When speaking of school education, many would easily focus their attention academic outcomes. However, it is important to note that education comprises much more than classroom teaching and assessments. The aim of schooling is to prepare young people for life in future society, and a wide range of personal, social and emotional skills are required in order for them to be successful.
The coronavirus pandemic highlights the indispensable role played by schools in the development of life skills. A group of researchers in the UK recently warned that as a result of widespread school closures, a large number of schoolchildren have forgotten, among other things, how to use cutlery. The systematic and disciplined organisation of student life, including meal time and afterschool activities, has a strong educational effect which is now under threat.
While one has reason to be optimistic as educators around the world work tirelessly to prepare for post-COVID normality, it may be added that boarding is a way to maximise the extra-curricular benefits of school education. Boarding houses are typically staffed by professionals with advanced experience in pastoral care. Parents can be reassured that their children would learn to live independently under the supervision and guidance of experts.