I read with natural interest and attention the open letter that dawned on the media this Tuesday. Although I already had more than two hundred subscribers at the time of reading, only the combined curriculum of the first hundred people is overwhelmed and afraid of building up the slightest reserve of learning, which is therefore too obvious. I’m just sorry that in the cases in question, almost everyone left out the quality they shared with me, namely that they are also mothers, fathers and therefore carers.
While intimidated, a natural lack of confidence makes me question some of the assumptions and suggestions made in such a document because they lack the necessary common sense that not every academic education in the world can provide.
I am not going to be exhaustive because that would prove to be a chore, but let me start by saying that I agree that “it is possible to balance the rights to health and education” with the exception that at These arbitration priorities need to be established when In some situations such rights collide. And this document seems to call for a “priority for schools” which clearly clashes with the specific conditions under which the right to health and not just the elderly exists. I would almost add that I find it strange (a word that comes to my mind too often to replace others, perhaps more expressive) that I have found virtually none of these personalities in other initiatives related to education and the defense of “schools” have. when that was very important. From the beginning of the preparation of the current academic year, and from the start, it was clear that the pandemic situation was not deteriorating as it did, and it was a prediction that could be made without resorting to mathematical models of viral spread but only to common sense, which in this regard should not be confused with common sense, which is abundantly present in this “open letter”.
Letter that, as I mentioned earlier, can be broken into two parts, the first of which is the assumptions that suggest that continuing to close schools is more harmful than reopening them. This part aligns ten points, some of which are based on a statistical reading of reality that ignores its context. The exposure of the number of contagions, clusters and closed classes during the first period does not seem to know how all of this was handled at the local level, from an under-registration of cases on the official platform that was available too late to an enormous variety of Criteria that guided the action of so-called “local health authorities” where some would send whole classes home for the first infection, but the majority opted for minimalist measures, even if there were two or more cases in a group. The reports of such situations are not only abundant because many school organizations at the time had a policy of silence, with arguments such as the right to privacy or the prevention of social alarms.
It is a pity that the subscribers to this letter do not defend a successful poverty eradication policy with the same conviction that, in a future pandemic, it will not allow us to face the difficulties that we faced, to the obvious surprise of some
Among the assumptions, there are still those that I believe to be valid (issues of socialization and the well-being of young people; issues of inequality in access to digital media), however, they are misrepresented as they assume that this is because of you go to school that are resolved. What is a common mistake for those who occasionally – and almost always viewed the problem from above – share the belief that education is an effective mechanism for engineering and social mobility in a country like ours where so many people still bet on the display of onomastic scrolls and archaisms, or very easily argue about which title appears in a footer in the television intervention. Where family “connections” are worth far more than multiple degrees and academic certifications when it comes to stepping into the right environments. It is a pity that the subscribers to this letter do not defend a successful poverty eradication policy with the same conviction that, in a future pandemic, it will not allow us to face the difficulties we have faced to the obvious surprise of some .
However, we come to the proposals that are being made to ensure that the “priority for schools” leads to a swift reopening, which is the central motivation of the document. Though not numbered, I have counted more than ten and a half, some of which demonstrate the “common sense” I speak of in the first part of this critical comment. Almost all of them relate to what can and has been more or less easily done at the local level, such as the definition of health safety rules in schools. But then there are the proposals that are split between those who show they haven’t learned anything in the past few months and those who, in a group of so many scientists, show an odd confidence in what is called “magical thinking”.
One of them is related to the realization of an effective mass examination of students, teachers and non-teaching staff. We have heard of hundreds of thousands of “rapid tests” since the summer, but even those who sign this letter attest that only 13,000 tests have been performed in schools operating for children of key workers in the past few weeks. And the opposite is true, as it is said that 25 positive cases resulted in 13,000 tests if the order was reversed, i.e. the tests should have enabled positive cases to be screened. In addition, according to the 2019 figures in Portugal, we have more than 950,000 students from pre-school to 2nd cycle; If we add teachers and non-teachers, we get around a million tests to be carried out, with everything that implies in the field of logistics. I don’t know if the human, technical, and time resources have been taken into account by this operation, but I suspect that it has not and that there is a tendency here to believe that the test announcement is in line with its performance.
Another suggestion would have us believe that the same government and ministry of education that by Christmas delivered only 20-25% of the April technology kits that were promised and essential for viable distance learning is now in a couple of weeks that a whole A number of other means will be made available to “provide schools with effective means to enable return to genuinely personal instruction (and not just distance learning at school), in accordance with the guidelines, for all children and adolescents from school social measures that have been signaled by the child and youth protection commissions or for which the school considers distance learning to be ineffective and runs the risk of leaving school. “
For a local primary education teacher, married to a secondary education teacher and father of a student also in secondary education, at three different schools and differentiated in the socio-economic profile of the surrounding communities, in three different counties, although in the same area (south bank) as Tejo) this type of belief can only bring a smile to you, and I regret that common sense is such a scarce resource or a priority in dealing with these issues.
Do I want to go back to school? Sure. I like this pretense that is E @ D? Not even a little bit. If I can agree to appeals from elites full of good intentions but little connection to the reality of the “deep” country living outside certain privileged “bubbles”? Not really.