Published: 13th March 2021
Welcome to Reason: Can students discern positives in COVID-19?
Children around the world have lost an average of 74 days of education or more than a third of the standard global 190-day school year each due to COVID-related school closures
Sweet are the uses of adversity; Which, like the toad, ugly and venomous, Wears yet a precious jewel in its head.
- William Shakespeare (1564-1616), English dramatic poet
Two frogs fell into a glass of milk which was half full. They could not jump out. One of them thought that it was the end and sunk to the bottom and died. The second frog thought that even if it had to die, it would enjoy a bit by frolicking in the milk. In the process, the milk churned and a ball of butter emerged on the surface. The second frog jumped on it and, using it as ballast, jumped out of the glass and lived happily ever after. COVID-19 engulfed the world last year continues its destructive dance this year as well. Students world over suffer as reflected in a worldwide report released to the media on March 2. First, its highlights:
Children around the world have lost an average of 74 days of education or more than a third of the standard global 190-day school year each due to COVID--related school closures and lack of access to remote learning, a report by Save The Children has revealed. In total, an estimated 112 billion days of education have been lost altogether, with the world’s poorest children being disproportionately affected, it said.
New analysis of data for 194 countries and different regions showed that children in Latin America and the Caribbean, and South Asia, missed out on almost triple the amount of education compared to children in Western Europe, the child rights NGO said. Both in Latin America and the Caribbean, and South Asia, children went through around 110 days without any education, children in the Middle East lost 80 days of education, those in Sub-Saharan Africa lost an average of 69 days.
In an India-centric report in November 2020, ‘A Generation at Stake: Protecting India’s Children from COVID-19’s Impact’, the child rights body had said that children are most stressed about the uncertainties that the pandemic has brought in their lives.
Three out of every four children reported an increase in negative feelings since the outbreak of the pandemic, many citing reasons like ambiguity over getting back to school, no contacts with teachers or friends, loss of livelihoods in the family leading to insecurities, and violence in household relationships. The list of negatives is long and believable. Amidst this, can students or even teachers, discern positives?