By Billy Hammond (Copyright AELS)

March 4, 2020

Cram Schools: The Next Infection Epicenters?

I watched news footage on TV showing students attending cram schools (juku) from the morning due to the government’s shutdown of the schools. The economics of most cram schools dictate that they utilized limited and usually rented space to seat as many students as possible. As such, the students on TV were seated even closer to each other than they would be in school classrooms.

The cram school operators stressed that they were taking measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 such as using alcohol to wash their students hands, taking body temperatures and having their students wear masks. Still, from what we’ve seen so far in nosocomial in-hospital infections where the infected were professionals with expertise in the prevention of the same. It’s ludicrous to think that students can be expected to exercise the same level of precautions without training.

Having operated an English school for over eight years in the 80’s teaching age ranges from 4 to adult, I can say from experience that keeping a cram school open in the current environment is a very bad idea. Children have been shown to often be silent carriers of the disease, since they are often asymptomatic while infectious. A cram school environment with so many students grouped together creates a hotbed for the spread of infection.

Profits are important, but public health and safety should come first. In this day and age and in light of the emergency, cram school operators should take their classes online and keep the students at home. Creating possible outbreak epicenters is irresponsible!

学生塾:次の感染源発生地?

テレビを観ていたら、政府の学校閉鎖によって朝から塾で勉強する生徒が映っていた。塾の経済的制限では出来るだけ数多くの生徒を比較的に限定した面積に入れることは前提だ。それにより、映っていた生徒達は学校よりも生徒間が狭かった。

塾の経営者はCOVID-19感染防止に励んでいると主張した。アルコール手洗い、体温チック、マスク着用が主な内容らしい。しかし、今までの院内感染例では医師や看護師の感染防止のプロまで感染したことから考えると、マスクの正しい使い方や着用訓練をしていない学生には感染されたり移したりする可能性は高い。

80年代におよそ8年間英語塾を営んだ経験がある。当時の指導年齢は4際~約90歳。その経験から現在の感染環境では塾を休みにしないことは無責任だと言える。子供の無症状症例は多く、感染性があることが解っている以上、生徒間感染を想定することは妥当だ。どのような学校ででも、第一任務は生徒の安全確保だ。数多くの生徒を近距離に座らせることが感染培養地を作ると同様。

塾の利益は大事だけど公衆衛生を先に持ってくるべきだ。現在のインターネット時代なら、授業をオンラインにもできる。感染期が終わるまで塾を一時閉鎖して、オンラインで教えることを考えるべきだ。新規の感染源作成は無責任!

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English novels by Billy Hammond published by AELS

(AELS出版英語書籍リスト)

 

I. Majoh Gakuin and Hikari Juku – Japanese Witch Schools Trilogy

1. Majoh Gakuin & Hikari Juku – Japanese Witch Schools

2. Lost Witch (The second book)

3. Fate & Magic (The final book in the trilogy)

II. Brindle – Scryer Extraordinaire Trilogy

1. Brindle – Scryer Extraordinaire

2. Brindle – Scryer Extraordinaire – Returns

3. Brindle – Scryer Extraordinaire – Challenges (The final book in the trilogy)

III. Fantasy fiction set in Japan

1. 21st Century Ninja

2. Regressed

3. Japanese Woman

IV. Fantasy fiction set outside of Japan

1. Dimension Jumpers

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