Education

Village without net access ordered to hold online classes

It’s obvious that Back to School 2020 will be burned into the memory of all mankind, as the chaos is far more than usual due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Take Romanian education, for example: mandatory online classes in a settlement with no mobile phone or internet connection, and teaching materials mailed (not emailed, but mailed) and delivered by postmen, just to name a couple scenarios.

In order to understand the situation in Absurdistan, here’s a bit of background info: According to the school scenarios elaborated on by highly competent people, if a settlement/city/village has one confirmed case of coronavirus per 1,000 people (green zone), schools can proceed with the usual in-person schedule; three per 1,000 (yellow zone) means a mix of online and in-person classes; and more than three per 1,000 means only online classes are to be held. The latter is called a red zone, which currently includes 101 schools.

The problem is that not all of the institutions in the red zone have an internet connection, such as the Barafalva/Bara settlement in Temes/Timiș County, which counts roughly 300 citizens and only seven children attending the local primary school. In this settlement, there are three confirmed COVID-19 infections, which makes online classes mandatory. But the settlement has no mobile phone or internet connection. On top of the that, there is a further absurd situation: Those with confirmed cases of coronavirus have only temporary residence permits in Bara – and none of them actually lives there – and will spend their quarantine time in Lugos/Lugoj.

In another settlement in the red zone, Bivolari, Iași County, authorities have chosen a unique way to start the school year: Those who don’t have access to the internet will receive their teaching materials by mail, delivered by postmen.

Now, the only question is whether the postmen will also test their knowledge or not.

Title image: Employee of the Romanian Post Office checks the address on deliverable mail. Image source: Pressalert.ro

Author: István Fekete