Let overseas students self-isolate at Christmas

While for the most part I have been in agreement with how everything has been handled during this pandemic, I have recently found myself frustrated with the lack of consideration of the overseas students with respect to the mandated two-week hotel quarantine requirement upon return.  

The anxiety of how this next school year will play out is rapidly building for many parents and students. Understandably, the choice to send our children to boarding [school] is not empathised with, as many hold the views that boarding or overseas studies is reserved for the rich and elite. I assure this is not always the case. 

There are many reasons a parent decides to send their child away for school; it is not always due to wealth and entitlement. As a divorced single mother and sole provider, I made the decision to send my son to boarding school due to my belief it was best for his future, and my career required much travel. 

Some students go for behavioural issues or learning disabilities to a school that is better equipped to support them. It is a sacrifice for most families financially to make this decision. Schools are not flexible in the middle of GCSE or sixth form programmes. Many students would be held back one or two years if they tried to enrol here rather than return abroad. 

There is also not space in our schools for this solution. Options need to be looked into, such as ankle bracelets or apps with GPS check-in. Many of us were able to successfully self-isolate upon returning our students and abide by the rules. The thought that our students will spend Christmas break in a hotel, only to be released in time to fly back, is heartbreaking. 

There are many students and parents in this same situation on this island, locals and work-permit holders, and our children have never known another country as their home. Please give them and us the respect to be able to self-isolate with their families this upcoming school year. There are solutions other than a $2,600 hotel stay.  

Cheri Langston

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