Students have mostly switched to online learning during the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. But according to experts, the switch to online learning came at a cost as many young students have developed health and learning issues.
COVID-19 measures forcing people to stay at home were also unwarranted, especially for healthy children who were at almost zero risk of death even if they got sick.
According to the December 2021 UNESCO, UNICEF and World Bank Report – The State of the Global Education Crisis: A Path to Recovery, children suffered the most from the consequences of the worldwide public policies amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pandemic caused a global disruption to education that “is without parallel” because it has severe effects on learning. Because of the pandemic, education systems across the world screeched to a halt and school closures affected over 1.6 billion learners.
Even though almost every country in the world offered remote learning opportunities for students, the quality and reach of these initiatives varied greatly and weren’t a perfect substitute for in-person learning.
And 21 months later, schools remain closed for millions of children and youth, with millions more at risk of never returning to education. Proof of the negative effects of school closures on children’s learning point to one undeniable truth: that the learning losses are substantial and the most marginalized children and youth are usually disproportionately affected.
The global learning crisis has worsened because of the pandemic. The current generation of students risks losing $17 trillion in lifetime earnings in present value because of school closures or the equivalent of 14 percent of today’s global GDP, a much larger figure compared to the $10 trillion estimated in 2020.
In low- and middle-income countries, the share of children living in Learning Poverty, which was already over 50 percent before the COVID-19 pandemic, will continue to skyrocket by at least 70 percent because of long school closures and the varying quality and effectiveness of remote learning.
Extended lockdowns exposed children to domestic, sexual and physical abuse
Lockdowns, masking polices and school closures have caused “unprecedented damage” to young students over the last two years. In the spring of 2020, a lot of countries chose to shut down schools to try and “slow the spread” of coronavirus infections.
According to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), at least 1.5 billion children worldwide were forced to stay home due to school closure by April 2020. Unfortunately, children with disabilities, marginalized and younger children felt the brunt of school closures. Across students of various ages, closures also affected mental health.
Additionally, the closures resulted in abusive situations. The report suggests that domestic, sexual and physical abuse may have occurred due to extended lockdowns. (Related: COVID-19 lockdowns causing deterioration of children’s mental health.)
Even though by the early summer of 2020 it was clear that healthy children were not at risk for severe disease and that school closures were actually bad for children, many countries, including the U.S., insisted on keeping schools closed.
In America, the authorities claimed that schools remained closed to protect unhealthy, obese, immunosuppressed and elderly family members and school personnel. In other words, the closures were enforced not to protect the children from harm, but to protect society from children.
Yet, research suggests that children do not significantly contribute to the spread of COVID-19 disease. In reality, the adults were usually the ones who infect children. Sadly, the damage done to children is almost incalculable.
The report should be taken as a lesson for school boards, local and state leaders and elected national representatives. The U.S. should prioritize the reopening of schools to help undo the harm that has befallen young students amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Watch the video below as a mother talks about how COVID-19 lockdowns are a risk to the health of young students.
This video is from the What is happening channel on Brighteon.com.
by: Zoey Sky
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