It is no longer news that coronavirus has continued to ravage the world. Even a child born in January, knows that there is a virus which has brought about ‘the new normal.’ That being said, the world always moves on. Humanity is notorious for the ease with which it adapts to tough situations. And this pandemic would be no different.
By Tunde Adebayo
What is troubling, however, is the attitude that would follow when this plague ceases to exist. Various governments had earlier locked down their respective countries. But in the recent weeks they have begun easing the lockdown. This is because they cannot bear the economic consequences of being idle for the better part of the year.
Among the various sectors affected is the education. In fact, schools were shut the week figures of affected persons rose astronomically. And since March 23, schools have remained closed. Five months down the line, resumption does not even seem to be on the horizon.
Now the students are eager to return regardless of the precarious state the pandemic has plunged the nation into. One could hardly blame them. No one foresaw such, and there was no preparation whatsoever for a warlike experience. Sadly, some still doubt the existence of the virus. They believe that the virus is a hoax orchestrated by world leaders in cahoots with WHO to swindle the poor masses of their hard earned cash. The media has termed such believers ‘covidiots’.
The Ministry of Education does not want to be too hasty in reopening schools despite the pressure and lamentations of students. It is puzzling that students feared the virus more when it was just 10 cases than when it’s a whopping 20,000.
In the case of an early reopening, it is likely there could be a mass exodus of carriers from their respective states. This would then put the most vulnerable (aged lecturers) in danger.
But where guidelines are strictly followed, new practices such as heavy reliance on online platforms for academic interactive sessions,social distancing and the likes would become our ways of life.
Furthermore, social gatherings would be banned and so campus associations would not function well.
This virus could even make school management be lethargic towards their duties as they would feel the world is in hibernation and no one would scrutinise what is done or how it’s been done so far they keep to the preventive measures.
One thing most students fail to understand is that when COVID-19 stops existing, it would take some time before normality returns.
The nations of the world are going to be hard hit by global recession and austerity would set in. How many parents can actually afford to pay school fees after three months lockdown where they could barely feed?
Palliatives aren’t something to be hoping for, as it’s mostly every man for himself. One would wonder why the students are so eager to return despite knowing that things would be different from the norm.
We look forward to when the Presidential Task Force (PTF) deems it safe for schools to begin classes. However we plead that the process that follows be monitored closely as the campus could easily be a hotbed of virus transmission.
- Adebayo is an Electrical Engineering student of The Polytechnic, Ibadan