I write to you as a student of Fatima College who finds himself in a state of cautious abeyance over the reopening of school. My reasoning for writing this is because I believe it important that the essential observers i.e., a student’s opinion should be heard because we carry the future in our backpacks. Over the past few days, my perspective has been subjected to many opinions.
A few outraged parents on one side and the informed educational system on the other. As I sat close to my parents (listening in on to the Parent Teacher Meeting), quite worried over the guidelines with which school was to open, I was shocked to discover that one of the most salient details in Fatima’s rollout on Monday coming included the exclusion of the Forms 4-6 from any Zoom class.
Quickly the meeting was thrown into a frenzy of multiple questions, or I should say the same
questions asked multiple times. “Father, will there really and truly be no Zoom classes for my child? What if the teacher records the class?”. At this time, context must be given as to who is in charge of this institution, Fatima College. Fr Gregory is a tall man with a low bass voice which carries a peremptory tone (a quality fit for a leader). He carries himself in a manner which could be described as a balance of humility and pride and I would dare say he holds everyone else to an even higher level than himself. One can and should say that Fr Gregory’s demeanour sets a precedent which the entire school follows, everyone with their own admiration for such a distinguished man.
Given that context, and the knowledge that the teachers at Fatima College can only be
described as the most committed staff one could ever see, I am certain it is with a heavy heart that they relayed the news to the parents. Fr Gregory continued to explain with patience which only such a man as he could have that everything had been considered. He even went on to list reasons: classes cannot be recorded as it is illegal to record children without the express consent of that child’s parent/guardian; Zoom classes could not be held at the same time as asynchronous classes as the idea was not even feasible. Yet I see people arguing on and on about how disadvantaged they are being. Most certainly NOT. Fr Gregory is simply following the guidelines given to him by the Ministry of Education.
Earlier I had mentioned my apprehension towards the reopening of schools. For the record, I am in fact vaccinated and will be returning to school on Monday morning. Why, my dear reader? Because when I was taught by Fr Gregory in Form Two he made the point of mentioning to us that as principal his FIRST priority was our safety. Not our education, our safety. I can say proudly that every decision made has been carefully planned out by experts in their field. I will go to school on Monday morning trusting in the experts who give me the reassurance to not fear, but to keep moving forward.
I trust my principal and his capable and working staff. We have a motto at Fatima ‘Nitendo
Vinces’ which translates to ‘By striving we conquer’. As I move forward into an unforeseeable future with that motto, there is but one thing foreseeable and most certain. Fatima College will strive on, to the best possible future for ALL of our students.
—Adrian Marc St Rose, student