'2020 is my daughter's final year of primary school, and we both feel ripped off.'

Let’s face it, none of us school mums are loving the situation we’re in at the moment, but my heart is especially sore for the students in Year 6 or Year 12.

I can’t help but feel that these kids have been ripped off in what should be the most pivotal and exciting year of their schooling life.

Right now my daughter should be happily strutting onto school grounds in her Year 6 Class of 2020 jersey, proudly showing off her name. She and her fellow Year 6’ers should be parading around the playgrounds feeling like they rule the school…finally.

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These kids should be relishing in their leadership roles and savouring the excitement of the Year 6 school musical and other end-of-year celebration preparations.

Instead, I have a daughter at home who is longing to be with her peers for their final year. She misses her friends. It’s just not the same trying to interact with them online, especially when the novelty wears off, she says.

I have a daughter who is apprehensive about whether she will be forced to repeat a year of schooling if she doesn’t take to the online learning platform. She’s feeling disappointed, as she had set such clear learning goals for herself this year.

I have a daughter who is now frightened that she is not going to be as prepared for high school as she really wants to be.

I have a daughter at home who’s watching endless re-runs of The Nanny, learning Tik Tok dances and watching copious amounts of YouTube because in her eyes, there’s nothing else to do when we’re not allowed out of the house.


There is no blame or finger-pointing going on in our home. We know that everyone from the Government to teachers and the parents themselves are doing their best to prevent the spread of coronavirus and to keep the schools operating and their children learning the best way they can.

However, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to feel positive about my child’s final year of primary school when I have no reassurance or clear idea myself what to tell her — other than that we have to take it one day at a time.

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I felt so confident for her going into this school year; that all my anxieties about sending her to school at age four washed away knowing she made it to Year 6 alongside her peers.

Now, I’m finding myself frightened that all the hard work and effort she put in during her formative school years will leave her scarred, and a lot less prepared for high school than she would have been.

I know we’re all in this together and yes, we will get through this time, but in the mind of a child who just wants to go to school because she wants to learn and see her friends and teachers, this really means nothing. The online learning platform is great, but not for a child who relishes in human interaction and thrives on face-to-face learning.

It’s been difficult to explain as she really doesn’t understand the enormity of the situation, she just feels ‘ripped off’. Who can blame her?

For her sake and for all those kids like her, I sincerely hope the schools reopen for good soon — because for these kids, especially, they need to.

Lidija Zmisa is a mum of three girls, wife and freelance writer. She has just finished writing her first book for middle-grade readers. You can follow her on Instagram @lidijazmisa

Feature image: supplied.