One of the first sectors to open up again will be education; after having been home schooled or not schooled at all, education must be a sector off which we finally regain appreciation thanks to Corona, and not only because of the content of the classes.
Here are 5 reasons why school matters a lot.
How many of us have been home schooling our children, or for the younger ones just kept them busy? Creating moments of happiness and satisfaction having your children close to you and seeing them growing, however as well creating moments of exhaustion and even despair when they drained too much energy, especially if they need special care or are at a demanding age.
Raising children is a fulltime commitment, while many of us have another fulltime commitment. During Covid-19 the balance between both commitments had been gone. In some cases, the children did not receive education, in other cases the adults did not receive time to work; unless deep in the night when the children were asleep.
Moreover, in most families this double commitment was carried largely by the mother figure, turning back the years of fighting for professional equality between men and women.
Voices started rising to bring children back to school, not only to get them back at schooling and their parents back at work, but because of the children need school for a variety of reasons. Moreover, home schooling is not enough to replace schooling all together, since schools are so much more than a building in which they receive classes – which your home could be as well.
Obviously, schools educate. Moreover, they educate on a variety of subjects we might not know a lot about anymore – despite us knowing a lot about other topics. But as well, they know how to teach about these topics, how to detect learning difficulties and adapt the learning style to give every student the same chances. Or it least, this is how it should be.
- Social Interaction
The learning goes beyond classes and is even more important out of the class room. In schools, children learn to interact. Interact with one another during class as much as during breaks. Interact with teachers and direction in a respectful way; finding a balance between authority and autonomy. Interact with other parents, with children of other ages and of other families and backgrounds. Schools are a social ecosystem and it requires a lot of skills to find a place in it. A school is a micro society where children can learn to finetune those skills in a safe environment in preparation to make part of the taller society they ever will be part of.
- Psychological Growing and Exploring
In that micro society teachers watch and observe, they are not only the watch doges of one’s learning curve; but as well of its psychological and mental growth. They provide a safe environment in which children as much intellectual and social can grow and explore, as psychological and mental.
Moreover, teachers are the first-line helpers to detect if anything isn’t right with the overall well-being of the child or student. For a teacher who stands at a more neutral distance, it is easier to detect any issue without feeling less affection or shame or blame towards a child, whereas for a parent it can be tough to recognise or even accept.
School is created as much for teaching skills as for taking care of children, assuring they all find their way in society, no matter what they way is.
- Break inequality
The most important reason to open up school as fast as possible, is the risk for less fortunate children. The risk for children with less educated or more occupied parents, for children who come from a less fortunate socio-economic background, for children where parenting is not available, let alone home-schooling.
School can break inequality if established well. In some countries, schools started opening up or stayed open on a voluntary attendance base. It turned out that in all those schools the socio-economic less fortunate children stayed home more often compared to more fortunate children.
Yet, this does not mean they had better education at home. Often less economic means, results in less technological means such as unstable or no internet connection, one phone or tablet to share with several siblings, or no phone or laptop at all. Even with no education at all, the educational difference between socio-economic fortunate and less-fortunate children is remarkable due to the kind of incentives they have been exposed to.
Worse even, in some cases children might have been send to work rather than to school since their parents lost their jobs and/or due Corona the family is facing economic hardship. These children might not return when the school gate opens again. Nor might their children, and the circle of inequality goes on.
Therefore, Covid-19 showed us painfully one of the key roles of education: provide a chance to break inequality.
A lot of school systems keep inequality intact, because of ‘sorting’ children on socio-economic background reflected in their learning attitude and overall attitude, rather on their (hidden) capacities.
But if established well, and if they have enough means, in terms of teachers and time, schools are one of the few institutions that can effectively and pro-actively break inequality.
- A View on the World
Schools bring our children in contact with other children, of other families, other cultures, other countries maybe even. They bring them in contact with other ideas and perspectives on the world. Schools offer a window on the world, which they cannot have at home alone. No matter how much they watch the news, and browse the internet. By giving these stories a human face, they can really experience that there is a whole new world outside of their own houses; for the good and the bad.
Cooperate to Succeed
For these 5 reasons, when the schools open up again, can we open up our hearts and minds again to the relevance of schools? It is both rewarding as exhausting teaching children, as you now all have experienced. And it is about so much more, it is about the social interactions, the window on the world, the overall well-being of our children.
And most important of all, schools can break inequality, if they have the means for it. Therefore, now is the time that governments, and societies as a whole must invest enough means and appreciation in the education system of a country. This is where the future is born, this is where the leaders of tomorrow are formed. This is where the safety and well-being of our societies depend on.
Both inside and outside the school walls, we should be aware of these fundamental tasks of a school and see how we can improve them. We will have to cooperate, governments, parents, youth workers, teachers, students and all involved ones at the same line, for that will be the only way to succeed.
Disclaimer: the featured image is a courtesy of Gonzalo Suarez, out of Uruguay.
This article is part of the series of Hope in Times of Corona. Read
- how this times of self-isolation should not mean loneliness,
- how you can contribute to this battle,
- how gratitude lights up the dark,
- how united we will stand strong
- on the most util strategy in awake of a crisis
- how I got blown of my feet as well, but caught by many caring hands,
- how being calm can get us through the storm.
- about Love in Times of Corona
- how to discover your own talents
- why we need stories to hold on to
- how you can be creative and innovative.
- how to spend your mot valuable assets in times of Corona.
- how to listen to the sound of silence.
- How breate taking Corona really is.
- discover the other freedoms Corona has shown us,
- about the new-born freedom Corona gave us.
- about another way to exceed your personal bubble.
- about the position of nature in this entire story
- about nature bouncing back
- about the crucial choice between resilience and resistance
- about the game to play
- about star gazing in dark times
- About looking for Meaning
- about what Easter and Corona have in Common
- About the Shark and the Turtle
- About the Irony of Distance
- Why to Hold on
- Fake News
- about The Big Unknown we live at
- about Feeling Alive
- about what the Birthday of my nephew learned me about life
- About where we should go from here?
- About the Great War and the Great Pandemic, and we should not forget
- about history’s most important message, echoed by corona
- How one country could rule them all
- About how to prevent the next Green Pandemic
- about how we are experiencing a new episode of our history books
- masks off, how a friend in need is a friend indeed
- What’s Next. after we flattened the curve?
- how will our personal story look like in a post-corona world?
- why we should never let a good crisis go too waste.
- How Spring can happen in Autumn
- How to unlock the lockdown
Or wait until tomorrow, when I’ll shine another light on yet another positive corner of this dark times.