We were all home but was it really the safest thing to do during the pandemic?
Everyone is being forced to react to the changing dynamics of social and interpersonal connections as a result of the current worldwide crisis caused by the coronavirus epidemic.
With the majority of countries under lockdown, the impact of Covid-19 on children is a significant factor to consider. Children, on the other hand, are less likely to be affected. Only about 2% of the total instances of coronavirus infection are in youngsters.
In addition, children’s clinical manifestations are milder than adults. But, while things appear to be going well for the kids, things aren’t always as they appear.
The two years of lockdown have had a significant impact on children’s growth!
The Psychological Implications Of The COVID-19 Pandemic
While health issues have been of major concern during the Covid-19 pandemic, the two years lockdown has been a severe cause of declining mental health.
Bereavement, isolation, loss of income, and fear are all said to trigger or exacerbate mental health issues.
As per reports many people have increased their alcohol and drug usage, and are suffering from issues of insomnia, and anxiety.
COVID-19, the actual disease, on the other hand, was said to cause neurological and mental problems such as psychosis, agitation, and stroke.
People with pre-existing mental, neurological, or substance use disorders also became more prone to SARS-CoV-2 infection, and therefore increased risks of severe consequences, including death.
Consequences Of The Ignored
Everyone overlooked the ones who were maturing into their mature selves while people were busy rescuing lives, which was plainly the right thing to do.
When studies were undertaken after two years of lockdown, the results were shocking!
As a Rajasthani teacher pointed out,
“Our children of 3 and 4 classes were able to read, but now half of them have forgotten to read. Writing is worse, children are unable to write even two or three sentences in the workbook.”
This has caused widespread alarm among the country’s residents.
Azim Premji University did a study on learning loss during the lockdown time. According to the findings, almost 92 percent of children in government schools have lost their linguistic abilities, and 82 percent have difficulty with arithmetic.
The survey included approximately 15000 students from over 1100 schools across five states.
Since March 2020, the schools have been closed. And studies have shown that a whole school year of almost unknown learning has resulted in students remembering what they learnt in the preceding class.
The Study’s Specifications
Students in grades 2 through 6 were evaluated on four language and math skills that are necessary for all subsequent learning. These skills include comprehending a paragraph, conveying the gist in one’s own words, and adding and subtracting figures.
While free covid abilities were evaluated through interactions with children by teachers, post covid abilities were evaluated using oral and written assessments.
According to the data, the following percentage of kids have lost specific abilities such as composing example sentences based on an image, reading with understanding, and describing a picture:
- 92% of class 2
- 89% of class 3
- 90% of class 4
- 95% of class 5
- 93% of class 6
The percentages of students suffering in Math were as follows:
- 67% of class 2
- 76% of class 3
- 85% of class 4
- 89% of class 5
- 89% of class 6
When these children were asked to recognize two-digit to three-digit numbers or demonstrate the fundamentals of topics such as addition, subtraction, drawing into faces from data, describing 2D 3D visuals, and more, they were all stumped.
This research was carried out in the states of Karnataka, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Uttarakhand, but the trends above appear to be consistent throughout the country, according to specialists.
Learning loss will mount among children, according to surveys and warnings, and will have a long-term influence on their possibilities!
In fact, this isn’t the end, if we ignore this study there have been severe effects on the mental and physical health of children.
Physical Health Consequences
Children’s physical activities have decreased dramatically over the lockdown, resulting in weight increase. Overweight and obesity among youngsters were already a concern in Delhi NCR, and the lockdown has exacerbated the situation.
Children who are unable to play games in the playground turn to mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and other electronic devices for enjoyment. The attempt to get kids to play real games instead of virtual games has been severely hampered by the lockdown.
According to studies, screen time over one hour harms children’s mental capacities, including cognition and cognitive functions.
Impact On The Mind
Because children are highly sensitive to changes in the environment, their parents’ anxieties and worries are easily absorbed by them!
Pessimistic thoughts can lead to despair, anxiety, and loneliness as a result of this.
Another important negative influence is that the mainstream electronic media broadcasts catastrophic news regularly, causing people to become more anxious and develop sleep disorders, somatoform disorders, and depression as a result.
Many of these kids, as well as their parents, would benefit from counselling. It’s critical to notice these signs so that treatment can begin as soon as possible.
So What’s The Solution To This
Pertaining to the issues of learning loss it is highly needed that policies and processes should be introduced to identify and address this.
Supplemental support whether it is in the form of bridge courses, extended hours, community-based engagements, and appropriate curriculum materials will be needed to help children gain the fundamental abilities when they return to school.
The government should take note of the fact that the children must be given enough time to compensate for both kinds of learning laws.
There shouldn’t be any rush for promoting the children to the next class until they have cleared their basics.
For mental and physical health issues, the parents must make a habit of communicating regularly with their children to restore and calm them.
And if necessary, they shouldn’t shy away from seeking professional help!
Diet is another key factor to keep in mind.
With decreased physical activity, the diet should be adjusted to include more green vegetables and fresh fruits and fewer carbs, particularly sweets and junk food. This will not only keep the body healthy but will also keep depression at bay.
Children’s screen and news time should be limited. They should be encouraged to participate in creative activities such as drawing, crafting, or even cooking.
Any indication of anxiety or depression in the youngster should be taken seriously.
“Communication and carefulness are the keys”, we hope the future would be bright if everyone works effectively.