Mary Repousis Discussed How is the Lockdown Affecting School Children?
NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ, UNITED STATES, March 23, 2021 /EINPresswire.com/ — The pandemic has affected every part of society, but school children may be hit harder than most. 1/3 of children haven’t returned to school since the initial lockdowns began in March 2020. According to long-time teacher Mary Repousis, the lockdown has had some concerning short-term effects on children. The long-term effects remain to be seen, but there are concerns about those as well.
Learning Loss Linked to Socioeconomic Status
The UN estimates that 95% of the world’s schoolchildren have been affected by the lockdown, according to Mary Repousis. The most notable gap occurs in students of lower socioeconomic status. A Dutch study found that students lost 1/5 of quality-adjusted schooling. Most alarming, those at economic disadvantage lost 55% more learning than their affluent counterparts. Other studies have found that in-person learning is more effective than distance learning.
Mary Repousis says children in lower-income families were also less likely to engage in after-school activities. With many after-school, sports, and extracurricular programs closed during COVID, opportunities for socialization were greatly reduced due to the lockdown.
According to Mary Repousis, the psychological effect of the lockdown on children is just as concerning as the educational impact. In fact, the two are interconnected. Disruption of routine, uncertainty, and anxiety caused by the lockdown disrupts student’s ability to learn. It is also believed to impact their mental and physical health.
While adults struggle with feelings of isolation during the lockdown, children are more vulnerable. Their mental health is can be more easily affected by feelings of isolation. Studies have shown that loneliness in children increases the risk of mental health problems like depression. According to Mary Repousis, reopening schools will be likely playing a role in recommending mental help for struggling students.
Distance Learning and Homeschool
Mary Repousis explains that distance learning is a good option for some students, but not all. Low-income children often lack adequate internet access, which is crucial to distance learning. In addition, studies have shown that teachers need training in online instruction. Classroom teaching style must be modified to be effective online, and many teachers have not received the training they need to be effective.
The unexpected nature of the lockdown had a large impact on parents as well as teachers. Mary Repousis explains that students do well with at-home learning when there has been advanced planning and access to resources. This includes knowing the child’s learning style, having a teaching plan, and having the resources to supplement at-home education.
Scheduling Conflicts and Learning Time
Mary Repousis states that for parents that work full time, finding time to help their children with school work is difficult. Younger children, in particular, need lots of guidance when studying. Low-income families often work long hours and have less time to devote to helping their children with school work. Reduced learning time is associated with lower learning outcomes.
As schools begin to reopen, teachers and schools will need to be equipped with resources to deal with the impact of the lockdown. This may include longer school days, summer classes, and smaller class sizes.
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