Education And COVID-19

Education And COVID-19How COVID-19 Has Impacted Young Peoples Education

Since March 2020, nurseries, schools, colleges and universities around the UK closed due to COVID-19 forcing home schooling nationwide overnight.

The infrastructure to educate over 10 million young people from home was not there, so schools, universities, teachers had to react quickly.

Families needed access to the internet in order to log into virtual classes.  Parents had to adjust their work timetables in order to home school.

Did Your Children Adapt

How many families can put their hands up and say that their children would engage with online learning, do set homework, do ‘learning’ for 5 days a week?

Not many, in fact possibly less than 1% would have done any kind of learning.

With the lure of Youtube, X-box and the stress of not seeing their friends, the mental stress and health effects on young people is a topic all of its own.

What About Exams

Exams such as GCSE’s and A-levels were graded based on predicted grades (which is possibly great for any students due to sit exams)

Exams for 2021 hang in the balance due to the new strains of the Chinese virus as it mutates.  It is expected that exams in 2021 will be delayed, but with vaccine rollouts, there may be hope.

It is predicted that the effects of home schooling will impact the entire generation.

What About Early Years

A big part of young children learning and developing social skills is engaging with each other and playing.  3-6 year olds possibly were effected the most by lockdown, unable to engage with their friends, teachers and people outside the immediate family.

Zoom meetings do not really work for 3-6 year olds as they need the engagement with their peers to develop a wide range of skills.

Online Learning Vs Classroom Learning

Since not all communication is verbal, online learning is a distant second to classroom learning, however the choices were limited during the pandemic.  No-one thought the pandemic would last as long as it had.

As we go through 2021, online learning is something we have now adapted to, and may well be a big part of education in the future for all age groups.

Learning online may well be the way forwards when the pandemic finishes and the education system has time to reflect on the pro’s and con’s.

Challenges For The Government

Not only did the government need to put procedures together overnight, but they needed to update the website with thousands of new information pages.  Guidance for universities, guidance for schools etc.

The UK government was under immense pressure to act and react to the COVID pandemic, with death rising and questions being asked.

Financial Burden On Education

Ever school has a website, every university has a website, and all need to be updated with COVID-19 information.

Information leaflets need to be designed and set up, banners need to be produced advising a 2m distance.  Hands face space are now in every school in the UK, all produced by marketing companies around the UK.

The financial strain on the education system to quickly update every website is huge.  Not forgetting setting up online learning from each website so that students can log in and do virtual lessons.

Nutrition And Education

A big topic in summer 2020 was school meals, since some families rely heavily on school dinners to feed their children.

Childhood obesity has been a topic in the media for years, Jamie Oliver focused on school dinners to combat this new problem back in 2018.

Many children take packed lunches into school.  This could be a sandwich, a chocolate biscuit, some crisps, but how healthy is this?

Sugar is a big problem these days as our food is packed with sugar especially fast food, which is very popular with young people.

Welfare Of Our Young People

As we can see, education covers a broad range of topics, not just academic learning.

As adults, we are today what we experienced in our early years.  If we were bullied at school, the scars will still be there.  If we got involved in crime or dugs, the effects will still haunt us.

Young people going through this pandemic will be effected on many levels, not just missing out on an academic year of learning, but a broad range of issues.

Many psychologists have discussed the effects that the lockdown will and has caused on the younger generation.

Looking To The Future

The effects of COVID-19 and education will be with us for many years, many decades as young people move through education and into the wider world.

How we handle the next few months and years to protect and support our young people to reduce the damage COVID-19 and lockdown has caused is important.

New pandemics may well crop up as we develop our medical and defence industries.  Was COVID-19 an accident or not is the question that will be asked once the pandemic nears it’s end.

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