Learning Should Remain Virtual

Samantha Messina

Discussion surrounding schools reopening continues to be a controversial topic across the nation as some districts are full time, some hybrid and some still not in school. Allowing students to return to school while the COVID-19 pandemic is still unresolved is a bad idea that could have dangerous consequences.

According to an New York Times article, “Coronavirus in the U.S.: Latest Map and Case Count,” (February, 2021) by Sarah Akmukhtar, “At least 3,255 new coronavirus deaths and 94,893 new cases were reported in the United States on Feb. 10. Over the past week, there has been an average of 104,559 cases per day, a decrease of 36 percent from the average two weeks earlier.”

While safety precautions have been put in place and the cases are declining, coronavirus is still present. Realistically, bringing back students in smaller class sizes and requiring them to wear masks may slow the spread of the disease, but it will not completely stop it from spreading.

According to a World Economic Forum article, “The COVID-19 pandemic has changed education forever. This is how,” (April, 2020) by Cathi Li, “Some research shows that on average, students retain 25-60% more material when learning online compared to only 8-10% in a classroom.”

Although there is more communication involved in face-to-face instruction, there are also benefits to online learning. Online learning allows students to move at their own pace and take time to comprehend and understand what they are learning. There are also technological resources available that make talking to teachers and turning in assignments easy.

According to an CNN website article, “As many as 51 percent of all school employees are at increased risk of COVID-19, study finds,” (September, 2020) by Shelby Lin Erdman, “Between 42 percent and 51 percent of all school employees in the United States met the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s criteria for either having an increased risk or a potentially increased risk for COVID-19 infection, researchers with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality found.”

Reopening schools not only puts the students and their families at risk, but also teachers. If the virus were to spread through school and teachers got infected, it would put their health at risk and cause them to be unable to do their job.

In the interest of everyone’s health and safety, students should remain in virtual school until the pandemic is over. It is just the right thing to do.