In the last sixteen months children of all ages have depended on remote learning to continue their education. Now that in most countries children are back to school and in other countries hybrid learning is still the norm at the moment it is interesting to note what this article in the NY Times discusses: that the plan to end the possibility for remote learning is a bad decision for Black, Latino and Asian students as well as their parents. Despite the fact that in the US 88% of schools have reopened “a majority of families of color (and even a significant number of white households) still opt for their kids to learn virtually”. Polls by the National Parents Union taken in May showed that 59% of non-white parents still wanted in-person as well as the remote option for the following twelve months. The main bugbear is a combination of poor ventilation as well as asbestos issues in school buildings serving the black and brown communities which have suffered long-term neglect. With young people in the US (under 19) now accounting for 24% of cases of Covid (more than double the figure for late last year, and with studies last year concluding that Black and Latinos, due to disparities “caused by systemic racism”, are particularly vulnerable to infection, accounting for 60% of Covid deaths in the young according to the Center for Disease Control. Furthermore the increased rate of sufferers from asthma and diabetes in the black community can also benefit from a provision of remote learning. Learning needs to come first for children in whatever form suits the family and their situation.

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