Friday, February 23, 2024
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Brunei Town

Pilot school re-opening may offer valuable safety data

I would like to applaud the authorities for their efforts in bringing us to the Endemic Phase. It has brought relief to the populace, especially parents with children of schooling age, as the second COVID-19 wave last August was rather taxing on parents. They found themselves having to juggle between working from home and assisting their children in remote learning.

However, I believe that school re-opening should have been done systematically, by carrying out a pilot study beforehand to test the water, instead of basing the decision on parents’ votes. For example, a blended programme of three-day remote learning and two-day face-to-face classes for students at ‘O’, ‘A’ and tertiary levels. If the pilot appeared feasible, the authorities could then extend the programme to students at lower levels.

Not only would the systematic rollout allow for a better understanding of how new-normal education may impact the students, it would also provide ample time for teachers and students of low levels to make the necessary preparations for school re-opening.

At present, students of certain age group are still restricted to online learning, but such an arrangement is putting these parents in a predicament as almost all companies have called for the return of their employees to the workplace.

The question becomes: Why are children between five and 10 not allowed to attend physical classes when younger children are able to reunite with their peers?

I’m in full support of the national strategies in tackling the pandemic. After all, we are enjoying the Endemic Phase as a result of their hard work.

However, it would be good if the authorities could put the parents at ease, especially those with children between five and 10, by helping us understand the reason behind the decision on school re-opening.

Protective Mum

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