Now more than ever, ASIJ students are feeling the loss of the end of their school year and the separation from their friends and teachers. Many of us right now probably aren’t feeling too good about ASIJ’s situation. But, putting things into perspective, ASIJ actually has one of the best possible situations regarding the coronavirus pandemic. It’s important to remember our privilege and opportunity, especially in these turbulent times.
In the US, 15% of students don’t have access to high-speed internet to complete distance learning tasks. Every student at ASIJ has a laptop or iPad. Many students elsewhere aren’t even able to “attend” virtual school and while that may seem nice for a few weeks, these students can’t go anywhere or do anything else, and they will face a widening educational gap. On top of that, many students attending public schools in the US rely on school-provided meals such as breakfast and lunch if they come from low-income families. With schools closed, these students can’t receive the meals they rely on either.
Finally, the coronavirus situation in Tokyo, though serious, is relatively mild compared to many other places around the world. We are still able to leave our houses and get some fresh air. We can go outside, albeit more cautiously, and enjoy the remaining sakura.
Beyond having continued access to school, we have a wonderful team of teachers working tirelessly to provide the best quality of education to us every day. Our counselors and administrators are also working very hard to make distance learning the best possible experience in keeping us connected as a community through regular survey feedback. Our teachers and other high school staff really care about us, and it’s important to remember and appreciate that during this time. The least we can do is say thank you, and fill out those quick surveys to help them help us.