Language schools and Covid transmission


Sir, – How is it that indoor summer camps for children can be cancelled due to soaring Covid rates, and yet language schools, which are mostly attended by and taught by adults in their 20s and 30s who thus far have not had the chance to be vaccinated, can be allowed to reopen for face-to-face learning?

This is a small industry and the public are often confused about how it works, but essentially groups of young, mostly unvaccinated adults who have up until now been distance-learning will be forced (due to visa regulations on the part of the students) to spend three-four hours a day in a room together, five days a week.

Students on visas, and in many schools that is most students, must attend 85 per cent of classes or risk having their visas revoked, and a lot of schools offer no sick pay to teachers.

This puts pressure on people who may dismiss minor symptoms and come into school because they need the money or the attendance.

Even with masks and social distancing, that’s a recipe for transmission. Teachers and students want to return to face-to-face learning, but only when it is safe to do so. Online classes, while not ideal, have been working for our type of education.

Why can’t we wait until numbers are down and everyone in this demographic has had a chance to be vaccinated?

– Yours, etc,