In many European countries even after the Christmas break, schools and universities remained fully or partially closed for quarantine. Decisions about the start date and extent of the resumption of full-time classes are made spontaneously — depending on the current infectious situation. Many observers are outraged by the authorities’ current treatment of children and young people.
Children are the last thing on people’s minds
The way schoolchildren are being treated during this crisis is outrageous, says The Observer:
“If the effects of Covid in most cases do not directly affect children’s health, children will still have to face the worst long-term effects of the pandemic. The results of students being out of school for months, combined with the financial impact of the coronary crisis, will be felt most strongly by children from disadvantaged backgrounds. This will have long-term consequences for their economic, physical, and psychological well-being. Yet the government has done little to prevent such a situation. Instead, the authorities have made it extremely difficult for teachers to adapt to the situation, issuing methodologies with vague content and making difficult decisions at the very last moment. »
For purely political reasons
The fact that schools are still operating in Hungary is not at all due to the authorities’ concern for children, Nepszava notes:
“When making certain decisions, our authorities only consider what risks they might pose in terms of the popularity of these very authorities in the eyes of the population. … Kindergartens and schools are not closed only because such a move would be met with hostility by parents and employers, that is, business. And then the economy would suffer … Responsible and complex expert decisions are out of the question here: we are dealing with decisions of an exclusively political nature.”
The smallest ones are burdened with the heaviest of burdens
The new restrictions will once again hit children especially hard,” says Handelsblatt:
“While schools and kindergartens are closed, adults have to travel daily in crowded buses, streetcars, and electric trains to work — to office space, where there are also piles of people. In her latest decree, Merkel and the heads of the state governments, addressing the population, have again decided only to make a non-binding request to work remotely if possible. The government notes, however, that it is not always easy to switch to the home office. And that is quite remarkable because when it comes to schools, no one is outraged by the fact that distance learning is a pain in the ass. One can only speculate as to why the authorities are once again throwing the brunt of the crisis on the children. The simplest explanation seems to be that unlike adults, children do not protest at the top of their voices. And they don’t go to the elections either.
There is simply no alternative
This Wednesday, the Irish government intends to decide whether to close schools for quarantine until the end of January. As The Irish Independent notes, this measure is unlikely to be avoided:
“In terms of epidemic protection, schools are not a particular risk area, as Health Minister Norma Foley said during her meeting with Opposition MPs. The only problem is the consequences of the decision not to stop face-to-face schooling and how the disease will migrate from one household to another — with children returning home after school. School employee unions are also increasingly concerned about the safety of their members. It makes no sense to go against them-especially after the work that educators in Ireland have done in the past year.”