Due to the Coronavirus outbreak, the Mayor of New York, Bill de Blasio has announced to close all the public schools this week. It is recorded the first time in history when schools are temporarily shutting down on a vast level in New York. The city is infused with around 1800 public schools, and shutting them up will affect the routine of 1.1 million students. 75000 teachers are also staying at home. And for 1 million parents it is going to create anxiety since they are worried about the curriculum loss of children and also how to engage children in activities.
According to Mr. de Blasio; schools will remain closed from Monday for all students and staff as well, but teachers will be asked to report this week later for training and remote learning. The city will adopt the remote learning method by March 23 to resume the classes. Mr. de Blasio announced that schools would be closed until April 20. But it depends on the situation of the city. If the COVID cases record an increment, there might have a possibility to keep public schools closed for a more extended period of time.
School buildings are decidedly open for children this week to receive food only. But sooner as the authorities find a suitable alternative, all the buildings will be closed as well. Also, the authorities will provide laptops and internet connections to the students who do not have these facilities at home. It is so they can attend their classes online while staying safe at their houses. Because in this situation, due to coronavirus quarantine is the best solution to prevent the disease from spreading.
At first, the Mayor was not supporting the idea of shutting down schools. When Los Angeles, Seattle, and other cities decided to shut their public schools earlier due to coronavirus, de Blasio was not welcoming their stance, but as health experts of the city, local politicians, and also parents pressurized, it looks like he got no other option rather than to order the closure due to coronavirus.
Though the school heads and authorities are planning and preparing for online classes, it will still be an extensive learning loss for the students if the closure remains for months because online courses are not a long time substitute for school learning. Some students who are weak in reading and learning needs proper attention and personal guidance. These students could get behind since the absence of the personal services of teachers due to the coronavirus pandemic. And also, students with special needs will struggle. Plus the annual standardized English and Math exams that are supposed to be held this spring will probably have to delay, it will disturb the system of many schools.
The decision of closing schools is highly unpleasing for many of the New Yorkers and city government, but as the rapid increase is taking place in the Coronavirus proliferation, this is the best they can do to protect people from catching this pandemic disease.
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