The article “COVID-19: Ministry of Education says 'school is the best place for students to learn'” explains the decisions of the government of British Columbia for keeping the schools open for primary and highschool amid a pandemic.
The article written by Ben Wilson and Hana Mae Nassar can be accessed at COVID-19: Ministry of Education says 'school is the best place for students to learn' (citynews1130.com).
In summary, this article digs into the importance of making sure that the young student keeps an in-person education for their emotional well-being by keeping the schools open. They also argue that in-person learning is more beneficial and efficient than in virtual classes. A moral dilemma arises, because many parents in the region of Vancouver have voiced their concerns. Many of them think that opening schools would be a mistake by risking everyone’s health. On the other end, the Ministry of Education as explained that “most COVID cases involving staff or students have not resulted in further transmission within schools, which tells us COVID-19 safety protocols are working” (Nassar & Wilson, 2021). The principles seen in this dilemma are those of education and mental wellbeing for the pupils against the risks of spreading the virus and killing more victims.
Ethics of Care is a belief in morality based around caring and humanity rather than what is thought to be right. First of all, ethics of care would address this dilemma with “The Veil of Ignorance” developed by John Rawls, a famous philosopher in the 20th century. This would ensure that we do not calculate our own interests in the situation to determine the ‘fair’ course of action. Then, we would need to make sure that our decision is beneficial for the future generations for a sustainable development.
Thus, for the ethics of care, we would argue that children must attend school in person, because they represent the future generations. By attending school, they might accentuate the spread of the virus, but their mental health would be positively affected. Gilligan highlights “the importance of caretaking and healthy attachments in the basis fabric of human well-being” (1982). In the ethics of care, we would consider the negative impacts on the student’s mental health and educational progression and conclude that they should support their needs, because we would access their situations with compassion and interdependence of self / others. Thus, future generations would gain more from in-person education for the reason written above. This premise is based upon compassion and humane beliefs for the students who would in the other case fail at higher rates and face depression more frequently, which would both affect their offspring and further generations gravely.