Back to School - (c) Amina Weiß, 5A

The government is planning to slowly introduce students to their usual lifestyle again, by opening the schools and gradually letting students attend their classes. The plan is to reduce the number of people attending school by splitting classes in half and having the students take turns to attend school. Ninth graders and older should not go back to school for one month, because it could trigger a second and potentially even bigger wave.

Making students go back to school is questionable, because there is still no vaccine or treatment against the virus and Covid-19 certainly has not gotten less dangerous. Even if only half of the class will be attending school, there will be too many people in one building, who could potentially be infected. Those could then transmit the illness to other students and teachers. Even though children usually do not show symptoms and are not physically affected, they can infect other family members, or anyone they meet in their free time or in shops etc. This could lead to another peak.

While many politicians claim that studying alone at home is very hard for students, many of my classmates said that they in fact prefer this kind of learning and working for school. Coming back to school for one month will not make a big difference for teenagers academically, because it will take them a while to get back into their old rhythm of waking up early and going to school regularly.

Now that the regulations are not as strict as in the beginning of the epidemic in Europe anymore and we are slowly allowed to see our closest friends again, I do not think that going to school is necessary for the social development of teenagers. The plan of my school is, not to let students decide how they want to divide their class and who they want to be in groups with. That sounds very counterproductive, since one of the governments strongest argument for taking the risk of going back to school is that students need to be able to see their friends again. If it is important for kids and teenagers to engage socially again and to fulfil their social and emotional needs, would it not make sense to let them choose who they want to spend their school days with? Apart from that, there will be restrictions in the schools which will prevent students to be able to fully socialize again.

In conclusion, teenagers my age should not go back to school, because as soon as there are many people in one classroom, many will be affected if there is a case of Covid-19 among these persons. Now that face to face contact with one’s closest friends is allowed, teenagers are able to pursue their need for social contact in their free time, so it would make much more sense to only open schools next autumn or preferably when a vaccine has been developed.