Hi everyone! My name is Anna, I am 16 years old, I’m from Colombia but I live in China and I’m studying French ab initio through Pamoja.

Anna here after a long time!! I have been extremely busy with going back to school. As I mentioned in the previous entry, things in China are trying to go back to ‘normal’, and part of daily activities and routines turning into a ‘new normality’ includes going back to school… It has been crazy, everything has been extremely different, new and a little complicated and definitely exhausting.

Safe school

It was very hard for our school to get approval from Wuxi Education Bureau to reopen. A lot of tests and visits from the government had to be made as well as re-arrangements in classrooms, in the canteen, in the buses, even in the procedures for students to be able to enter to the school.

In the front door of the school a temperature check stand was installed as well as a disinfection zone. For the first two weeks we had to wear our N-95 masks all the time, we were not allowed to take them off even outside closed spaces.

Social Distance was carried out strictly to the point of having marks on the floor for students to know where to stand. One week later, we were told we could take off our masks outside the classrooms, we still had to maintain the social distance.

The weirdest part of school was lunch time, students used to joke that it felt as if we were in jail. In one table, there can only be one person, and all of us had to be sitting facing the same side of the canteen, nobody was allowed to talk with anyone and nobody could wait for anyone. Actually, the canteen rules are still like this.

Fortunately, since this week the Wuxi Education Bureau has allowed for students and teachers to attend to school without mask, which is actually great, because having the mask all day is quite annoying.

Just until this week, first and second graders were allowed into the school, early years students have not been allowed to come again. Still, students in my school, including me, are all very grateful for being able to go to school at all, we are aware we are part of the extremely small number of students who are actually able to attend to face-to-face classes, and that makes us privileged.

New challenges

Now that we are happily back in school, we are able to share time with our friends and learn directly from our teachers instead of from the computer, but we are encountering new challenges.

The biggest one is parents. During online learning, I guess you all understand, not every student completed the activities and assignments, and some did not even follow the lessons. This lead to classes to restart with a lot of different mixed levels of knowledge.

As from today, the school day has been lengthened for one hour, we will have to study on three Saturdays, and parents are requesting for summer vacations to be shortened.

Students believe, at least those who actually worked during online learning, this is unfair, but still, it is good enough to at least be at school.

A lot of us have had the chance to get to know each other more, as we are not allowed to spend break time indoors. We have been playing volleyball a lot as well as basketball and different games which are kind of traditional for each of the cultures of the different students in our school.

We are very glad to be back, and can’t wait for the rest of the students around the world to be able to go to school again. As we slowly get over this challenging phase, it is only left to heal, learn and don’t make the same mistakes again…

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