On the 20th of March 2020, all schools in the UK closed indefinitely. According to The Guardian, around 800 million children across the world are having their education ‘interrupted’. Many children have been doing online school, reading and keeping themselves busy in other ways throughout these two months at home. At a glance, school closures may seem harmless, and possibly like a long, fun holiday for children, but the impacts the shut down of schools could have are quite the opposite.
Most children find school unbearable but look forward to seeing their friends every day. The impact of being separated from peers can greatly impact children’s mental health. For adolescents especially, friends are a large part of their support system. As you grow up, you are becoming independent and rely less on your parents. Being forced to stay with your family 24/7 can create stress. For people who seek validation and acceptance from their peers
Poorer families are definitely getting the short end of the stick. Working parents must juggle their jobs and the new responsibility of homeschooling their children. In this incredibly unequal world, education can act as a leveller. Even though there can be a great difference in the resources and attention given to students between public and private school, students are still learning the same concepts. At schools with children from different backgrounds, pupils share the same facilities, classes, food and teachers. When at home, however, students from richer backgrounds who live in big houses, with their own bedrooms, stable wifi, access to books and food are at a large advantage. Additionally, children with two parents are more likely to receive greater support. Issues and conflict at home can cause a great deal of anxiety and trauma, leading to students focussing less on their studies. For students who are not currently learning, it may impact them in the future, as they have lost months of knowledge and skills development. I believe when students go back to school, teachers should ensure those who have not been able to keep up get as much support as they need, academically and emotionally.