Sunday, January 24, 2021

A big concern ~ the effect of Covid - 19 on education

Education is a right every person should have no matter what gender, age, nationality, race, ethnic origin, skin color and financial situation. Unfortunately that is not the reality still in these so called modern times. 

On International Education Day 2021 it is a big concern that further complications now exist for those who want an education but now can't receive one due to Covid-19 with it's resulting lockdowns with schools shutting down. Some schools have been shut for nearly a year despite overwhelming evidence of the impact on children. At the peak 90% of the worlds' students were affected with a third with no access to remote education. It's a serious situation. 

An estimate of 24 million more children could to be out of school this year! This is depressing as so many countries and organizationns have fought to keep children in school and get children into school. 

Already education standards have dropped, including children's ability to do basic mathematics, reading and writing. Not just their education is suffering, but their wellbeing is also at risk with the poorest and most vulnerable at greatest risk. School gives emotional stability with the care and attention given, mental stimulation, the social interation, physical activities and in many cases also food that they don't get if they are at home. If at home all the time some are more vulnerable to physical, mental and sexual abuse. In some countries they are greatly at risk of being forced into a child marriage or into child labor as they are often an unwanted burden on the family.  

Hopefully many countries will be able to do what Vietnam has been doing since schools opened and that is providing classes to fill in the gaps they were missing from being out of school or if they were unable to do online lessons. It has meant many weekends in school, but they do have the chance to catch up at least, although it has been tiring for the school and university students. 

It is thought that if children are faced with another year of school closure the effect may even be felt for generations! Closures should be a last resort as some research has shown that schools are not a place of concern when looking at the spread of the virus. Essential procedures at schools should be put in place so children do not suffer, remain safe, nourished and educated! 

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