translated from Spanish: Schools ‘close the door’ to classes or virtual counseling

Since the SEP formally announced the return to face-to-face classes for the 2021-2022 school year, parents and teachers worked to find solutions that would give them peace of mind and not risk students. In different schools, parents were consulted and a hybrid model was proposed, however, two days before the start of classes, principals and teachers have notified parents that there will be no classes or virtual counseling and that minors must present themselves to schools, otherwise they will only have the support of Learn at Home.
Daniela has two children: a young woman who will enter secondary school and a child who will attend the fourth year of primary school. He lives in the Álvaro Obregón mayor’s office.
Since face-to-face classes were suspended, their children have continued their education through the online classes that their teachers gave them and that consisted of one-hour counseling -approximately- twice a week. The rest of the days they had to answer guides and solve exercises that the teacher sent through a Whatsapp group.

Read: ‘We are blind’: teachers create their health protocols for back to school
At home, for fear of the virus, outings, parties and trips were suspended in their entirety. Daniela, who has an economic kitchen, says that in the fear that her children would be infected, she has taken extreme care of them, so 15 days ago, when her children’s schools sent her a survey to know which model of classes she preferred (virtual or face-to-face), she was reassured because she could choose and there was an opportunity to continue taking care of her children at home.
However, in a virtual meeting this Friday, August 27, things changed completely: classes will be face-to-face, yes or yes.

“We had a meeting with the teacher and now it turns out that we will no longer have the model of virtual and face-to-face classes, they told us that we have to take them to the face-to-face school and that if they do not go they see the Learn at Home on television, but that the teachers will not give them advice or any class to solve doubts, “- the mother of the family says.
“If in itself I feel that they have not learned much because now there is no choice but to take them … it’s a risk, but what do I do?”
According to the woman, “the plan” designed by the primary school where her son studies is that they will teach every day but that Monday and Wednesday will go the students who have an even list number, on Tuesday and Thursday the odd numbers. On Fridays, classes will be given to students who have the greatest educational lag.
Parents must coordinate to make face-to-face guards at school to support the sanitary filters -at the entrance and exit-, they must buy the complete list of tools and the class schedule is to be defined because the hours that were commonly taught will not be covered.
“At least they did say that uniforms are not mandatory, as the SEP said, but that only the first two weeks, and then we will have to wear them in uniform,” he details.
Read: Return to face-to-face classes will be on August 30; this is the health protocol to follow
In primary school Heroicos Cadetes, in the Iztacalco mayor’s office, the same thing happened to Beatriz.
Days ago he received a small survey in which he was asked if he opted for face-to-face or home classes for his son who will attend the third grade. He immediately chose the virtual model because he considers that returning to face-to-face classes is very risky.
“Until yesterday (Thursday) I understood that there would be a hybrid system of those who chose to be at home and take online classes could do it just like those who needed their children to show up at school, but today (Friday) they called us to a meeting and the position of the authorities was totally different: either they go to school, or they go to school, managing it volunteer because if you do not attend there are no online classes and there will only be the Learn at Home, “claimed the mother of the family.
“I think it is a negligent situation because at the end of the day they are not giving the supplies for the care and obviously, as many times, we have to absorb the parents. They are restricting the part of education for wanting to safeguard our health and the defense of the SEP is ‘I am not denying you education, if you do not want to take your child it is something else'”.
In Laos Elementary School, in the Benito Juárez mayor’s office and where Samanta’s girl studies, there is also no protocol to follow. A few days ago when they had a meeting with the director of the school, parents were informed that there is no possibility of giving face-to-face and virtual classes, because the instruction is to be already in the classrooms.
Understanding that not all dads would agree with it they were offered that those who decided not to send their children to school could receive guides to answer at home, however, Samanta stressed, they clarified that teachers would not review or correct them. In fact, there would be no chance for them to have any advice ever a week to follow up on progress.
“In our case we decided that my daughter does not return to face-to-face classes so we will be working with the guides and we will have to rely on private lessons, mainly mathematics, mother tongue and English,” shares the mother.
“They gave us a protocol that is not a protocol because the actions are more focused on what we have to do from home, which seems perfect to me because of the part of co-responsibility that must be, but at the school level there is no structure of what is going to be done and that of course worries us, we do not want to expose our daughter,” reproached the mother.
See also: Parent involvement, COVID screening, and emotional support: the new back-to-school guide
Between water leaks and mouse pests
“Until today the indication is that there are still no children we have to be there at school,” says teacher Sofia, who asked to be identified.
“They mention that, even if the parents ask us to continue virtually, as long as the authority does not send it in writing we have to return because that is the indication that we are in the conditions we are.”
She works in the Concepción Sierra Lanz Duret kindergarten, in the Gustavo A. Madero mayor’s office and the only certainty she has for the return to school is that on Monday she must appear. At the moment it is unknown if the plague of mice that they found when they were summoned to clean the school has been controlled or if finally the mayor’s office or the educational authority solved the water leak that is in the middle of the main courtyard.
“In the case of my school, it has a pipe with a leak that was really only patched by the delegation. They told us that there was no recourse from the delegation to cover the pipe change and asked us to notify the authorities because the delegation cannot cover it,” explains the teacher.
“Our operational management is notified that (in turn) notifies the educational authority and the response is to summon the parents and see if they can solve it with their own support.”
Like other testimonies collected by Animal Político, the teacher expressed her concern about what will happen to her students who do not return to face-to-face school.
In the meetings they held all last week to plan the return to school this was one of the doubts that were most expressed by the teachers, but at no time was it answered.
“We believe that the children who are going to stay at home are those who were covering with us the virtual day in the previous cycle and well, our concern about what will happen to those who are not going to attend because in my area the indication is that: ‘you have to attend, even if there is only one child and we have to attend all the teachers'”.
Although from the news and comments with other teachers she has heard the possibility that there was a hybrid care model, Sofia says that at the moment she does not know what will happen later because the kindergarten where she works does not even have a telephone line.
If the country’s educational authorities thought to promote the return to face-to-face classes, the teacher said, since July – when the last school year converged – it was necessary to work hand in hand with the teachers to outline a protocol that would give them the tools so that they had time to prepare and prepare the spaces where the classes would be given.
On March 16, 2020, the Official Gazette of the Federation (DOF) published the agreement 02/03/20 in which the Ministry of Public Education (SEP) informed that face-to-face classes would be suspended from March 23 to April 17 in order to protect students and their families from COVID-19. Just two weeks ago – on February 28 – the first positive case of the virus had been detected in the country, so it was decided to bring forward the Easter holidays by one week.
In those days no one would have imagined that the suspension of classes would last so long. The students had to conclude the 2019-2020 school year thanks to classes on television and virtual counseling and take the entire 2020-2021 cycle in the same way: at home and with the support of their parents.
Since March 23, 2020, 75 weeks have passed and this Monday, amid doubts and uncertainty, the country’s public schools will reopen their doors to formally start the 2021-2022 school year.
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Original source in Spanish

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