Early to school
Aakruthi Karri discusses whether it is safe to send children back to school following the UK PM’s statement which allowed the reopening of schools from the 1st of June.
During this pandemic, it can be quite daunting to return to the normal activities, as there’s always a fear and possibility of a second wave appearing. This is quite prevalent in those families where people are being reluctant to go back to their offices or send their children back to school. This is due to the global issues and circumstances faced at the moment: thus the feeling of such people like parents and those in the teachers’ unions are justifiable.
However, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has stated that children are not super-spreaders, thus it would not be problematic for them to return to school. This is as it would not spread easily among themselves and with even more difficulty transmit to adults. It is very much possible for schools to be a safe environment for children, but this can only be done if there are proper social distancing measures in place. An example of this being successful would be in Denmark. Going back to school might become a normal activity just like before.
The actual implementation of social distancing measures is quite difficult and may even be problematic for teachers. Thus, many teachers’ union’s have recommended to ignore the measure put in place by the government. Although this looks like a simple solution to a major problem, affecting people all over the country. The situation isn’t as clear cut, there are some other underlying issues that also need to be addressed.
At the end of the day, the parents should have a choice of whether to send their child or not
Some underlying issues include that not every household has the appropriate technology to allow their children to undertake online schooling. Thus, the child could fall behind. It is also quite essential to acknowledge that not every child has the motivation to be efficient in such schooling, with many parents who are working from home there may not be available supervision to ensure that children are doing the work to the appropriate standard.
If a child doesn’t understand something, the burden falls on the parents to explain the concept to them, unlike ‘normal school,’ the teacher might not be as accessible to be able to answer the questions. After having looked at these issues, online schooling could be viewed as being rather problematic.
Even though these issues exist, teachers should be allowed to decide for themselves whether they would like to teach at school or continue with online schooling. This is due to the fact that there could be a small possibility that they could become a carrier of the virus it could be quite detrimental if they have a child with respiratory issue or an elderly parent at home. They should not be pressured by either the government or teacher’s union into a method of teaching that they are not comfortable with.
The same should apply to parents when sending their child to school. Despite the government declaring that it is perfectly safe for children to go to school, there might still be some health risks. At the end of the day, the parents should have a choice of whether to send their child or not, just like everything else they decide for their child. They know what’s best for their children and generally are looking our for their wellbeing.
In conclusion, the decision’s of the government are taken in accordance with the policy’s put forward by the World Health Organisation (WHO), who are doing a lot of research to learn about and put an end to the pandemic. Therefore the government’s measures should be respected. With this being said, no teacher should be pressured into going to school to teach children. The same should be applied to parents sending their children to school, as they know what’s best for their children and are looking out for their wellbeing.