Forum: On Facebook

The Facebook logo seen on a smartphone.
The Facebook logo seen on a smartphone.PHOTO: REUTERS

Should parents be given the option to take their children out of school during the coronavirus outbreak?

If parents really keep the kids at home 24/7, then yes, close schools and all stay home. What's the point of closing school but (let them) roam the neighbourhood or dine at the malls? If anything happens in school, contact tracing is also easier.

Reiko E-min Ng

I have a toddler and a primary schooler. I can't even work at home if my toddler is with me. Don't even mention guiding the primary schooler to work on a computer.

Alicia Lim

E-learning works only if parents/ caregivers ensure that their kids actually do the work and stay on task... and not binge on Netflix.

Sam Wong

Such a measure is not something that can be done easily and seems too extreme at the present moment.

It is difficult to imagine that a significant number of students will have the support and self-discipline to learn online, which is already an imperfect substitute for classroom learning.

If lessons are run concurrently with e-learning, teachers will become saddled with an extra load to organise and manage both programmes, in class and online.

Richard Leong

I would vote for a mandatory closure of all schools. No one will lose out on missed curriculum if all children are not in school. The lost time in learning can be made up during the March, June, September and even December holidays.

It doesn't feel good that despite the seriousness and uncertainty of the coronavirus, all that has been done is letters issued to parents. Must there be a confirmed case of spread in school, or even death, to reconsider the risk this will pose to children?

Prevention is better than cure.

Arine Chow

Our schools are not air-conditioned (most of them anyway) - open the windows and let the air flow in. Have more outdoor sessions where weather permits.

As the virus does not survive hot weather, this is a better option than blindly closing the schools.

Greg Hybes

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 15, 2020, with the headline 'On Facebook'. Print Edition | Subscribe