Among the many buzzwords that have become part of our now common ‘COVID-language’, words such as postponed or cancelled have been consistent in reminding us of how unrelentingly frustrating the pandemic has been and, unfortunately, continues to be for many of Wales’ key industries. There is no doubt that the cancellations and postponements have placed an enormous strain on both the arts and the hospitality sectors, for example. The public’s opinions on the reopening, or indeed, the delayed reopening of schools, however, are much more varied.

For some people, the start of the school term normally signifies somewhat of a shift back to a more manageable routine, where parents can perhaps more easily balance their work and home lives, and children can again see their friends in person. 

For other parents, and for the children themselves, the prospect of re-entering classrooms full of other people during a particularly challenging period amid the pandemic, is incredibly daunting. Owning a computer is a privilege, and for some families who have no or limited access to a device, online learning is simply not possible. 

In some instances, home is not a safe environment for the children, while for those with additional learning needs, not being able to leave the house means that they don’t have access to the additional care they require. Whatever the setting may be, I’m sure that everybody would agree that during this lockdown, people are tired and people need grace. 


Amidst these contrasting views, and as the Government deliberates over the reopening of schools, what might our response as God’s people be? First, let’s commit to being a nation that responds to fear and confusion with intentional prayer. For the youngest school children who may be confused as to why there are delays and restrictions in place, or for the oldest school pupils who may fear for the outcome of future assessments or that they themselves might be spreading the virus, let’s pray that God’s supernatural love and protection would be in our country’s school buildings and online lessons. 

Finally, let’s pray for teachers and support staff who have selflessly rolled with the punches of various lockdowns, that God would strengthen them and encourage them during an academic year that has stretched their capacity, and that He would show them much grace. 

In health and social care minister Vaughan Gething’s recent interviews, he stressed the importance of patience during this season. Whether we agree or disagree with the reopening of schools, let’s remember to be patient with one another, to show grace and, importantly, to commit ourselves to prayer.