Why returning to in-person school is better than remaining virtual

A student stays up late at night to finish their assignments that are due at 11:59 p.m..

Photo used with permission from Google Commons

A student stays up late at night to finish their assignments that are due at 11:59 p.m..

Waking up five minutes before the start of a Zoom class, rarely going to virtual check-ins, and going on TikTok instead of paying attention to the teacher are things that a large portion of students have experienced during online learning. 

Being distracted by family members, having an unstable internet connection, and taking care of siblings are also difficulties that students have had to deal with during these circumstances. In-person learning gets rid of all of these distractions and barriers, while also allowing students to interact with teachers as well as each other in a more meaningful way. Students have been participating in virtual learning since last March, but it is time to head back to in-person learning. 

Students have already missed out on important knowledge, and although they won’t be able to gain back everything that they had to skip over, they will learn much more in person than they ever would in a virtual setting. Sophomore Humza Sehbai said, “Most of my friends that I have been talking to feel like we haven’t been learning as much or as well this year, and I feel like most of that is because of the environment we are learning in.” 

The grades this year have not been representative of every student’s effort in a class. This is due to rampant cheating and the fact that some teachers allow the use of notes, while others do not. Also, there are teachers who accept late work, but there are also teachers who don’t, so the teacher who a student has could impact their grade more than the amount of work that they have been putting in. Freshman Jai Ahuja said, “Though online school may be beneficial to many students’ GPA, it is detrimental to their education. I myself know many students who haven’t had the faintest idea of what a mole is, yet have a 97 percent in honors chemistry.”

… there can be no debating that online learning has taken an unmistakable toll on students, families and educators.”

— Larry Hogan

Families had to make changes and sacrifices to adapt to this virtual environment, but many of these changes have caused hardships, whether it be social or financial. Governor Larry Hogan said, “Far too many students remain unable to thrive in such an environment and there can be no debating that online learning has taken an unmistakable toll on students, families and educators.” 

Virtual learning further increases the education gap because students from low-income areas are more likely to have worse internet and not have enough space to learn in a quiet and peaceful environment. Constantly being kicked out of Zoom classes and having tests barely load are important and impactful educational problems for students right now. Returning to the school building would get rid of these problems entirely and guarantee that students would all receive the same education and learn in the same circumstances.

Although in-person schooling would mean that students have to wake up earlier, it would ensure that the education that students receive would be much closer to equal, instead of heavily skewed toward the wealthy, while also allowing students to have social interaction, which is essential to a person’s development.