send your children to school?
Image credit : jozikids.co.za