Education

The schools have to be fully opened soon if we are to avoid causing permanent damage to children's education, their mental health and their future opportunities.

It has become quite apparent that covid-19 is a disease that disproportionately affects the elderly. The British Medical Journal reports that 0.04% of 10-19 year olds would probably require hospital care, as would 1.0% of people in their 20s, 3.4% of people aged 30-39, 4.3% aged 40-49, 8.2% aged 50-59, 11.8% in their 60s, 16.6% in their 70s, and 18.4% of those over 80.

The risk to children dying from the condition is tiny; according to some analysts they are more likely to be struck by lightning. Equally, children do not seem to be super-spreaders. The Guardian reported that schools reopening in 22 European countries had not led to a significant increase in cases of covid-19. So why is there such a delay in the schools reopening in the UK?

A report in the Spectator explains that;

According to the Education Endowment Foundation, the damage inflicted on educational equality by closing schools has undone the work not of a term but of a decade.

The longer the schools remained closed the worse that differential will become.

There is also growing concern about the effects of the mental health of children arising from the lockdown. The Independent reported that Professor Tim Kendall, NHS England‘s National Clinical Director for Mental Health, told a Royal Society of Medicine webinar that “there's no doubt” children were being hit hard by the impact of the lockdown.

According to UNESCO

School closures carry high social and economic costs for people across communities. Their impact however is particularly severe for the most vulnerable and marginalized boys and girls and their families. The resulting disruptions exacerbate already existing disparities within the education system but also in other aspects of their lives.

It is children from disadvantaged backgrounds, be they black, white, Asian, et al, who will suffer the most the longer the schools remain closed.

The schools have to be fully opened soon if we are to avoid causing permanent damage to children's education, their mental health and their future opportunities.

18th June 2020

#journal #coronavirus #lockdown #education