Written by Rehmat Kaur, a grade 9 student
Imagine waking up in the morning to hear that school has been cancelled… indefinitely. Just a while ago, that would have been a student’s greatest fantasy, a dream come true for many. However, when the decision was actually announced and implemented as a protective measure, it didn’t quite have the same effect it would have had a few weeks ago. Perhaps one of the most drastic changes due to the Coronavirus has been in the lives of students. From pre-schoolers to students getting ready for their board exams, the pandemic has disrupted the lives of many, and we are yet to know when this will pass.
But this doesn’t hold true for schools all over the world. A few schools in certain regions are still functioning as normal, stating that it has been noted that shutting down educational institutes has not made a difference. But is this really the truth? After all, this isn’t the first time such an event has taken place, plagues and epidemics have been a regular occurrence in history. During the Spanish Flu of 1918, educational institutes all over closed down and studies show that this measure greatly minimised the spread of the disease. A measure such as this could completely change the course of the pandemic.
Universities have been greatly affected by the rise the Coronavirus, with colleges all over the world shutting down for an indefinite period. All of a sudden, students are being forced to leave and for some of them, especially those who have left their own city or country to study, returning home safely is proving to be a huge challenge. Certain international universities have extended the dates on which they expect a response from all accepted students as to whether they will be attending that university or not, giving students more time to make a decision. In China, the entrance exam for college has been postponed.
Although many universities had been hinting that they would have to shut down soon, the facts never truly registered to the students until, all of a sudden, they were told by professors and college authorities that in a matter of days, they would have to vacate their hostels and dormitories. Some colleges allowed their students to store their luggage and remain within the premises until suitable arrangements could be made, while others demanded that the campus be evacuated immediately to ensure complete safety. Within a week’s time, many universities in the United States such as Harvard University and the University of Washington started online classes, and colleges and schools all over the planet were quick to follow.
During the Black Death, a devastating plague in the 14th century, a certain phrase became very common: Cito Longe Tarde, which means ‘fly away quickly, go far away and come back slowly’. That may have been pretty good advice for the 1300s but we certainly know better. Today, as anxious twelfth graders and college students await further news, there’s not a lot of ways others can pass the time. The system of online learning has implemented by many schools, a sign of how the world has progressed by leaps and bounds, where even the biggest of calamities cannot come in the way of moving forward. Online courses and videos have been made available to students and if anything, this is proof that instead of panicking and fleeing (no doubt the main course of action for ancestors), together we can tackle anything.
Written by Rehmat Kaur.
Rehmat is a grade 9 student studying in Pune. She is an advanced reader and loves music.