Apr 07, 2021 Letters
Kaieteur News – I refer to the article titled, “Schools to remain closed for April – Education Minister” (KN April 5). There is comfort that the authority vested in the Hon. Minister of Education is exercised with the wisdom of restraint, through sensible discretion. I think that it was the only step that could have been taken, all circumstances appropriately weighed, and I applaud the Minister for doing so.
This should be comforting to most parents, though quite a few of them would like for their children to be out of the house and in a real physical classroom setting, with all the related pros and cons attached, understood, and accepted. The children may have other ideas, as they are straining at the virus-imposed isolation, which distances them from their friends and the fast-fading freedoms of youth, especially the senior ones. Social media fills some of the voids, but is a poor substitute for pressing the flesh, and the heats-meteorological, mental, physical, emotional, instructional, and environmental that are all parts of a regular school day. We can all recall that one about school days being happy days, and before we knew it, we were speaking in the past tense about ‘those were the days.’
Despite those considerations and pressures building from parent and progeny, the times do not leave with much choice. It is: open schools and be open to every manner of second guessing. Open to wisps being blown up into whirlwinds. Open to questions about sanity and smarts and the possession of any particle of good sense. Those would be the albatrosses that the Education Minister would have hung around her neck. I would say rightly so. Nobody would be interested, or have any patience, with any attempts at justifying reopening because consultations with the COVID-19 Task Force and the Health Minister and his professionals led in that direction. I wouldn’t, and whomever is responsible, whether directly or indirectly involved in the decision-making, would not hear the end of it from me in the most scornful and scorching terms. However, my first aiming and primary salvoes would be in the direction of the Hon. Minister of Education.
Editor, I am willing to admit that it may be unfair, but schools are automatically seen as inseparably attached to the Minister of Education and not the one from Health or elsewhere; not even that abstraction, which is a secret society to most Guyanese, the Cabinet. Therefore, she has to draw line, stand ground, and throw down the gauntlet: cross at peril. Stated differently, no reopening of schools, protecting her charges. When the uptick of numbers is contemplated – not an avalanche, but unnerving enough – it is clear that the virus currently has the upper hand in this literally life-and-death struggle, and that it gains ground slowly, remorselessly. Thus, I say: let’s not tempt the Fates. Let’s not push the envelope with inconsiderate, hasty reopening. The best euphemism for that would be too aggressive. The worst ones would be outright stupidity or damning foolishness.
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