Because of the Covid-19 ... did we miss the school year?

Mendive. Revista de Educación, July-august 2020; 18(3):452-456

Translated from the original in Spanish

Because of the Covid-19... did we miss the school year?


A causa de la Covid-19… ¿perdimos el curso escolar?


Por causa do Covid-19... perdemos o ano letivo?


Mayra Ordaz Hernández

Universidad de Pinar del Río "Hermanos Saíz Montes de Oca". ORCID: E-mail:


Perhaps you have asked yourself this question these days; probably you have heard it in the mouths of any of his relatives, friends or colleagues. It is that the idea of the abrupt interruption of the school year, totally unpublished, and inconceivable just a few months ago, has perhaps been included among so many concerns and occupations that the whirlwind of this pandemic has catapulted to the first places in the pyramid of our motivations.

The School Year, like this, with capital letters, is like an entity that has determined a large part of the routines of many families. Beginning and end of plans and aspirations, which gradually has led to new generations, to climb the mountain of knowledge and to obtain qualifications and diverse degrees which, to the way of the the modern games, when beating objectives and challenges of a level, It allows to access to other higher and more complex new one; almost always with similar emotions of joy and triumph.

See if it is important, that in spite of the tremendous involvement generated by the current pandemic  to health, the economy,  trade and communications of all kinds internationally, to name a few; many nations have also been concerned and generated alternatives to continue the School Year; from sophisticated initiatives with "the most modern technologies" (and lucky the apprentices who can access, because they also have" the most modern technologies") to more or less modest variants , depending on the possibilities and priorities of governments, to facilitate the access to the contents programmed for each of the school levels.

So far, I do not know how you will respond to the question that heads these letters. In my case, the aforementioned differences generated by the nation constitute a reason to go to an answer that helped me to stay away from the categorical: "it depends". Another reason has to do with a common fact in the field of the social sciences: It is difficult to ensure that the expected result is achieved homogeneously. The initiatives and intentions emerged at the macro level, to keep the school year in routines and that his teachings arrive at the desired destination, are crossed, not only for the actual living conditions of social community but also by the possibilities, interests and priorities of the families and cohabitants in the students' houses, in their leading role as a mediation group between individual  and society.

Note that this role has grown. The mediation of the family fills the cotidianity of the students; it is present in practically all teaching- learning activities in which they are involved, given the circumstances of cessation and and / or modification of contacts with educational agents at the school. I remember some words of José Alberto "Pepe" Mujica, president of Uruguay, related to the role that corresponds to each of these socializing agencies:

At home you learn to: say hello, say thank you, be clean, be honest, be punctual, be correct, speak well, don't say rude words, respect others, be supportive, and eat with your mouth closed, don't steal, don't lie, take care of property and the property of others, and be organized. At school, students learn: mathematics, Spanish, science, social studies, English, geometry, and reinforce the values that parents have instilled in their children. (s f)

From this perspective, the flexible character that I propose to answer our question is reaffirmed. Because in some houses, far from losing the school year it may be  gaining, if the family, besides taking seriously and systematically the accompanying of their children during variants of the "learning online" of science and letters; they also take advantage of the time to reinforce the elements of civic education, moral, values and social skills that prepare them for  interpersonal relationships, collaborative work in teams, to meet responsibilities and make sacrifices on behalf of collective interests. Of course, in all families this challenge is not being similarly assumed.

Also you earn the school year if families combine learning aimed at the common good, with others that, without discarding them, are taxed at finding the growth and personal well - being. If new generations are trained (and hopefully, incidentally, some not so new that need it) at the favorable management of their emotions, the cultivation of the humility, self - esteem, honesty, dignity, independence, and other some qualities, those that suggest our great  masters: "Enrich the intelligence is good, it is useful, it is essential. So is strengthening the body, training the hand and sharpening the senses. But having done all that, there is still the best to do: gently shape the heart, wisely direct behavior, temper the character"(Varona, 1902).

Recently, and in pandemic times, we found in social networks other publications that reinforce these ideas and promote reflections related to the necessary integration between instruction  and education. Some of them deal with the subject matter that concerns us: the interruption of the School Year in its most frequent and traditional modality of systematic attendance at school, to promote the face-to-face meeting between students and teachers. One of the first ones that I enjoyed, and that motivated these reflections, is entitled, precisely, "What happens if the children miss the school year?

