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The impact of Covid-19 lockdown on children

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New Delhi, May 07: While coronavirus continues to spread across the globe, many countries have decided to close schools as part of a social distancing policy in order to slow transmission of the virus.

However, these closure of schools, has affected the education of more than 1.5 billion children and youth worldwide due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

 How COVID-19 pandemic will affect children’s learning?

It should be noted that the closures of schools are likely to widen the learning gap between children from lower-income and higher-income families.

While many parents with access to technology and internet are increasingly turning to online education technology to keep their kids learning at home while some may not be able to.

In a recent survey from India Welfare Trust, it has shed light on how children are bearing the brunt of the unprecedented outbreak

According to the survey, 89 per cent of respondents believe that their children's learning will be affected by the delay due to the delay in lifting down the coronavirus lockdown.

The survey was conducted in the 1st week of May 2020. 238 responses were received from 200+ organisations across India.

Take a look at some more questions asked during the survey:

When do people think schools will reopen?

•46 per cent estimate it for August

•22 per cent think it will be September

•23 per cent think it will be as early as June or July

•9 per cent expected it to be later or depending on the zone or were uncertain. Only 1 person felt they would reopen in May.

•There were 238 responses

What can help narrow the learning gap?

Helping teachers, followed by parents, were seen as the most important steps to be taken. Schools were next and digital self learning was seen as the least important of these 4 approaches.

Availability of online resources

• A vast majority felt that Online resources are typically either paid or not of very high quality. The pricing issue was sharply felt in self-learning, while the quality issue was a significant concern for teaching-learning aids.

• About 10% felt that good quality resources were available online.

What are the hurdles to enabling learning?

• Basic internet access to children is the biggest hurdle. Parents can't afford recharges and/or the child doesn't get access to the device in urban areas. In many cases, the family may not even own a smart phone.

Availability of "facilitators" to help with the learning process is the next most important need, followed by access to free self learning tools.

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