The back-to-school must have in place in only a few weeks in California and Marina Avalos still does not know where and how his seven-year old daughter will attend the course.
Like many parents, this mother of a family of 46-year-old is reluctant to send his children to school while the number of cases of COVID-19 explodes in the United States, notably in California where she lives, who saves all the weeks new records of contamination.
“This whole situation makes me very nervous “, she says. “I do not feel serene to return my daughter to school as before. “
Even if the children seem to have a tendency to develop less serious forms of the coronavirus, it is difficult for younger people to respect the gestures of the barriers several hours, and the fear of the contagion is in the minds of the majority of families in california.
For those who do not have other choice than to return to work, or who fear that their children do not accumulate a disability school after having spent several months far away from the classrooms, the equation COVID-19 is particularly difficult to solve.
Like wearing a mask before him, the dilemma has become a political issue national this week, since president Donald Trump has said it wants at all costs that ” schools open in the fall “, saying the safety instructions in the matter “too hard” and threatening to remove federal subsidies.
The democratic governor of California, Gavin Newsom, said that the health of children and educational personnel was a high priority, ” non-negotiable “.
The decision to reopen the schools is vested in neither to the one nor to the other but each school district, at the local level.
Los Angeles, the second largest of the United States, with 600,000 students, has not yet decided between back in the classroom and virtual courses, but the health authorities have recommended that schools prepare for the continuation of distance education in view of the magnitude of the epidemic.
The mother of three children (8, 15, and 17 years) who attend private institutions, Monika Zands hope that they will be able to return physically to the school very soon, especially his youngest daughter.
“Older are maintained at the level because they had more or less all the days of the online course, they stayed in touch “, she explains.
But “the youngest is really lagging behind, in terms of knowledge and reflection… If it continues, I would be really worried about his capacity and his motivation to catch up,” says Monika.
At the beginning of the semester, the little girl had to settle for a one-hour class via the internet, followed by five hours of homework.
“She was in tears, lamenting, “I can’t see my friends, and I can’t do it and now you want me to sit all day to do my homework,” remembers his mother.
If the schools cannot reopen in August, Monika Zands and other parents are considering hiring the services of a teacher to come give lessons to children in small groups.
But it is a luxury that few people can afford, and a concern for Jena Lee, a psychiatrist for children in Los Angeles.
“I am particularly concerned that the inequality in education is not to increase “, explains the expert questioned by AFP.
Longer schools remain closed, “the greater the risk of damage to education but also to the mental health and social development” of children, she says.
Ms. Avalos was perfectly aware of that : her daughter suffers from attention disorders and the class on the internet does not allow him to benefit from the assistance of a specialist who assists in normal time.
Only daughter, his child “very sociable” also suffers much from the absence of his classmates.
“Without this virus, I renverrais to school “, said, without hesitation, the mother, feeling obliged to prioritise the physical health of his daughter, who has already recently contracted bronchitis, and pneumonia.