Eric Kim/Staff Reporter
B.C Premier, John Horgan, announced the possibility of schools reopening part-time on a voluntary basis on June 1st to ready for full-time classes in September.
The plan is to have students go to school once a week with limited students each day to enforce social distancing. Students are also required to self-monitor and keep up the regular handwashing.
“Schools will have to abide by rigorous cleaning procedures and follow provincial health guidelines…Start times and breaks will be staggered throughout the day to encourage physical distancing,” said Horgan and Education Minister Rob Flemming.
The schools will revolve around this system for the time being and are thought to help in the journey to full-time classes in September.
The procedures taken have allowed graduating students to take this chance to enjoy their last few moments in grade 12.
“Due to B.C’s exceptional handling of the virus and the protocols that are in place, I feel completely safe going to school. I am happy that I now have the opportunity to reconnect with my peers and teachers as I am finishing my last year of high school,” said Sina Allen, grade 12.
Allen also mentioned that the benefits of reopening could really impact the students academically and mentally in a positive way.
The reopening of schools may just worsen the current situation and elevate the state of the pandemic leaving students vulnerable if classes are not properly organized to support social distancing.
“I think the idea is irresponsible, but I think the school handled it really well by making school open but less available. this is a safe way of bringing people back to school” said Seunggyu Han, Grade 10, Centenniel secondary student.
This alternative way of reopening school may be the first step to a safer educational environment for SD43.
International students, on the other hand, are paying for their education overseas and with the COVID-19 virus spreading, being forced to do online classes may not be fair for the students.
Gloria Seo, grade 11, thought that maybe it’s not very beneficial for international students that are paying lots of money for the education here just to take online classes. Also that it’s a little too early to reopen school as “ the number of people who are getting infected are still growing, not decreasing.” Online learning has led to decreased social interactions and loss of motivation to study succumbing to laziness.
Parents have a different outlook on the matter. Sunah Kim, parent of a Gleneagle secondary student, is relieved that such changes have come and added that the reopening will “restore youth spirit and regain motivation for study in school”. She also points out that online learning may “increase dependence on computers and allow students to spend lots of time sitting in front of a screen.”
Kim, therefore, plans on sending her kids to school but heavily emphasizes safety with “individual voluntary health checkups, mask use, and public sanitation.”