Effect of COVID-19 on Child’s world

Children are likely to be experiencing worry, anxiety and fear. This can include types of fears that are very similar to those experienced by adults. Today 99% of the world’s children are living under some form of pandemic related limit on movement; it’s especially a tragic for the poorest children who rely on school feeding programmes for their only consistent daily meal. Many children and young people are contending with family separations, caring for the sick, relatives and even death of loved ones. As many jobs are lost and family lose precious sources of income, children’s sense of insecurity, safety and normalcy will be challenged like never before!

The education disruption will continue to have substantial effects, extending beyond education. Like for instance, food insecurity, economic instability, violence against women and girls.
Closures of schools and educational institutions are hampering the provision of essential services to children and communities. The loss of school meals, health and nutrition services in the beginning of the pandemic have affected 370 million children in 195 countries with increasing hunger and nutritional deficiencies for the most disadvantaged.
COVID19 has shown that educational institution closures represent an increased risk for women and girls as they are more vulnerable to multiple types of abuse such as domestic violence, transactional sex and early and forced marriages. 
Most of us are concerned about what this long term impact of this new kind of digital learning and teaching and lifestyle can cause in quarantine period:-

·        Increased screen time can cause increased sedentary behaviour in children and teens, decreased metabolism, disturbance in the sleep cycle more distractibility and lower mental well being.

·        Reality is that, this online education is not being able to reach students from low income family which is increasing the equality gap between the students of the same batch.

·        Online education is robbing the vital stages of learning for small children like reading and writing.
From the academic success to their social skills and mental health, the pandemic is a crisis for today’s children and fall out may follow them for the rest of their lives.

One has to consider effective learning practices for this digital learning, like:

·        CREATING ACESSIBLE CONTENT: – It means reducing barriers of comprehension, ensuring that content is accessible to every child, including to those with disabilities and who speak languages other than English.

·        STRENGTHING RELATIONSHIPS: – like making a short personal video for each student, having fun with emojis and GIFs that can show you and your students care. Establishing ways to show appreciation or that a child has done the good work.

·        Foster live and interactions also by connecting with experts.

In rural areas for children to adapt to this kind of learning, it should be anticipated with dedicated leadership skills, will power and an integrated frame work comprising of the government, technology and society. E-learning interventions in the rural areas will undoubtedly pave way towards sustainable growth.
Simple strategies that can address children like giving young people the love and affection that they need to resolve their fears, being honest with children, explaining what is happening in way they can understand. Helping
children to find ways to express themselves through creative activities also by providing a play for the day through establishing daily routine would be beneficial with regards to children’s mental health which may ease out the digital stress during this pandemic.
Mental health and psychological support should be provided by each school, parents and teachers to ensure the child’s wellbeing which also results in academic success.

Written by Shwetha Bharadwaj

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