Connect with us


COVID: US schools open or not, students of colour bear the brunt | News



Racial inequality in the United States has become a defining feature of the coronavirus pandemic, according to recent data, in terms of its health and economic impact, as well as its effect on education.

As schools are set to reopen across the country in various forms, Black and Latino children will be disproportionally affected, regardless if schools remain physically closed or if they reopen.

According to recent polling by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), children of colour are more likely to fall behind the longer they stay home from school because they have limited access to critical resources and their parents have more health and economic fears – raising concerns that the pandemic will only exacerbate inequities in American society.

Low-income children, who are mostly Black and Latino, struggle for access to computers and internet service. They also face pressures at home that wealthier, mostly white families do not. Black and Latino parents are more worried than white parents that their children will fall behind in school, and fear they will be unable to work, even from home, while supervising children.

A worker cleans the walls in a classroom at Freedom Preparatory Academy on May 18, 2020 in Provo, Utah. [George Frey/Getty Images/AFP]

 Parents of colour are also more worried than white parents about losing the other benefits that schools provide, like social services and food.

With coronavirus infections still rising across many states in the country, many school districts are planning to start the school year either fully or partially online. 

President Donald Trump, who is running for re-election in November, has made plain his desire to see schools reopen in the fall so that parents can get back to work and help the US economy bounce back after a shutdown caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidelines that strongly supported schools reopening this academic year, arguing children learn best when they are physically in their classrooms.

But many local leaders said the health risks are too great. Although children do not get particularly sick from COVID-19, less is known about how much they can spread it to others, raising worry about the health of teachers and school employees.

Further reflecting the disproportionate impact of the coronavirus pandemic on communities of colour, 91 percent said they are either “very worried” or “somewhat worried” about their child getting sick with coronavirus if they return to school this school year, compared with 55 percent of white parents, according to the KFF poll published on Monday.

Olivia Chan's father helps her with a new mask she received during a graduation ceremony for her Pre-K class in front of Bradford School in Jersey City, N.J. School districts that plan to reopen class

Olivia Chan’s father helps her with a new mask she received during a graduation ceremony for her Pre-K class in front of Bradford School in Jersey City [File: Seth Wenig/AP Photo]

 And 73 percent of parents of colour are worried about their children falling behind academically, while 65 percent of parents of colour were worried losing income if they cannot go to work, compared with 41 percent of white parents. 

There is also evidence that learning loss will probably be greatest among Black and Latino students, who are less likely to have access to high-quality remote learning or to a conducive learning environment, such as a quiet space, their own devices, high-speed internet and parental supervision.

According to an analysis by McKinsey, students will likely lose on average 6.8 months of learning if in-class instruction does not resume until January 2021. But Black students may fall behind by 10.3 months and Latino students by 9.2 months.

But as half-dozen US states reporting record numbers for coronavirus deaths, a bitter political debate is raging about the reopening of schools in the coming weeks.

While Trump and members of his administration continue to push for students to return to class, many teachers and local officials continue to call for online learning.

On Tuesday, one of the largest teachers’ union in the country, said it was authorising its members to strike if their schools plan to reopen without proper safety measures.


A high school teacher holding a sign during a protest calling for schools to enforce mask-wearing and to implement other safety measures in advance of schools reopening in Salt Lake City, Utah [AP Photo/Rick Bowmer] 

“We will fight on all fronts for the safety of our students and their educators,” Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, said during the union’s virtual convention on Tuesday. “But if authorities don’t protect the safety and health of those we represent and those we serve, as our executive council voted last week, nothing is off the table.”

The group said school buildings should open only in areas where coronavirus infections are low enough and if schools enact certain safety measures.

According to Johns Hopkins University, more than 4.3 million Americans have contracted the virus, and more than 149,000 have died, leading the world in both figures.

Further highlighting the tension around the issue, while school districts in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and Houston have announced they will all begin the school year online only, the Texas Education Agency, the state’s overseer of public education, said it would deny funding to schools that delay in-person classes because of orders by local health authorities related to the pandemic.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued guidance that health authorities cannot impose “blanket” school closures for coronavirus prevention. Any such decision is up to school officials, he said.

Source –


Muntu Blocked in Kamwenge



Alliance for National Transformation presidential candidate Gen. Mugisha Muntu has been blocked from campaigning in Kamwenge according to a statement he released earlier today.Below is the full statement:

Today in Kamwenge, as we have done since the start of the campaign season, we headed out to speak with the people. We had earlier in the week agreed on the venue with security agencies. No one had anticipated that it would rain as much as it did, making it impossible for us or the people to access.

After identifying an alternative place only 100m away from the original venue, negotiating with the owner and communicating the same to the public, we headed to the second venue only to be stopped by police.

Our policy has always been to do all we can to be reasonable, even in the face of unreasonable action on the part of the state. We engaged the police leadership in a civilized, respectable manner well knowing that they intended to not only frustrate us, but cause us to act in ways that would give them an excuse to cause chaos. This was on top of their intimidating the radio we had booked and duly paid to appear on.

While we are confident that we are on the right side of both the law and reason, we have chosen not to endanger the lives of our supporters or the general public by escalating the situation. We will do everything humanly possible to avoid a single life being lost or blood being shed on account of our campaign.

And yet this truth remains: the regime’s days are numbered.



Continue Reading


Is Johnson Byabashaija courting Enid Kukunda for protection?



The very amiable Commissioner General of Prisons Canon Johnson Byabashaija was recently sighted with President Y K Tibuhaburwa Museveni’s second wife Enid Kukunda as the two had a very secretive meeting in one of the city hangouts.

According to our informers, the two seem to be in a deep conversation that they wouldn’t allow a housefly pass around. However, sources further reveal that Byabashaija could have courted the second lady for protection given that he has amassed a lot of wealth and could be a subject of investigations.

Our sources reveal that Byabashaija who carries himself as Mr.I know it all hasn’t met Madam Enid alone but a host of others with connections to the centre of power in the country.

We will bring you more detail

Continue Reading


Bobi Wine released on Bail



Presidential candidate and kyadondo East legislator Hon. Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu has been realeased on bail by the Iganga magistrates court where he appeared to defend himself against accusations of flouting COVID-19 campaign SOPs. A defiant Kyagulanyi took the opportunity to blast the incumbent Yoweri Museveni, whom he accuses of using state power to quell dissident.

This follows a tense week that has seen thousands injured and several dead following Hon. Kyagulanyi’s arrest earlier this week. Demonstrations and riots erupted in many parts of the country and heavy police and army deployment was seen all over the country.

Continue Reading