Amidst the whole Coronavirus fiasco in the local scene, one all-important question remains:
“When, for my Aunt Matilda’s accursed sake, is school going to close?”
After all, almost all entertainment options have been closed for fear of the recently-viral Covid-19 infection: cinemas, bars, clubs, large events, you name it they probably closed it.
And yet, schools remain indefinitely open.
Schools, entire institutions that comprise a multitude of classes (with a rough estimate of 40 students in each), remain open amidst the recent measure that saw less get shut down in light of current circumstances. And truthfully, it begets the question every single student have been begging to know.
PM Lee Also Explains Why Schools Haven’t Closed: ‘Where Do the Kids Go?’
In a doorstop interview with local media, PM Lee spoke about Singapore’s near future, as the world lies in fear of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Apart from explaining all the technicalities behind the recently-released Resilience Budget, PM Lee also gave his take on numerous vital aspects, one of them being the consistent opening of local learning institutions.
“Because school is not just going to school and attending class and coming home,” he said. “It is also a place where you socialise, where you mix, where the teachers guide you, where you get the enrichment classes, and that is how we level up our kids and make sure that the people from less advantaged families are well taken care of and have a chance to level up.
“But if enrichment has to stop, if your teachers are unable to socialise with their kids, you cannot guide them, and the parents are unable to make up at home, which in some cases will be so, then the kid is going to be put at a disadvantage.”
He conceded, however, the fact that other countries have resorted to closing down schools in the face of such circumstances. In spite of that particular notion, he was rational in his explanation, and asked a rather pertinent question.
“…that actually schools can be safe places, and schools actually provide a very important service, which helps the kids and helps their parents. If you do not have them open, it does not mean that your problem has gone away, because where do the kids go?”
He then discussed the probability of students running around in broad daylight, free from the chains of school and their parents.
This, he explains, may lead to more dire consequences somewhere down the road.
“Those who have parents who can look after them at home, well, okay, they sit at home, do homework, no computer games. Those who have no parents at home, they may run down to the video arcade, or to the shops and roam around, and may be even more risk of catching COVID-19 than if they were in a controlled environment in school.”
He acknowledged the recent cluster that happened at a PCF Sparkletots centre, with mostly teachers infected, as well as another cluster in Dover Court International School.
He implored the public, however, to look at it on a case by case basis rather than as a whole.
“But I think we should look at schools as individual schools rather than one whole system. Just as we look at workplaces as individual workplaces, rather than one whole work system, and if a workplace has a problem, we deal with that. We confine and we rub out that cluster, but it does not mean that I must shut the whole system down.”
Routinely, one would assume that PM Lee’s clarification would, naturally, close the lid on this particular case. But being a free-minded population, Singaporeans have aired their opinions on the matter…
And majority has chosen to deviate from what we call ‘absent-minded agreement’.
Yet, regardless of which faction you’re in, there’s one thing that needs to be remembered:
There are pros and cons to everything.
So perhaps, just perhaps, we should trust the government on this one. After all…
Have they not been making the right decisions in light of the current circumstances thus far?