28 May 2020
As schools are about to reopen one can anticipate that some students will be glad to get back to school to escape nagging parents while others, especially teenagers, will resent the need for conformity and discipline. They possibly have become used to rising at 11am and doing most of their schooling at night when they are at their best.
This leads me to contemplate the opportunities for schools and offices to do things differently.
Perhaps schools could offer students who thrive on home learning the opportunity of attending school for a few hours around mid-day and provide them with 2-3 hours self tuition work either online or by providing school materials which they can take home. This would not be suitable for all students as many will do better through a formal school day either because of preference, lack of self-discipline, or that there are no facilities at home where they can sit at a desk in a quiet room and work. (Millions of children share a one or two room home with parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters.)
This does however offer schools the opportunity to consider shortening the school day to perhaps 3-4 hours per day for students who prove through performance that they can adequately work at home. This would allow schools to conduct two shifts a day where some students attend the early shift and others the second shift allowing smaller classes and more individualised tuition.
The same applies to office workers who commute two hours a day and shop and bank at lunch time or on the way home. Some may prefer to work at home in hours which suit them and their family better. Perhaps some of these workers may be required to attend meetings at the office once a week or perhaps work at the office a few hours a week.
However it happens, the change will come, possibly very soon.