Sunday, 3 January 2021

Learning isn't (just) schooling

 Two blogs in (almost) as many days? Ambassador, you're spoiling us... 

Well, maybe not but I thought I'd check in briefly just to state the obvious, just to point out to someone who ought to know a lot better but who, of course, is paid to spout the government's line in clap-trap, that learning isn't synonymous with schooling, that children will continue to learn very well thank you without attending school and that schooling (which is not the same thing, though of course it achieves some of the same results) can continue perfectly well online, perfectly well given that the alternative (mass return to school) is an undoubted and dangerous risk, a price (I'd say) that is too high to pay for saving lives. 

If schools close, kids won't stop learning. And with remote lessons, most children can continue with their schooling. Yes, it's not the same as face-to-face, in-class lessons; no, it's not ideal; but it's just about the best we can manage given the circumstances. And the circumstances are a massively increased risk from a new variant of a virus that has already brought the NHS to its knees. 

What's happening in London and the south east will happen, and will happen sooner, and will happen more severely, across the country unless we stay at home and save lives. It's that simple. 

I know there are those for whom home will never be either a safe place or a place to learn: we must make provision for those children. But we shouldn't, mustn't, daren't risk the lives of teachers, parents, grandparents, carers and others by blindly insisting that learning = everyone in school. It doesn't. Schooling does. In the grand scheme of things, falling behind a little, maybe being unprepared to take exams at the time considered 'normal', perhaps having to defer a college/uni place for a year and delaying entry to the rat-race won't destroy pupils' life-chances.

And it won't stop children learning.   

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