I listened attentively to the PS MEHRD on talk back radio on Sunday about the resumption of schools for 2022 and his mention of an indefinite period pending the COVID situation is worrying. While the statement is understood, further prolonged delays to await a situation that is outside our control requires serious strategy and the government needs to find a way through this as soon as it can and get national learning happening.
Educationists rank the most PhDs, Masters and Degrees in this country and surely we must tinker these brains to come up with a solution. Our children, our very future need to start school irrespective of whether the virus hangs around or not so that ‘no-school 2022’ is not an option.
I’m of the opinion that illiteracy is already a matter of national security in this country, for example the recent riots. Illiteracy is one of the main reasons good opportunities are denied in this country, the inability to properly rationalise and understand is still a big problem to this day and keeps manifesting its ugly head in different tiers of our society.
Our schools have seen so much disruption since 2020 also due to the pandemic that we cannot continue this anymore. It is obviously a dilemma but one we must overcome. To deny, delay and drag this schooled generation their time to learn and grow would be to our own detriment and rightly we shall reap in the years ahead.
Cases around the globe need to be considered over the traditional onsite learning for that matter. Radio or online classes for one, distance learning, phased approaches by importance, hybrid (onsite & distance), home-schooling, adjusted class times and hours, whatever needs to happen. I’m sure the ministry has deliberated on practical options for such a time and it’s not to say nothing is being planned but simply a citizen’s opinion to draw the fact that this virus should not also infect our children’s dreams, aspirations and future.
I might also add that COVID assistance from outside or inside should ensure a slice of the cake falls to making sure our children progress with their studies in 2022 and items for schools to keep our kids safe are procured and provided.
Tanuli Ridge, Honiara