By Don Krim
On Monday, May 24th nationwide student protests called for safer conditions before returning to classroom settings. Decrying the quality of online schooling while placing health and safety first, and given the unevenness of fundamental conditions in schools, a national federation of students called for herd immunity of 70% before general return to class settings. The call was not specific to universities.
The questions the group raises are those JA also is investigating, and more: do the schools have potable water for cleaning hands; how many classrooms can accommodate social distancing; how many have air conditioning or appropriate cross ventilation, combined with sound insulation from other classrooms so schooling can be effective?
No one wants a return to education to lead to a surge of covid cases, and no one wants students to continue as they have been.
At Jóvenes Adelante we will continue to investigate, disseminate information, ask students about their plans and experience, and to use our educational contacts to do whatever is needed to best prepare our students and their families – physically, emotionally, and financially — for “re-entry.” Our stance from the beginning of covid has been health first. Our students who did not feel safe in school were guaranteed no consequence for their actions from JA. Our comprehensive model puts us in a unique position to do what we do best: guide and support our students on all levels, help them process conflicting information, soundboard concerns, make the most informed-decisions they can in an uncertain environment, and provide direct assistance when merited and feasible.
Mexico often presents difficult choices for its population, where theoretical civic, public, and even constitutional responsibility run smack into an obdurate real world. Jóvenes Adelante students are being prepared to enter the real world in Mexico, not just an academic or imagined one based on projected notions derived from, for example, the US or Canada. This is important. Change is slow and steady and an educated populace is a major step in that direction, growing with every obstacle overcome and learning opportunity taken. A lesson for our students, and ourselves.
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