The covid-19 Pandemic has affected learning in school in many ways. The fear of losing the learning pace with routine schooling could be one and children may find out –of- the school routine a bit deviant from the normal.
Parents may fear that their wards may be put behind and would not learn unlike the old normal . Reopening schools will be a priority for the UK government’s lockdown exit strategy but UK Education Secretary Gavin Williamson did not specify how a ‘phased’ return could be made operational as it has been done in Denmark and Germany known for following best practices after they have reopened the schools.
It’s not just about reopening the school but staying open safe in schools. The safety measures calling for sticking to Personal Protective Equipment and ‘physical distancing’ not exactly the social distance would be the key concern of the administration and school authorities. This would create a safe environment for learners and staff to work in schools.
A WHO official who came on BBC interview yesterday says ‘if you take the pressure off the virus it may bounce back’, so this applies to school children and staff to put the pressure on virus to keep it away. WHO Director-General says that there is need to suppress the virus safely only then open schools can be opened. UK PM, Mr. Boris Johnson says that wellbeing and educational prospects are significant for school children as they have been out- of- school for long. But if safe physical distancing measures in open not adhered to young children are likely to be affected whereas risks for staff may be higher. It could be a big worry if more school activities and contacts are followed.
Opening Schools in Scotland and in UK are not going to be an easy affair considering the Covid-19 safety measures. Nicola Sturgeon puts emphasis on redesigning of school classrooms keeping the social distancing guidance in mind. Though face masks are compulsory but ensuring physical distancing in schools will be a big challenge to the staff and school going children. So far decisions are on way to open schools but how to make it in open keeping the maintenance of physical distance depending upon the spaces offered in each of the schools. When it comes to different space size of the schools, it is a challenge to utilize the open area for teaching- learning purposes.
This will be watched by the world media, different governments and third world as to how school authorities will accomplish these tasks. There is any doubt that the new normal opening of schools won’t invite lot of speculation from different stakeholders including media. This makes things more challenging for the schools to create open space distancing in school compounds or in playgrounds. Therefore, it’s one thing to open the schools but another thing to stay safe in open areas.
The views and opinions expressed in this opinion article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Eastern Herald.