In normal circumstances, the global education system was just warming up, embracing the newer and innovative methods of learning. But the unprecedented outbreak of the Coronavirus prompted teachers and students and their parents to adopt an alternative that none of them was really prepared for. And now, months after the widespread school closures, the governments of many countries are contemplating to reopen schools for voluntary class.
This has inevitably raised apprehensions among the parents, whether sending their children to school will be safe just as yet or not. With that thought, let’s discuss the concerns and measures for reopening schools even for voluntary class options.
Concerns Of Parents Over Voluntary Attendance
Schools across the world have been physically shut since March to combat the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. Classes are held online, and links to online study materials are provided via emails or other online forums. But in the last couple of months, many countries have started weighing down the possibility of bringing students back to school, sat least those in higher classes. The government regulations in many countries have allowed schools to implement voluntary attendance (in some cases, compulsory), observe the eminent essay writers online.
This decision has sparked discord between parents, teachers, and school authorities. Parents are skeptical about letting their children attend schools amidst the pandemic situation. The regulations to reopen schools have been implemented to make it easier for students who didn’t have access to the online learning options or are lagging behind in class performance.
A report published in The Independent talks about how the government in the UK is pushing the school authorities to build confidence among parents. In June, the department of education in the country announced that attendance is compulsory for students. Now amidst the growing disagreements between school authorities and the parents, it’s become crucial to deal with the challenge to school attendance.
Human Rights Issues Stemming From A Return To The Classroom
When we think of human rights in such dire times, it’s too obvious that a right to healthcare must be the primary focus. A weakening of protective measures may elevate the risk of a second wave of the virus.
Now, a return to classroom learning should be made in consideration of the rights of both the school staff and children. This will ensure everyone enjoys the highest attainable standard of health. Many parents and school staff are being encouraged to perceive schools as safe environments.
But those who are at increased risk should be advised to stay at home. “While some jurisdictions are moving to in-person attendance in schools, little has been spoken about how at-risk staff and students need to protected at school” opines Maria Haynes, an expert on assignment help services.
Mental health risks are also a factor to mull over in case of school attendance. Some students who require daily routines may become anxious when required to attend only one day per week. In fact, high school students in their final years should be prioritized to return as a cohort to complete their education.
For teachers, there will be workload implications in managing both in-class and online cohorts of students. The right of teachers to maintain optimum mental health may also be jeopardized by a sense of risk in returning to classroom teaching. The potential for stress-related illnesses is obvious among parents as well, many of whom have found it difficult to cope with work and their children’s online voluntary class.
Possible Measures To Resolve Issues Over Voluntary Attendance
A Differentiated System
The risk and vulnerability of students will vary across regions. This means it won’t be possible to reopen schools in the same way everywhere.
Thus, a framework for decisions should be presented at the national level. But the elected representatives and educators should be empowered to make decisions at the local level. There has to be an extensive discussion with education managers, teachers, parents, students, health and social workers as well as technical support experts. The objective must be to devise a strategy that works within the local context.
Proper Organization Of Students And Staff
Research emphasizes the value of social distancing combined with frequent hand washing or sanitizer use. Even though masks offer limited protection, but it serves as a visual reminder and could promote “behavioral boost”. A concrete school reopening plan must consider all these hygiene norms.
The number of students present simultaneously in various spaces can be reduced by implementing methods of circulation in schools. Classrooms can be rearranged to increase the save between students. School weeks could also be shortened, and different groups of students can attend on different days throughout the week. School transport will need reorganization.
A Hybrid Approach
The lockdown phase has witnessed an increased reliance on online learning. In countries where it’s been implemented, a large majority of teachers and parents have adapted well to distance teaching and learning. But a minority still faces significant difficulties.
Particular arrangements are required for students who need more support. Many countries have launched schemes to supply laptops and routers to disadvantaged students during the lockdown. It indicates the fact that some homes lack the equipment, quiet space, and broadband connectivity students need.
Considering it’ll most likely be necessary to reorganize school attendance times, there’s already a need to follow for hybrid teaching arrangements. That means educators and authorities need to think more often about the individual needs of students to help minimize the inequalities.
Parting thoughts, Even though the governments push for voluntary class, the concerns of parents over the safety of their children cannot be dismissed. The ultimate objective, in this case, should always be to consider the health and safety first before anything else.