The department should be commended for the efforts made to ensure that learning loss is minimized
There is no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has severely affected education, not only in Guyana but around the world. Studies have shown that after months of school closures, students have suffered significant learning losses.
That being said, the Education Department‘s decision to reopen schools for face-to-face learning should be welcomed by parents keen to have a bright future for their children. The department is to be commended for its efforts over the past 17 months to ensure that learning loss is minimized.
While we are fully aware that there are health risks associated with returning to face-to-face learning, the long-term benefits are far greater.
Virtual learning has been beneficial over the past few months, but it has not been without challenges. Research has shown this has widened the gap for academic success as some students have been unable to attend classes virtually due to lack of resources such as internet or device access.
Returning to school with COVID-19 preventive measures in place would give children the opportunity to learn in a supportive environment.
We know that nothing can replace the value of a qualified teacher in front of the class. This will allow students to ask more questions and allow the teacher to dig deeper into a topic, resulting in a clearer presentation of the lesson.
However, attending school goes beyond academic development. Children learn not only through instruction, but also through interaction with their peers.
Being around children their own age is crucial for emotional and social development. This is where they learn to interact with other people and make friendships. This, as I said, will help their development as an individual.
I know parents are worried about not being able to supervise their children, but we cannot stay locked at home forever. I suggest parents talk to their children regularly to make sure they understand the importance of following COVID-19 protocols.