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6 Students on Returning to School in The Midst of a Pandemic

How they really feel

With school bags on their backs and masks on their faces, students across the region are slowly due to return to school this academic year, and anxieties are running high. 

With coronavirus still wreaking havoc, the move towards face-to-face learning naturally didn’t come without concern. Online-learning isn’t particularly enticing to some students either. And in parts of the region where poverty runs high and resources are scarce, online learning is not even an option. 

It’s a lot to consider, but from Morocco to Oman, schools and universities are attempting to adapt to the new circumstances, taking their unique contexts into consideration. In the end, some schools wound up taking both physical and remote forms, some have gone completely remote, and others are simply placing strict safety and social distancing measures. 

Confronted with their options, we wondered how students feel. To find out, we caught up with a few:

Malek, 17
Online learning was never an option for us so I’ve been very nervous about going back to school. Safety measures aren’t the best but I guess the real problem is the students who aren’t that cautious. Some don’t wear their masks properly and don’t social distance enough outside of the classrooms. 

Amine, 23
I am returning to school in person, but 4 out of the 7 subjects will be taught online. I think schools are doing their best to damage control but I still feel like it’s not enough. Everyone wears masks but social distancing is not really respected. As for online learning, it’s definitely not made for me. I’m not able to focus. 

Sama, 23
We are doing both physical and online learning, alternating week by week. I feel like my school is making an effort but ultimately there is no better way to prevent contamination than going back to full online schooling because realistically there isn’t enough room for us to respect social distancing

Zeineb, 20
We’re doing online learning. I like it better because it allows more flexibility in my time-management. But the biggest challenge for me is staying motivated and keeping a healthy schedule, where I wake up in the morning and study without distraction. 

Sarah, 25
I have the option for remote learning, but I hate it. It doesn’t work for me. It makes me so afraid about the future. Everything about our life is now digitized and it’s taking away from our education and the amazing journey of going to school that’s beyond academia. I’m thinking about what you learn on the ground, and connecting with people. 

Mayssa, 16
I’m back at school in person. Safety regulations are applied, but social distancing is not respected. We wear our masks though and disinfect our hands when entering and leaving. It’s not the best, but when we tried online learning it didn’t work. Personally, it was really difficult to study at home and I didn’t know how to organize myself. It’s been stressful, but I think it’s just a phase that we’ll get through. 

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