The resumption of classes in UK primary schools, suspended by the coronavirus pandemic, returned to the center of the country’s political scene because scientists, parents and the vast majority of British municipal authorities oppose the reopening ordered by the National government from June 1.
The refusal to return to school was exposed in the results of a survey carried out by the BBC in which numerous municipal authorities in England state that they cannot guarantee that primary schools will reopen on the date set by the government.
Centrally, they argue that the directors and rectors of the institutions need time to implement measures that guarantee social distancing or keep children within small groups to limit the possible spread of the virus.
The scientists’ arguments
In parallel, a group of scientists from a selective committee led by former government adviser David King warned that it is too early and that more time is needed to establish a tracking and tracing system to contain new infections, so they suggest postponing, for at least two months, the restart of classes.
The independent committee, called Sage, published a draft in which it argued that the decision to open public schools from June 1 generated nuances among its members and several questions about the timeliness of the government decision.
According to the survey carried out by that technical team, many local authorities assure that they are not prepared, while the British Medical Association and the teachers unions are urging caution.
“While it is not disputed that schools play a critical role in the emotional, social and intellectual development of children, it is important to remember that they are embedded in communities. The issue of reopening schools during the pandemic has not only repercussions for students, but also for adult staff, parents and the communities and localities from which the students come, “said the scientists.
“We understand that it is imperative that children return to school for their own well-being, and that this will also allow some parents to return to work (others will be required to do so at home if there is no provision for children to go to school), but it is also It is vital that an adequate level of safety is guaranteed for children, staff and the community at large, “they warned.
The scientists were surprised by the level of knowledge and understanding among the population about the prevalence and transmission rates of the disease in their local communities.
In the text released this Friday, specialists also highlight the general fear of the consequences that the coronavirus could have on children and among parents, as well as the vulnerability to the virus of ethnic minorities and people of color.
In conclusion, they recommend delaying the return to classes until September to further reduce the risk of contagion.
Regarding the decision of local governments to accompany the measure, the survey carried out by the BBC shows significant rejections.
The survey of the public chain showed that only 20 of the 99 English municipalities took the national government’s decision as their own and recommended that schools reopen on June 1.
Vicky English, mother of four children between the ages of 3 and 10 who attend a school in the Brixton neighborhood, south of London, told . that her opinion is that until there is a virus tracking system in operation, The possibility of opening schools should not even be considered.
“I think they do not have 100 percent security to say that the children are not going to get sick from coronavirus and obviously my children are not going to start classes. We will see what will happen in September,” he said.
English assured that, according to an email sent to him by the school his children attend, the opening would include a kind of nursery school for three hours.
In his opinion, it would be cheaper for the government to implement a massive test before subsidizing salaries in the paralyzed companies.
“It would be more effective, cheaper and we would leave our houses faster. I understand the motivation on the part of the government but I do not believe the lies about children not getting sick,” he concluded.
Another mother from the same school, who preferred to remain anonymous, also ruled out that her son will return to his school in June because he considers that he is insecure.
“There will not yet be a coronavirus vaccine and there may never be one. We also have the possibility of a peak in the fall when the next school year begins,” he concluded.