Coronavirus: Threatening Access to Education

coronavirus-under-microscope-with-blue-background-to-emphasize-the-infections-and-diseasesThe coronavirus is a respiratory virus named for the spikes that protrude from its membrane, which resemble the sun’s corona. 


Novel Coronavirus, temporarily named 2019-nCov”, has been classified as a respiratory illness that can affect both animals and humans alike. 

The virus affects one’s respiratory tract and is most likely transmitted through coughing and sneezing. 

Usually, a disease’s lethality can be determined through the death rate, however, as information on the coronavirus is changing ever so rapidly at this time, health officials are finding it hard to measure its lethality. 

Coronavirus or “2019-nCov” is alarming the public and officials as a cure is yet to be found and treatment includes supportive care while the patient gets plenty of rest, hydration and nourishment, allowing one’s immune system to take on the virus.

Transmitted from person to person, the coronavirus outbreak is of concern to communities and schools around the world.

 The Ministry of Education, Singapore took the liberty of answering a few “Frequently Asked Questions” about the Wuhan Coronavirus and its possible spread in Singapore. 

The MoE declared that there seems to be no reason to delay the opening of schools, and urges those returning from mainland China to take the given  14-day Leave of Absense to allow for life to carry on as normal. 

Effects Of The Coronavirus On Education

Given the risk has been declared very low for the general public, the Ministry of Education, Singapore has implemented measures and precautions during this time of a coronavirus outbreak. 

Officials urge parents and families to monitor their health and increase hygiene practices, washing hands and carrying hand sanitizer to prevent the spread of the virus. 

Schools around the world are taking precautionary measures to protect their students from the spreading of the coronavirus, Hong Kong suspending the commencement of the new semester till the 17th of February 2020, while all schools around the world are asking parents and students to be vigilant about the outbreak. 

Ministry officials are collaborating closely with schools to monitor the global pandemic and take measures accordingly as the World Health Organisation declared the outbreak a global health emergency, “The main reason for this declaration is not what is happening in China but what is happening in other countries,” said WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

Infected individuals of Novel Coronavirus are found to either show no symptoms or they have an incubation period of around 2 weeks, to which the Ministry of Education, Singapore has granted a 14-day Leave of Absence for teachers and students returning from Mainland China

During this time, any student on LOA would be provided with home-based learning plans to limit interruption in their education and the Student Learning Space, resources put together by teachers, aid in bridging that gap during the coronavirus outbreak.

The MoE recognizes that tuition and enrichment centers are private entities and urges all to exercise the responsible measures instituted by health officials. 

“2019-nCov” is a disease of concern to communities, and protecting your loved ones from contracting the virus is of topmost concern, by limiting exposure to crowded areas, reducing travel time on the road and taking the necessary health precautions

Protecting Yourself And Your Family During The Coronavirus Outbreak

 Measures and precautions individuals can take to protect themselves from Novel Coronavirus:

  • Wear a mask the right way, 
  • Don’t come into close contact with live animals, 
  • Cook food thoroughly,
  • Wash hands and carry sanitizer,
  • Avoid crowded places.


The Importance Of Prevention In The Absense Of A Cure

Given the extent of the pandemic and the fatalities, our hearts go out to all the victims, their families and all medical professionals working tirelessly with their lives on the line to cure the coronavirus.

Wuhan, China is in a state of emergency, with its roads out of the cities barricaded and all traffic halted to contain the spreading of the virus to the rest of the world.

 The lockdown to contain any more fatalities resulting from this deadly disease has taken a toll on economies, food supplies, and education likewise. 

In critical times, access to education for students is limited during this mass outbreak of coronavirus and close contact with teachers and peers should be taken with caution and all individuals should pay close attention to the status of their health. 

Prevention is better than cure, especially in a situation where a cure is in its research phase, methods of online learning have been implemented by ministries to ensure life goes on as normal as possible. 

The benefits of integrating technology into education have come far from conventional learning practices, and adapting to a crisis at hand requires innovative, smart substitutes to everyday life.

Tackling the access to education in times of viral outbreak, one where person to person contact increases chances of infection, officials and parents are opting for online tuition methods as a  solution to mitigate effect to help maintain the progress of learning for young minds while in a situation of crisis.

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