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Fully Reopening Elementary Schools Should Be Made ‘Top National Priority,’ Experts Say

U.S. News alex 1weeks ago (08-01) 4Views 0Comments

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The United States imposed sanctions on two more Chinese officials and one Chinese regime entity over human rights abuses against Uyghur Muslim minorities in the far-western region of Xinjiang. The Trump administration on July 31 announced sanctions on current and former Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials heading the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps (XPCC), a regional paramilitary force under the Party, as well as the XPCC itself. The latest move builds upon sanctions issued earlier this month against four CCP officials—including a member of the CCP’s powerful Politburo Chen Quanguo—for their roles in overseeing the suppression in Xinjiang. The United Nations estimates that more than a million Uyghur Muslims have been detained in internment camps in the Xinjiang region. Survivors of the internment camps said they experienced torture, rape, and political indoctrination while…

Fully Reopening Elementary Schools Should Be Made ‘Top National Priority,’ Experts Say

Amid the debate over reopening the nation’s schools, a group of education and health experts argued that it is both essential and feasible to allow young children, particularly elementary school students, to physically return to classrooms in fall.

In an article published in the New England Journal of Medicine Wednesday, Harvard University’s education professor Meira Levinson, along with infectious diseases scientist Muge Cevik and epidemiologist Marc Lipsitch, wrote that safely reopening schools full-time for all elementary-school-age children should be made “a top national priority.”

“Children’s well-being depends on their being in a setting that is designed for their care, their active and engaged learning, and their healthy development,” said Levinson in an interview with Harvard Graduate School of Education. “Young children cannot engage for long periods of time with remote teachers and peers; they need in-person support from a trusted adult.”

Levinson also pointed out that keeping schools closed is especially harmful to those already disadvantaged children, including children living in poverty, children of color, English language learners, and children with diagnosed disabilities.

Speaking of schools that offer a mix of online and in-person learning, Levinson argued that while some in-person schooling is better than none, such so-called “hybrid model” still fails to solve the important child-care issue, since children will still have to spend several days a week at home, preventing parents鈥攑articularly women鈥攖o fully reenter the workforce.

“These challenges may be particularly acute for educators who are parents themselves, for other workers who lack flexibility in determining when or where they work, and for parents with multiple children on misaligned attendance schedules,” she stated in the article.

Children under the age of 10 are less likely to be infected with or transmit the CCP virus than adults and older adolescents, the experts noted, citing recent medical findings based on limited evidence. These findings, however, do seem to align with data on school and community transmission from countries where elementary schools have been reopened or remained open, including France, Israel, New Zealand, and the Netherlands.

Still, the experts suggested that in order to reopen elementary schools safely, communities should try to keep the virus transmission rate at a low as they could.

“Any region experiencing moderate, high, or increasing levels of community transmission should do everything possible to lower transmission,” they wrote. “Such measures along with universal mask wearing must be implemented now in the United States if we are to bring case numbers down to safe levels for elementary schools to reopen this fall nationwide.”

Focus News: Fully Reopening Elementary Schools Should Be Made ‘Top National Priority,’ Experts Say

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