SASA Zibe’s suggestion to suspend school year in PNG (The National, May 1) demonstrates a complete lack of vision, resolve and resilience. It is unfortunate that a former MP could be holding such shallow views on humanity’s predicament induced by the Covid-19.
Elsewhere, the virus has taken a high toll not only on elderly people and those with underlying conditions but also young and healthy adults.
Covid-19 has impacted the global economy adversely causing unemployment at unprecedented levels and understandably instilling fear in many more including Zibe.
However, in the midst of these fear and uncertainties, what’s required of humanity as has always been the case during earlier pandemics is to refuse to give up!
History teaches us that the human spirit cannot be broken no matter how bad the trials maybe.
Time and time again humanity demonstrated resilience in times of crisis and our current predicament requires no less; we need to push on.
The mitigating strategies introduced by our government are practicable within the constraints of our small economy, limited resources, unique geographical and population challenges, etc.
The response has been within the PNG context and the comparison to other countries is like comparing Huon Gulf district to the US state of New York.
The claim that schools will be breeding grounds for the spread of the coronavirus is again flawed because apart from checking temperatures of students regularly, they will now be encouraged to observe personal hygiene practices at school.
Recommencement of classes and ensuring a successful conclusion of this academic year is the way forward.
There will be additional teaching hours in primary/secondary and blended learning in the tertiary education sector.
This option demonstrates our ability to live with the Covid-19 and allow life to continue while adapting new practices.
Alternatively, shutting the school year would demonstrate our inability to adapt, lack of resilience and determination to overcome a crisis.
There would be a short supply of professionals to drive our economy in future.
Thousands of teachers would be paid without any work or the government could decide to let these public servants go without pay for the whole year which would then trigger ripple effects everywhere.
The consequences of suspending the school year would be more devastating than the potential dangers of reopening the economy and academic year.