AsiaGlobal Voices

Trending Opinions From Across the Region

AsiaGlobal Voices is a curated feed of summaries of opinion articles, columns and editorials published in local languages in media from across Asia.

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Quarantine Vs Commemorations
Friday, May 22, 2020
Quarantine Vs Commemorations

MSM Ayub, Deputy Editor and columnist, in Daily Mirror (May 22, 2020)

Summary by Alejandro Reyes (Photo credit: Indi Samarajiva)

Quarantine Vs Commemorations

Is quarantine a method of punishment? That may be a good question to ask after watching police prevent Northern Province politicians from commemorating Tamils who were killed during the civil war that ended 11 years ago.

While the government was preparing to commemorate the members of the armed forces and the police who laid down their lives in the fight against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), Northern politicians planned a commemoration of those Tamils, including members of the LTTE, who were killed in the war. 

The government, despite its opposition to those events, had not banned them. But the police used the public-health instructions to prevent the Tamil politicians and the Northern people from attending.  

The quarantine process was perceived as a method for isolating people infected with the coronavirus. The police warned former Northern Province chief minister CV Wigneswaran, who was heading to a commemoration, that they would punish him with quarantine if he disobeyed, even though he and his followers said that they would adhere to health requirements. 

Wigneswaran proceeded to the venue with police permission. He and his group travelled in separate vehicles, wearing face masks. Yet the police later consulted the higher authorities before they prevented him from attending the event. The government had instructed the police not to allow gatherings because of the Covid-19 threat. If he had disobeyed, they could have arrested him.

The importance placed on these events by the Tamil politicians and media indicates the vast division among communities 11 years after the end of the war. The government’s position on the commemoration of Tamils killed in the war is not clear. Is it illegal to hold such events? If so, why didn’t the government ban those commemorations under the relevant law without citing the coronavirus threat?

Home Education in a Crisis – Emulate Discipline of Tea Planters
Friday, April 24, 2020
Home Education in a Crisis – Emulate Discipline of Tea Planters

Summary by Alejandro Reyes

Home Education in a Crisis – Emulate Discipline of Tea Planters

The COVID-19 pandemic poses many questions regarding school education. One is why should students return to school at all if technology was used effectively in providing knowledge during this break?

Students have enjoyed using devices to download tutorials sent to them by teachers. One of the advantages is that the students can pick the time of learning. But experts warn that still parents must have some control over their children in the use of learning devices due internet use.

Parents must still make children have a set time to get up and go to sleep. They must also ensure children have regular meal times. Experts also recommend regular breaks and time for children to engage in physical activities.

We can take a cue from the planting community in tea estates. Most planters are alone and away from families; hence there is a tendency for them to go “wild”. Most trainee managers are advised to dress for meals even when they are alone in their bungalow. This is because a person with authority when alone can develop unhealthy or unbecoming habits. Dressing up is a reminder to these planters that discipline is important. Students locked down at homes during this pandemic must follow this habit of planters in maintaining discipline.

The COVID-19 pandemic made the educational authorities accelerate the development of the online learning process. This crisis will push educational authorities to demand more from technology experts and the latter will in return have to sweat to upgrade their devices. Home education using technology opened the eyes of teachers to new dimensions in education. But it also underscored the fact that the life lessons learned inside the boundaries of the school can never be offered by home education, even if the best of technology is used.