Although the figures of Covid-19 new cases in New Zealand are very small, the risk is still there.

When it comes to resending our kids to school, the current situation has left us as parents with a challenging dilemma: do we send our kids to school and risk infection, or do we keep them at home and risk them being potentially lagging behind?

The counter view: Why I'm sending my kids to school

As parents, we strongly believe it is still too early to be relaxed and to consider resending our kids back to school confidently for the following reasons.

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• Recent studies regarding how Covid-19 may affect young kids are very contradictory. Thus sending our kids back to school relying on these contradictory studies made us feel that we are experimenting with our kids' health and wellbeing.

• During wintertime, kids are vulnerable to catch normal flu which has the same symptoms as the symptoms of Covid-19. Going back to school will increase our kids' risk of having such normal flu. Having some of the normal flu symptoms will pose significant stress and anxiety on the kids and their parents.

Moueen and Rita Haddad are keeping their children home from school and kindergarten for two more weeks. From left: Natalie, 11, Rita, Cecelia, 2, Moueen, and Jizzal, 9. Photo / Alex Burton
Moueen and Rita Haddad are keeping their children home from school and kindergarten for two more weeks. From left: Natalie, 11, Rita, Cecelia, 2, Moueen, and Jizzal, 9. Photo / Alex Burton

• Unfortunately, as parents, we did not receive clear guidelines regarding schools' preventative measures, and how schools are going to maintain social distancing. One of the options that we were expecting from the Ministry of Education was to offer alternative measures such as reduced hours or reduced numbers of students by dividing the school into two groups and each group offers to attend on every alternate day/week. Also, we were expecting schools to engage our kids in a questionnaire about their opinion on returning to school. It would be very important to bring them on board by empowering them to be part of the discussion which may increase their awareness of the importance of social distancing.

• Over the last few weeks of the lockdown, we became more involved in our kids' study, and we found that they can be more engaged without the Covid-19 distractions. Further, we noticed that there are plenty of available materials and resources that can be utilised as a reasonable academic alternative to school.