EDITORIAL: School is Back... Little by Little

EDITORIAL: School is Back... Little by Little
Fecha de publicación: 
6 September 2021
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Student safety comes first, amid a complex epidemiological framework. Therefore the school year will begin next week in its virtual mode, through the usual teleclasses. Not ideal, of course. Nothing replaces the direct bond between the teacher and his student, which is important in the consolidation of new knowledge, since it meets the personal demands and specific times of each student. Distance learning, particularly when it comes to children, requires an extra commitment on behalf of students and their tutors. Not everyone shows the same interest, not everyone complies with the teachers' instructions, not everyone dedicates the necessary time to study. Disregarding the fact that not all families have the means to access television programming.

And as a result, a poor learning shows that has nothing to do with the skills and potential of students. Grades are often not strict. And learning drops considerably.

The health contingency, despite the encouraging signs of recent days, is not going to be solved in the short term. We’ll have to live with the effects of COVID-19 for a while longer. And it’s necessary to find alternatives that help minimize these effects in a new normalcy. Students need to go back to their schools, to their classrooms. And as soon as sanitary conditions are guaranteed, that should be the trend. The gradual reincorporation to educational centers is essential, especially in the first education.

For now we shouldn’t, it’s not possible. And the Ministry of Education has done well to listen to the concerns of many families. As long as children are not vaccinated, it’s impossible to guarantee acceptable levels of safety in schools, even if other protection measures are taken. One must understand the refusal of many parents to send their children to face-to-face classes in the current circumstances.

But as vaccination schedules are completed and risks are reduced, it will be necessary to return to the classroom, even if the battle against COVID-19 is not over. There can be no rigid schemes, it will always be necessary to attend to the singularities of each territory, promptly evaluate the complexity of each stage, and carry out the essential adaptations. But the quality of teaching is closely related to face-to-face, no matter how effective other "virtual" variants are. They can - and should - be complementary. It’s clear that some of the current initiatives are here to stay. But students and teachers should be face to face as soon as possible.

Translated by Amilkal Labañino / CubaSí Translation Staff

 

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