Back to school, a risky gamble for all

The fight with coronavirus is not yet over as the world is experiencing a second wave of the virus. Unfortunately, its aggressive impact has hit different walks of life including social, economic, health and religious. Governments and individuals have been involved in this battle for long with countless efforts being made to combat the spread of the virus. However, the game doesn’t seem to be over soon!
With the second wave kicking off, the number of infections would gradually be increasing all over the world. Some countries have already experienced a surprising number of infections again. So pity and shocking what is happening indeed; the loss caused by this pandemic is extremely huge. Nations have no other choice but to fight back and spare no effort to protect its people, wealth and health. Certainly, the game is so tough, but it requires more patience and caution from governments, societies and individuals alike.
Unluckily, the gradual return of life to normalcy with the opening up of most of the business activities could have possibly fired back with the second wave of the pandemic. Likewise, carelessness of some people could have been one of the reasons for the rapid increase in infections. The non-compliance of people and businesses with the decisions of the Supreme Committee and precautionary health measures is another reason behind the spread of the virus. How dare they put others’ life at risk?!
As back to school season is round the corner, the scenario becomes even more complicated and challenging. Sending children to school is becoming a risky gamble for all, parents, government, Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health. Closing schools from March this year was a good decision taken to control and stop the spread of the virus at that peak time. The call came at the right time for the right purpose and saved hundreds of thousands of students and families too.
Probably, the impact of the pandemic was not expected at the beginning to last longer, so it could affect education system more than what it has done so far! It is such a real frustrating challenge indeed! Risking children and youth of the nation would never be an option at all for any country. No matter how safe the schools are, full time classes will not be a preferred choice and are not supported by the society. Sacrificing the life and health of children is never comparable with being an educated person or having a better education opportunity.
The Ministry of Education announced the initial approach to reopen schools in November with a learning system mixed between the in-class and at home learning process. However, I believe the ministry is keeping in mind other alternatives for the worst case scenario with the emergence of pandemic’s second wave.
In contrast, parents and the society are not fully with the ministry’s decisions to have students back to classrooms. Parents are relating this to the experience in other countries which have reopened schools and had to close them again. The high rate of infections among school children has pushed governments in those countries to close the schools. Hence, parents are debating whether to send their children to schools or not. Most of them prefer home schooling for their children instead of putting them at the risk of catching the virus.


Abdulaziz Al Jahdhami