We’ve been quite vociferous in our support for having lectures and classes go online. We’ve got our reasons, ranging from the near impossibility of adequate social distancing, to teachers’ sanity, but then we saw this post on The Salott. It raises a critical point about where we draw the line between practicality and inclusion for all.
What was said?
The post was made by a mother whose child is statemented and requires one to one attention. The issue centres around the fact that the child does not respond to online learning. Now if schools were to close and lessons shift to online, what happens with this group of students?
While we agree that something needs to be done, it’s not up to the educators to come up with a solution, but rather the Ministry. Although the teachers’ union can come up with proposals and put them forward, the final say lies with the Ministry for Education.
Of course, the post gained plenty of traction, and as expected, a clear answer is not forthcoming. One commenter suggested that the union just wants to see the closure of schools.
In contrast, others feel that it’s the Ministry not taking control of the situation and reacting to situations as they happen without a proper plan in place.
Should LSAs make home visits to aid the students in need? Will schools remain open just for this group in particular? The latter is a compelling case, but we can’t know how these students will react to an empty classroom, devoid of their classmates.
What happens next?
Evidently, some form of meeting between the Ministry, the teachers’ union and the parents of statemented children needs to take place. Quite honestly, we’re not sure why it’s not happened over the summer, but we’re here now, so it needs to happen. And if it is, please make it an online meeting.