- Approximately 1.7 billion learners across the world have been affected by school closures because of the novel coronavirus.
- UNESCO suggests distance learning as a temporary solution; however, it brings a new set of problems in itself.
- The lack of social contact can be difficult for kids, which is another problem that is a result of schools closing down.
The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic has affected every aspect of our society. Our daily lives have changed, and we still do not know when things will go back to the way they were. Perhaps the thing that was mostly affected by this pandemic is the educational systems worldwide.
It is believed that approximately 1.7 billion learners have been affected by the outbreak due to school closures. UNESCO reports that 192 countries implemented closures, and this event has made an impact on the entirety of the student population worldwide.
These closures do not impact just the students. They also impact the teachers and their families but also have much deeper societal and economic consequences. Since the schools have been shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many other problems have risen to the surface, many of which we were not noticing before. Some of those problems include student debt, food insecurity, access to child care, digital learning, and access to the internet.
The disadvantaged children were impacted even more severely. UNESCO recommended distance learning programs as a temporary solution while advocating the usage of various educational platforms and tools teachers can use. There are multiple consequences of school closures, and we will talk about them in more detail in this article.
6. Lack Of Social Contact
An important part of early-life socialization comes from social contact with other children. Since kids are forced to stay at home because of the novel coronavirus, they are missing out on an important aspect of their development. This is something that cannot be avoided, and there is no solution to this problem.
Human interaction is something everyone needs, especially children. It can become troublesome, trying to keep them happy at home, while making them keep up with the school tasks, but we need to try to make it work. This will not last forever, and once it is done, things will hopefully get back to normal. When they grow up, the kids will thank us for being with them through these difficult times.
5. The Outcomes Of Learning
The outcomes of student learning will most likely be negatively affected by the closure of schools. This has deprived many young people of the opportunity to learn, develop, and grow, and distance learning is not a good enough replacement for actual classes. When we take the fact that parents are expected to facilitate their kids’ learning habits, we realize how hard it can be.
Parents are not trained to do it, so even with the best intentions, they will never perform the task as well as actual teachers. Another danger of schools closing is student drop-out rates, which can increase during that time. It can be challenging getting all of the students to return to school once the closures are over.
4. Nutrition Insecurity
During the cognitive development in children, nutrition can be extremely important. It also plays an integral role in their academic performance. All over the world, large numbers of kids rely on their free or discounted school meals to get them through the day. However, with schools being closed, it is hard to keep up the nutritional habits.
A little known fact is that school lunch programs in the United States are the second largest anti-hunger initiative, the first one being food stamps. Some schools whose students are disproportionately affected by poverty are creating special networks to provide food to those in need. The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic hit some people harder than others, and we need to be there for each other during times like these.
3. Childcare Made Difficult
Schools closing down creates an enormous strain for parents and guardians and makes their lives much more difficult than it needed to be in these times. They are expected to provide healthcare and be in charge of their children’s distance learning while working at the same time. If they are working during the time their children need to be distance learning, it can create numerous problems like the kids behaving irresponsibly.
2. The Problems With Distance Learning
Not everyone has the same access to technology or the internet, and this can prove to be a big problem when it comes to distance learning. This mostly happens with students in rural areas and those coming from disadvantaged families. UNESCO suggested distance learning, but it has proven to be challenging to execute well enough. Most libraries have closed due to the COVID-19 outbreak, and this created more difficulties for students without the internet at home.
1. Strain On The Health-Care System
This is an unexpected and unintended consequence of the school closures, but it is becoming a problem. Since women are often working in healthcare and many of them are unable to attend work because of childcare obligations, this creates a strain on the system. Children are free from school due to the closures, and their mothers choose to stay at home with them, which means medical facilities are experiencing a shortage of workers.