Parents react to schools being closed over coronavirus fears

The sudden 14-day closure of schools to minimise the spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 has left parents scrambling with how to adjust, especially that some are not allowed to work from home to be with their children.

For Andrea Campbell, a mother of two—one in high school and the other in primary—she will be exploring the option of contracting the services of “any available teacher”.

“Unfortunately I don’t have the time to stay home and give them the kind of attention they would need to tackle their school work. School might be out, but parents will still have to work… employers whose jobs can be carried out from the home by their employees should explore that option so parents can at least be there to supervise,” the St Catherine mother said.

For Janet Byfield*, the minute she heard about the first case of the virus in Jamaica she did not send her children to school.

Regarding keeping them up to date where their schoolwork is concerned, she said it is not a problem as they have their textbooks, access to the internet. Her only regret is that she will not be home with them.

“Even [Thursday] I was at work and saying to myself why doesn’t my boss call and tell me that I can go home, cause the boss did not come out,” she told BUZZ.

According to Byfield, although her children will be under instructions not to go outside and play—she knows with her not being home they will go out. Byfield like Campbell is encouraging employers whose workers can carry out their tasks from home to explore that option.

Teacher Meilia Ewers told BUZZ it would not negatively impact her as she would just do what comes naturally to her. “The curriculum is online, my children—one is in grade three and the other grade two—the fact that I am a teacher will make it a bit easier for me, so I will be able to follow through,” she shared.

Ewers said parents have nothing to fear regarding their children being home and missing out on lessons they should be learning. She said the curriculum can be accessed online with instructions on how to carry out the objectives.

*Name changed by request