Several months ago, the whole world collectively went through an unexpected event that will go down in history. It was around the beginning of 2020 when we started hearing news of a deadly disease that threatened to cause a worldwide pandemic. None of us really took it seriously until worldwide-imposed lockdowns forced us to stay at home.
Citizens in Philly were no different, as they are just now beginning to move into the green phase, where 50 to 70 percent of businesses are reopening. While this does not signify that things are “going back to normal,” it does mean that we must adapt to a new normal. For students in Philly, the lockdown meant that their school semester was disrupted.
So, to bridge the gap and ensure students were still able to continue their school lessons, homeschooling and online learning played major roles and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Let’s see how the academic landscape is changing for students in Philly.
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, 2.5 million children in the US were already being homeschooled. For Philadelphia, this figure stood at 478 students in the 2017-18 academic year, the last year for which official data is available.
With these numbers, it’s clear the U.S. is home to the majority of the world’s homeschoolers. Generally, more and more parents are opting to homeschool their children, with growth rates increasing gradually every year. And with the recent pandemic affecting the ability to physically attend classes, it seems homeschooling could be a long term solution.
Homeschooling offers a lot of benefits to students, as statistics show that it is more effective than public school. Post COVID-19, many families are likely to take this approach for their children. You can find more information about homeschooling in Pennsylvania on the Department of Education‘s official site.
Moving forward, schools will have to think of a solution that will put the health and safety of students as the top priority while still allowing them to receive their education. Take Drexel University, for instance, which plans to reopen its campus while taking a hybrid approach.
Now, a hybrid approach entails that classes will both be taught both on-campus and remotely. For on-campus classes, the university is also putting in place procedures to protect all members, including students, faculty members and staff, from the spread of infection. One of these measures includes the use of personal protective equipment, such as face masks, which will be required to be worn at all times in campus buildings.
What’s more, Drexel facilities will undergo intense cleaning procedures, and staff will receive mandatory health and safety training. Social distancing will also be practiced at all times.
During these odd and uncertain times, creative and innovative solutions will shape a new way of living for us, whether we like it or not. We must continue to adapt and do our parts in order to curb this violent and deadly disease once and for all.
For students in Philly, this means adapting to a homeschooling and online learning lifestyle until schools are allowed to reopen again. And if schools do reopen, students will have to fulfill their roles in adhering to safety procedures to protect themselves and everyone on campus.