Matlala Ramaesela is a matric student whose studies came to a halt during lockdown. Online classes were set up, but then discontinued because they didn’t work for everyone. This brought up questions around whether Matlala would be able to complete her final year of high school. Eventually she took things into her own hands and created a program that would allow her to continue with her studies, while also giving her a sense of direction and purpose. Returning to school has been challenging. The health precautions are especially demanding, but COVID-19 has created a new normal which requires everyone to remain open to uncertainty and change in order to survive.
FACTS & DEFINITIONS:
More than 1 billion students are still out of school due to nationwide school closures, but as of early June 2020, more than 70 countries have announced plans to reopen schools and hundreds of millions of students have returned in recent weeks. It’s possible that schools may reopen for a period of time and then a decision may be made to close them again temporarily, depending on the local context. During such a worrying and disruptive time, it’s natural to have a lot of questions. Some helpful ones you may want to ask include:
- What steps has the school taken to help ensure the safety of students?
- How will the school support the mental health of students and combat any stigma against people who have been sick?
- How will the school help children who may need referrals for specialized support?
- Will any of the school’s safeguarding and bullying policies change once schools start to re-open?