Keep schools open for summer
Reflecting on the government’s latest virus announcements, I’m torn between the delight about being able to go out to eat or over to family and friends while disappointed at the lack of movement in terms of getting kids back to school.
Our kids’ education seems to have been put well and truly on the back burner by a government hell-bent on listening to the teachers’ unions telling them teachers couldn’t possibly teach on Zoom or similar online platforms for fear of being judged by the parents or, worse still, hiding behind the façade of a safeguarding concern.
Never has the divide between state and private education been so wide as, understandably, the private schools need to protect their income by interacting with their students on a daily basis.
Teachers work hard, but no harder than any other diligent working member of society. However, the government has allowed them to drop the ball by focusing its attention on kickstarting the economy (as it should) rather than prioritising education.
Since 15 June the standing joke is that we can queue to get into Primark but we can’t get our kids back into school.
Schools seem to be incapable of thinking outside of the box and are lacking creativity when it comes to finding practical solutions to bringing our kids back to school. Where are the contingency plans? Why hasn’t the government requisitioned other buildings to act as classrooms? Why hasn’t it drafted in trainee and retired teachers or shortened the summer holidays? After so many months of lockdown, the last thing any of us need is another six weeks away from school.
It breaks my heart that my children’s education and mental health is suffering so much.
Daniel Burger, By email
We can’t mask indifference
I read in The Times to my shock that 19 percent of respondents to a survey believe that Jews started the pandemic.
Later that day I finally left my home for the first time in three long months of lockdown to buy some bread from a Hendon bakery. There I saw six male customers were not wearing masks. Neither were the staff in other shops I visited along the high street.
Of course that silly survey was nonsense, but do the residents of Hendon think they’re somehow invincible?
Jamie Griver, By email
hypocritical over statues
I was interested to read Jenni Frazer’s column on the removal of offensive statues (Jewish News, 18 June).
Ms Frazer thinks Black Lives Matter is wrong to call for the removal of statues of those who enslaved their ancestors, yet would, I imagine, endorse the idea of removing a statue of a prominent Nazi. It is odd how someone dismisses someone else’s idea of oppression as unimportant while fighting for the reminders of their own oppressors to be removed.
Sarah Gilbert, Hendon
One benefit to me of lockdown has been the ability to work from home. As a single mother – who through family dysfunction receives no help with my son from either of my siblings – I have found it difficult to get childcare to enable me to get a staff or contract job because my irregular work involves unsocial hours (often till 11pm).
Last year I applied for a full-time, mid-level post at a leading Jewish charity. After two interviews, I was offered the job. I then asked whether they would let me work from home for two days a week, because the commute would have been more than an hour each way and I was a single parent. Certainly not, came the reply. How would we know you were actually working? And we all have to come into the office every day, and we have kids, so you will have to as well.
I was heartbroken. The job would have given me the security I craved. Yet now, the person who got the job is working remotely.
Now I can work long hours, freelance, without having paid childcare. But I missed out on a contract. And the charity missed out on recruiting a hard-working employee.
Name and address supplied, By email
Shock at parking decision
I’m appalled to see parking bays in Edgware have been suspended. This means anyone wishing to shop at Louis Mann, Shefa Mehadrin, Mendys, Hadar, Nat Jacobs, and the local kosher bakeries will be unable to. Along with suspension of parking, loading of goods has been suspended. This will hamper the delivery of food into shops and could well affect the supply chain.
This action was taken without any consultation and the council are using social distancing as a get-out clause. I telephoned a local councillor, Mr Brian Gordon, who appeared to be unaware of the current situation. Social distancing has been reduced to one metre, negating the widening of pavements to accommodate the two-metre advice that is no longer required. I implore local shoppers to write to the counci to complain.
Elaine Mann, Louis Mann Butchers