The School Board for Secondary Education SVOBE confirming that Milton Peters College (MPC) and Sundial School will be reopening for the 2020/2021 academic year (see related story) is most welcome. With all the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and its consequences, many students, their parents but also teachers were looking for some type of assurance.
After all, school is supposed to start on Monday, August 10, less than three weeks from now. It would be good for other school boards as well as government and particularly Minister of Education, Youth Affairs, Culture and Sport (EYCS) Rodolphe Samuel to follow suit and provide clarity soonest.
SVOBE’s plan to alternate online and face-to-face learning on a weekly basis to allow for social distancing in the classroom is interesting. It certainly seems more straightforward and practical than – for example – having only virtual classes every other day.
People should keep in mind that although the latter may be safer, there is also a lot to be said for physically being with peers in a group environment and consequently developing social skills. Additionally, youngsters staying home too much can be an issue for families especially with working adults, while adequate Internet and an appropriate electronic device like a laptop will be needed. On the other hand, most households already gained experience in dealing with this “new reality” during the lockdown.
The important thing is for those in charge to take well-considered decisions in a timely manner and apply these effectively. That also means striving for and planning feasible execution well ahead of schedule.
To quote Benjamin Franklin: By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail.