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Opinion
Ferdinando Giugliano

Let’s Not Fool Ourselves About Covid and Schoolkids

There are no easy choices when it comes to bringing students back to the classroom.

Class is in session.

Class is in session.

Photographer: Moritz Frankenberg/picture alliance

What to do about schools is perhaps the biggest dilemma facing policy makers right now. Closing them could lead to a “lost generation” of learners and make it harder for parents to get back to work. Keeping them open could further propagate the virus. Should governments choose the latter, they will need other ways to mitigate the impact on health.

After closing down schools earlier in the pandemic, many European leaders insisted on letting students resume in-person classes after the summer break. Now with new infections on the rise again, some are having to backtrack. Italy is to switch back to distance learning, at least for high school students. Other countries may be forced to do the same.