And children should lead them.

The educators in Quebec might be smarter than we thought. Sending the children back to school is not as foolhardy as you might think. It will do much for the sanity of parents. It is even more beneficial for the children. These are immature minds that need to learn. They need the interaction with their peers. They need the structure of the classroom.

And there is also risk. We have been told that children are less likely to be carriers or to become sick with covid-19. The major concern is for them to take the virus home with them or pass it to their teachers.

If I were a Quebec parent sending children off to school, I would want decontamination materials ready at the door when they got home. I would decontaminate them first and then hug them.

But it would be unlikely to take long to see if the opening is premature or not. There needs to be some constant testing. No society can afford to make teaching any riskier, than it is already. Nor do we take unnecessary risks with our children.

It appears that Quebec and Denmark will be the pioneering jurisdictions that will either prove or disprove the case. Denmark is doing a gradual opening, starting with younger children this month. Quebec is opening its schools after the May 24 weekend.

A key to the Quebec program will be that the parents are not required to send their children to school so soon. It is optional. This is likely to reduce class sizes which will make it easier for teachers to maintain some separation and to speed up the learning process. The students have already missed too many weeks of school.

It also needs to be noted that Quebec is still suffering the ravages of the virus. The worst of it is in long-term care facilities and seniors’ residences. The logic for Quebec’s Legault government is that if the schools can become functional so can day-care facilities and that means, employees can be heading back to work. And the sooner that happens, the sooner we can start work on an economic recovery.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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