Education during the Pandemic
The pandemic has brought in many changes we were not prepared for. One of the most significant ones is in the way schools are delivering education. All over the world, they have had to radically transform the way they offer educational services as part of the measures that health authorities recommended to prevent the spread of the virus.
According to UNESCO data, more than 861 billion children and young people worldwide stopped having direct physical interaction with each other, with books, chalkboard, and exams. They switched to having contact only through remote access via videoconferences, a to and fro of online documents, chats, and technological tools to continue their educational process.
All this has shown countless problems that revolve around distance education and afflict millions of parents and students. Among the most serious problems, the so-called “digital gap” stands out because having access to a computer, tablet, or cellular equipment with internet access does not guarantee that users know how to use them or that they know the use of platforms that are being created and renewed every day. There are no bad or good players between generations, only cognitive differences.
Another worrisome dilemma is educational equity. According to the World Economic Forum, it is estimated that only 60 percent of the world’s population has access to the internet or does not have technological devices as tools to access distance education.
Also, several questions arise including how is the pandemic affecting children? What are the effects of not being able to interact physically with other children? How are they handling having to stay within a specific area at home? Several psychologists have analyzed these new situations and confirm that not only is it about children missing cohabitation, interacting with other children their age, and playing, but such activities incentivize their personal growth, tolerance to frustration, and management of emotional situations that are experienced away from home.
It isn’t easy to achieve that same emotional well-being through a screen and transmit and promote obvious skills when interacting in society. In many households, there is not adequate space for children to study before doing their classes online. An important factor is the time the parents have available to help them. Sometimes it is not enough to help their children during class hours because they must work and handle household chores simultaneously.
In general, education is one of the main socialization scenarios for humans, which certainly explains its radical transformation in recent months. However, we could also say that education has everything against itself in this age of social restrictions and mobility.
How to help children in times of pandemic?
Various professionals in child and youth behaviors recommend that no matter what socioeconomic level they belong to or the tools they have available during quarantine, it is ideal for parents to establish clear routines for their children, including hours of sleep, play, meals, and study.
Also, if children or young students belong to any sports or gaming team, either in or out of school, it is ideal to keep them in touch with their peers through platforms that allow them to interact in a group setting.