Mr. Ashish Jha is the director of the Harvard Global Health Institute. He claims that if America reopens schools in haste and without proper planning, there is a strong likelihood that schools will not be able to remain open for long and resort back to remote learning.
The audience for this claim includes the 50 million children in the public school system, their parents, teachers, school staff, local/state/federal government. As a parent of children attending public schools, and as a college student myself, I completely agree with Mr. Jha’s claim. Mr. Jha brought up a very good point. The issue is not whether we are pro or against in-person learning, but rather if schools were reopened, how sustainable will the reopening be?
Mr. Jha shares two examples of when schools reopened in haste. In Florida, teachers and students went back to school, then had to quarantine again. A similar situation has also happened in Georgia, where teachers and students ended up getting sick, which forced the schools to temporarily close again.
I sense a tone of frustration from Mr. Jha. He brought up a point wherein the Trump administration has said that any additional federal support will be prioritized for school districts with in-person instruction. Rather than just affecting the students, teachers, administrators and millions of families directly, now the local government has to consider the threat of funding being reduced if their districts do not reopen. This has put much pressure on the school districts to decide how to effectively handle a health crisis, and a possible budget crisis immediately, which I view as rather pitiful.
Mr. Jha concluded that one of the biggest drivers of the current state of school reopenings across the country is not having any uniform guidance from the federal government. As one who has followed the development of Covid-19 since January 2020 even before it had become a global pandemic, I again agree with this statement. The USA has the highest number of case counts and deaths in the world. I consider it a shame being that the US is one of the world’s most advanced countries, but yet was not able to properly mitigate, prepare for, and educate its citizens on the possible repurcussions of a global epidemic.
Source: Reopening Schools Quickly Could Lead to Remote Learning for All of 2020-21
By Lauren Camera , Senior Education Writer