Teachers protest schools reopening amid pandemic
As the next academic school year approaches, many teachers are protesting out of concern that reopening schools will exacerbate the coronavirus pandemic.
What are the challenges schools are facing in terms of acquiring the necessary technology to enhance remote learning?
Teachers Protest Schools Reopening Amid Pandemic
As the new academic year approaches, teachers from across the globe are expressing their concern and opposition to returning to in-person classes amidst the ongoing pandemic. The outbreak of COVID-19 disrupted the traditional nature of schooling leading to the closure of most schools and the adoption of remote learning. However, several countries are reopening schools, sparking a wave of protests and concerns from teachers who fear for their safety and that of their students.
According to UNESCO, over 160 countries closed schools in a bid to contain the spread of the virus. As countries begin to ease restrictions and reopen schools, teachers have taken to the streets and social media platforms to highlight their concerns. The protests are diverse, with the common denominator being the fear of contracting the virus or spreading it to others. Teachers are concerned that reopening schools in their current state will put them, their students, families, and the community at large at risk.
One of the crucial concerns that teachers share is inadequate protective gear. Despite schools being informed about the protocols required to contain the pandemic, most schools are not equipped with the necessary equipment to ensure safety. Masks, gloves, and hand sanitizers are not readily available in some schools, and this has placed the teaching fraternity in a predicament.
Another significant concern is the lack of guidance about how to navigate the virus’s presence in school settings. Many educators have not been trained to handle the protocols required to contain the pandemic, and this puts them in unfamiliar territory. The fact that children are often asymptomatic carriers makes the situation sensitive and difficult to control.
Additionally, schools are facing financial constraints that have resulted from months of closure, which inhibits efforts to acquire the necessary technology to enhance remote learning. The limitations of available technology have also forced schools to revert to traditional in-person learning, which heightens the risk of exposure to the virus.
The protests by teachers against the reopening of schools are a reaction to the lack of protective gear, inadequate training, and insufficient technology required to handle the pandemic. While these challenges exist, it is also essential to acknowledge the need for in-person schooling, especially for underprivileged children who may not have access to technology. Nevertheless, the safety of the teachers, students, and the community should be given priority, and stakeholders should find ways to ensure that schooling does not compromise health. The COVID-19 pandemic has indeed disrupted the normalcy of schooling, and stakeholders should therefore work together to come up with alternative solutions that prioritize the health of all those involved.