QUARANTINE - DAY 7 - 12th March 2020
As a sandstorm sweeps in across Palestine and countries across Europe announce the large-scale closure of educational establishments, Bethlehem comes to the end of a week in quarantine. A young student from Bethlehem University shares her thoughts and concerns about the disruption to her education:
Coronavirus and learning..
I am a student in Bethlehem university doing major Primary Education in my fourth academic year. That means I am a senior. I thought the evacuation would last a day or two, and everything would be alright after a while.
On my way back home I saw the news of Bethlehem schools being temporarily closed as well. Suddenly I realized that my graduation seminar might be interrupted or postponed. My seminar is related to working in one of these schools. Unfortunately, that's exactly what happened, my seminar has been interrupted after two months of me putting huge efforts into it. I was really panicking.
As a student I have no other choice except changing my whole seminar and start a new one from the beginning, specially that I have no time, it's not something easy to do.
Note that my seminar was about working on strengthening the partnership between school, parents, and community. It was supposed to involve volunteers out there from the community, and this project emphasizes the partnership between Bethlehem University and schools. So it was an amazing project that includes the whole community in that school. It provides comfort to the children and will help them to develop positive attitudes to their school.
But at the same time I have no time to waste. Especially because everything in Bethlehem is closed such as the university and the libraries. I can't borrow books related to the new topics I chose, and I can't meet up with my supervisors. I had to look up for online books to start with.
I can't go out anywhere, I can't go to local libraries, I'm now sticking to electronics 24/7. I simply can't live my usual life.
To be fair, the university didn't leave us empty-handed. Our learning is still ongoing as they have activated distance learning. Our supervisors have their emails/phones ready to receive any questions and get back to us as soon as possible. Despite all these good attempts to keep things going it is still not the same as it was before the virus started spreading.
As students, we still have many unanswered questions in our minds. How are we going to sit exams?, What's going to happen to our graduation? When are we getting back to our usual lives?