Schools across the nation are transitioning to online classes to promote social distancing so that students may protect themselves from the coronavirus.
COVID-19 has elementary, middle schools, high schools, and colleges urging students to continue schoolwork while they stay safe at home, hopefully in a voluntary quarantine for at least 15 days.
Grambling State University announced it was moving to online classes only on Friday, March 13, and scheduled training for all faculty this week (March 16-20).
Daniel Joof, a senior at GSU, said, “My life has not changed drastically, but it has changed since things are closing and since classes are now online.”
While he is taking things one day at a time, Joof said he is washing his hands more frequently, cleaning more and staying in his dorm room and eating what is in his room until he departs campus later this week.
Also on Friday, Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards ordered all K-12 schools to close and go to online instruction.
Parents who still have to continue to work during this time are concerned that there will not be anyone to watch their kids. Other parents are concerned that there will not be enough food to last them throughout this quarantine time. Numerous school districts and organizations in different states are signing up to commit to still give some families who depend on these schools to give kids at least three meals a day.
Many schools in north central Louisiana are continuing to provide meals for students. The city of Monroe has numerous pick-up sites for students to continue to get fed. Lincoln Parish and Union Parish also have to-go meals available for students.
Many teachers are offering their help and services to supply study lessons to parents online during this difficult time that many parents are not used to. COVID-19 has many families worried, but teachers are standing by one another to make sure students are still in a learning environment.
Students all over Grambling are still finding ways to adjust to this new way of life, and some are struggling to do so.
Many students feel like it is not fair that they are being forced to cram all their assignments online because a lot of classes require demonstrations and vocal communication in order for students to comprehend what is being taught. Classes like set design, algebra and chemistry are 10 times harder when there is no instructor to walk students through the step-by-step process to be successful.
“They expect us to turn into online scholars in a matter of a few days,” junior Cameron Christon said. “It just does not make sense. School is in person for a reason, and it is not fair.”
Students are pretty much walking in the dark at this point, Christon said, not knowing. when in-person classes will resume, how their curriculum and activities such as sports will continue. He said everyone is just waiting not knowing what the future holds.
GSU student Jalien Edwards had other concerns.
“Evacuating campus is a good and a bad thing for students and staff,” said the junior mass communication major. “Students getting the chance to leave early is always a positive, no matter how it is done. On the flip side, students who travel from far places like Florida, California, Missouri and internationally have a hard time getting back home, so it just further proves how this is a sticky predicament” Edwards said.
There is no one answer to how students are adjusting because they are still processing this change. Hopefully, students will be able to look back on this experience and be able to tell someone else how they handled this situation.
■ EDITOR’S NOTE: Jalien Edwards . Deja Miller and Adrian Taylor contributed to this report.