Yours HumanlyApril 1, 2020
The Battle Between Education & COVID-19
In the midst of a pandemic, many of us are just now realizing how truly fortunate we are. We can protect ourselves and others by staying inside because we have jobs that allow us to work from the comfort of our living room couches, teachers who are willing to adjust their lesson plans to accommodate an online format, and high speed internet to power a plethora of devices. We are prepared to power through this pandemic because we have the luxuries that allow us to do so. But what about those who aren’t so lucky?
The COVID-19 virus has impacted all of our lives. Both parents and children are facing challenges as they adjust to their new routines. Parents, like Sara Sadat, are learning to juggle keeping their children on track while they try to focus on their own work. Sadat explains that “we really have to be on top of them….their morale is kind of low. Initially, they were very excited to spend time at home, but as reality hit them today they were like, ‘I can’t believe I’m not going to see my friends.’ The learning curve for us is keeping them on task, on schedule and regimented.” These new roles and routines can be stressful for both parents and students. Teachers are also sharing in the struggle.
Teachers at all levels are debating over how to handle their lesson plans amid school closures. An article published by NPR points out that “creating an excellent online course can take a year of development and collaboration among people with different skills.” Given the extremely short turnaround time, teachers are under immense pressure to develop quality online lessons. They also must keep the limitations of their students in mind. The article goes on to reveal that “some [students] only have smartphones. Some have family responsibilities.” And, when it comes to college students,“some have been sent home and need to find a new place to live, new job, and new health insurance.” Because of these circumstances, the article suggests that one of the most important things teachers can do to help their students during this time is to be compassionate. Currently, teachers are doing the best they can while considering all of the new factors that we all must face.
Even armed with the proper tools, major adjustments must be made to our lives. However, greater struggles are facing those who are not fortunate enough to have the necessary resources. Many students are not fortunate enough to have access to computers or the internet at home. According to an article published by Bloomberg, “around 21 million people in America don’t have home access to broadband.” Previously, the students who did not have home internet “used libraries, community centers and restaurants for Wi-Fi access, but many such gathering places are closed to limit contagion.” The same Bloomberg article also explains that, because schools can not ensure that all students have distance learning capabilities, some districts are not requiring any schooling during this time.
Students in America are not the only ones who are facing hardships. Students all over the world are being impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. An article titled, How COVID-19 is affecting children around the world, reports that “as of March 27, school closures are in force in over 160 countries due to the COVID-19 pandemic, affecting over 87% of the world’s student population.” The article also points out that “many parents in low-income countries may not have completed school themselves or cannot take time away from work to support the learning goals of their children.” The negative consequences don’t end there: “the restrictions on parent participation in the economy due to COVID-19 may also drive out-of-school children and adolescents to seek alternative livelihood options to support their families, including child labor and begging.” Especially in underprivileged areas of the world, it is crucial that children remain in school so that they can have the greatest opportunity of future success. This is true now more than ever.
We are all in the battle against COVID-19 together. And, at Yours Humanly, we want to make sure that all students have an equal fighting chance. Because, especially in times like these, access to education and educational tools is not a luxury, it’s a basic human right. That’s why we are raising funds to donate distance learning platforms to students and schools who need them. If you would like to help, please make a donation.
For more information about COVID-19, please visit the following links: