COVID-19’s Unfavorable Effect on Education
by Kitana Le-Garcia
Nadira Simon, a sophomore at Canton High School, switched education pathways immediately after Corona cases started rising in Canton, MA.
She was happy to be able to see her friends in person again, however the desire to keep her family safe was one of her many concerns towards her decision.
“Remote is a lot more convenient and I believe that it is much safer,” Simon says while explaining her reasoning behind her switch.
COVID-19 has impacted the lives of many. From having to wear masks while going out, having to work/be schooled from home and not being able to see friends or loved ones, we are all feeling the stress of the virus. However, it also affected the quality of education due to the concern of safety. “We are in school for barely anytime at all and I felt like we weren’t socially distant enough. Also in some of my classes, we still logged into zoom and were on our computers heavily.”
Before March 2020, schools focused on extracurricular activities such as sports, plays and clubs. However, due to the virus, many of those extracurricular activities aren’t running. Even though schools follow CDC guidelines and enforce mask mandates, social distancing, and hygiene, some activities still pose too great a risk during this time of extreme caution.
Especially as schools began to go back from summer break, a major concern amongst parents and teachers was how to properly ventilate classrooms. Keeping windows open is always an option, however as winter approaches it may become harder and harder to have them open as the outside air will affect the school’s indoor temperature. Many schools have already considered these possibilities and have gotten air purifiers in classrooms to help with the issue.
However, school sometimes still poses safety concerns for people in high-risk situations. Hallways can get crowded during passing times, the desks are sometimes a little too close, and many don’t wash their hands throughout the school day, posing risk towards the spread.
That isn’t to say, however, that full remote learning is the better option. “Technical difficulties such as getting kicked out of Zoom meetings, internet connection, and just struggling to stay focused while staring at a screen for multiple hours a day are issues I'm sure many of us have had.” says sophomore Zoe Yu, a student enrolled on the remote learning pathway full time.
Classes have also become more lecture-based instead of having interactive and engaging activities like labs. Additionally, teachers are forced to teach through online services like zoom or google meets, narrowing down on different possibilities for lesson plans. Although teachers may have students in the classroom at times, there are also students at home who also need to be taught.
“The quality of education isn’t the same. It's really poor since it's hard for us to pay attention and learn interactively through zoom” said Tristan Phan, a senior doing the hybrid pathway.
While these pressing times have forced people into a different way of life, it has also made us become more familiar with technology and made people more empathetic to those around them.
How will the rest of the school year play out with rising numbers of COVID cases, while other districts are already going fully remote?