And if instead of learning math they learn to cook? How to sew your clothes? To clean? To garden in the yard? If they learn to sing songs to their grandparents or younger siblings? If they learn to take care of their pets (…) to be more responsible and connected with the whole family at home? If we parents teach them to be good people? If they learn and know that being together and healthy is much better than having the latest fashion cell phone? (Loyal, 2020)

The author in the blog aprendoyeduco .com  and say sthat, if children learn all of these, maybe we do not lose a year, we gain a tremendous future.  

Under a less optimistic title: "An anti-pedagogical virus", I found other reflections on how the corona virus has an impact on the educational system. It argues that this situation has put on the table the need to strengthen the relationship of complicity between family and school; the guidance in organizing time, tasks and routines; to recognize that emotional education and social cohesion can not be out of the curriculum and recognize that the battle against the virus, the environment or digital citizenship, is to a personal level and to level too (I Vila, sf).

We come here to a fundamental variable, on which it also depends if the school year (and many other events) lost or win: the individual. Its uniqueness, their character "unique or unrepeatable", is one of the few issues on which we can appreciate some consensus among the abundant and diverse theories about personality. We have a proof, when interacting with other people, we glimpse through their language, behavior and attitudes, just a glance of the unique network of their individuality, which resembles a track fingerprint.

I remember one of the first explanations for this phenomenon , I found at the delve in the bulky and intimidating " Rubinstein ", which surprisingly was friendly and transparent in their arguments to the internal through the external; the unique relationship between consciousness and activity; the traits of the character, that mark the stamp, the seal of each individual or; his concrete and historical character, which is formed and transformed through life, just to mention some of his ideas on this subject (Rubinstein, 1967) .

The uniqueness of the interpretations and reactions of each individual, also explained from social psychology, in analyzing the status that we assumed and the roles we play. It determine to be necessary to unfold, to divide   and to multiply in front of the great quantity of demands and expectations of others.  Think how different social actors, for example, school work, have reacted do to social isolation, staying at home, closing schools, teleporting with his teaching TV teaching...

¿ Did we lose the school year? Imagine that responds the teacher who enjoys his work, the relationship face to face with their students ... to which he delayed his program, which must now change so that with sleepless nights he planned, anticipating the reactions of his students ... and teacher, for whom your profession is not so pleasant...

That responds the student waiting for entrance exams to college ... the one  of the last year, which is threatening the long - awaited graduation, postponed their plans and dreams ... which is alleviated , at the least temporarily, from the stress of the evaluation and the verdict that opens or not, doors to purpose and hopes ... the one who has taken off a load and enjoys leisure ... And the one who has his partner at school, his friends, from whom he has had to distance himself ...

That families  who have the educational function of their children as their priorities respond to ... those who have more or less possibilities to consciously organize positive influences in their education ... those who consider that this responsibility corresponds to the school ...

That answers the directive committed with its organization, now immersed in the concerns generated by a new management education in a dynamic end and flexible to changing traditional and safe orders, for missions such novel and unexpected, as important ... And the affluent manager, enemy of change, who felt happy in daily routines and has been forced out of his comfort zone...

The list of responses would be extensive, marked by what is related to each individual, their groups, their society. And related to relativity, I remember a few words of Albert Einstein contained in a letter addressed to his daughter Lieserl. He expressed his wish that they be socialized 20 years after his death, which indicates that these reasoning predate April 1955:

After humanity's failure to use and control the other forces of the universe, which have turned against us, it is urgent that we feed on another kind of energy. If we want our species to survive, if we intend to find meaning in life, if we want to save the world and every being that lives in it, love is the only and the last answer. (sf)

The invitation is to put love to our responses to this situation, to assimilate its challenges and transform every possible edge, into an opportunity to be creative, optimistic, eternal learners  for your own good and the common good. The invitation to use the time we have been given, to compensate for the present what we have lost  (from this School Year and for the rest of our plans ) . And propose for the future, restructure our purposes and ways of life, which will be more altruistic, helpful  and worthy  . "When the storm passes / and roads amansen (...) then we will remember / everything that we lost / once we will learn / everything that is not learned" (Valdes, 2020).



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