EDITOR, The Tribune.
I see that the politics of remote learning is not keeping pace with the reality of it all. Indeed, virtual learning is a new cultural pill that many Bahamian parents will have to swallow, and adjust to eventually.
COVID-19 has awakened the world to the great possibility that schooling as we know it today, will be done more from home – than in the classroom, in the not too distant future – in my view. That’s something that every parent with children of school age, needs to bear in mind.
There are political decisions being made in The Bahamas and elsewhere about the question of school opening; even though COVID-19 is raging and no one can say for sure - what the impact of future COVID variants will be on communities of the world.
The madness continues nonetheless. Every visionary and pragmatic politician in this universe – ought to be planning and preparing their population for a revolution in education – outside of the classroom setting - in my opinion. Instead of catering to political correctness in education, the focus should be on the new normal and reality of distant learning.
Actually, with the advent of the Internet, the process should have started a long time ago. COVID-19 simply exposed our serious weaknesses and deficiencies in public education in the Bahamas. Children have computers at home to play games and flirt all day, but they do not have any for educational purposes. It’s a mad world.
Parents want schools to reopen, because the majority of them are only looking for babysitters. The performances of our public school graduates prove this. Our children wear the best clothing to proms, but most of them can’t even write a proper or readable sentence - after twelve years of education in the public school system of The Bahamas. More and more chickens are coming home to roost, as we burn in the fire of social and political stupidity.
Homeschooling in The Bahamas has been growing productively for more than twenty years. There are many Bahamian children who have never sat in a school classroom in their life, and the very most of them are better educated than those who have. I have read about one young lady who won a Lyford Cay Foundation Scholarship. Yes, a homeschooler who might be sitting in a classroom for the first time – in a prestigious university somewhere.
Learning can be done anywhere - even in one’s backyard. But our children for the most part, are not programmed or encouraged to learn. They are allowed to roam the streets in mass numbers all day long – from young ages. The culture is all about friends, play and the good old gang life – while the parents do their things all day - in the web shops, bars, drug houses and so on.
So, open the schools for their children while the mutating COVID-19 variants keep coming to our shores. Open the schools while the hospitals overflow with COVID-19 emergencies. Open the schools while COVID-19 spreads like wildfire in the Bahamian society. Let’s show the world exactly how stupid we and our politicians are.
January 11, 2022.