“COVID-19” the global pandemic is truly going to be a topic that will be stuck on everyone’s mind for quite a long time. Since it transformed numerous aspects in negative as well as positive ways. The retrospective study suggested that the market of Wuhan, China was the source of the disease where the first incidence was found in late 2019 when the rest of the world was oblivious about it, which was not for too long when it was emerging drastically and became from epidemic to pandemic. As of today, there are over 26.5 million infected and about 873,000 deaths whilst recovered cases reached 17.6 million around the world as published by WHO. However, in Nepal, the infected cases are 44,236, deaths cases 271, and recovery cases are 25,561 and the increasing number of infected persons per day is above 800. Due to the dramatic spread of the virus, the lockdown was imposed at the end of March in Nepal. Currently, various districts are in lockdown according to the number of infection persons on the respective district and the district with 500 active cases are in the red zone and currently are in lock down the stage.
Now, focusing on the topic, about which we actually want to talk about is “How is the impact of coronavirus on the school kids.” During this period, the educational facilities were also shut down and the kids were deprived of education. So, to solve this problem; technology came as salvation by making schools possible to conduct online classes. This was a convenient way of learning for students despite the closing of the school. Although this strategy was a boon to some school’s teachers and students who had access to technology, it was not the same for people without the internet or gadget facilities. Some students whose parents had saved income could at least recharge their mobiles and make it possible for the kid to attend class but unfortunately due to the lockdown, the parents who work each day for a mouthful of food and survival didn’t even have this reserved money to provide such a facility to their child. As a matter of fact, they didn’t even have enough resources to feed themselves. Unfortunately, kids from poor families are not getting equal education as compared to other families.
Furthermore, it is not only affecting the education of a kid but also their mental well being. It is noteworthy to emphasize how this type of situation can affect the life of a child, created by the fear of going to school and being contracted by the disease. The fear of disease transmission has made people reluctant about letting their kids go out where they might get in contact with the infected one. Consequently, people are not ready to send their children to a school which is actually better for a time being considering the rapid rise of new active cases. Corona might be preventable someday and be considered as any other normal disease and finally, the schools might reopen but the feeling of insecurity is going to be always there for parents each and every day they let their child go to school. The parents are the first tutor and a major influential individual in their children’s life so saying this, the children might also feel the same insecurity as their parents do and not feel like attending school or not feel the same way they used to feel before. Some countries even decided to reopen the schools with full precautions which apparently didn’t go well and had to discontinue the system. This type of example can make family raise their eyebrows regarding the safety of their children going to school when it reopens.
Additionally, in terms of nutrition, the children are not getting the food they used to eat before due to the financial issue in their families. This can make children vulnerable to disease and more likely to face the worst health. In most schools, they have timing for eating but now the children aren’t having equal quantity and quality food like they used to. Lockdown might not have affected the food requirement for a well-off family but for the poor once they were supplied with better food in the schools. Due to the scarcity of food, some families even walked all the way to their villages to farm and eat while some couldn’t make it to their home and had to live on the streets. It is hard for impoverished folks to even think about virtual learning for their children when they have to spend each minute thinking about how to feed the family.
Meanwhile, some of the children even became the victims of abuse mostly being female during this pandemic. They were sexually harassed and exploited. Since, it was hard for them to report it to the concerned authorities some went to their parents or relatives, which in some cases didn’t make the guilty person step back as the parent was also scared or helpless and also has been facing the prevailing gender domination violence. Some of them were violated enough that they even committed suicide.
Nonetheless, some of the fruitful outcomes from this pandemic are that kids are now aware of the significance of personal hygiene as social media, telecommunication, health personnel and people who have the knowledge of prevention and precaution against corona are sharing their expertise willingly. Kids might not have gained education via their textbook but surely, they got the idea about personal hygiene, prevention, and precautions to be taken and also followed it practically. This might come in handy if another similar pandemic outbreak happens in the future.
In a nutshell, this pandemic did affect the education, mentality, and physical health of children in a wide proportion however, it also taught them some key concepts of how they can prevent and tackle this kind of disease.
Sneha Praja sweeping in her home court yard
Children in this lock down have learned to work at home like cleaning, washing, and personal hygiene.
Likewise, people have started to farming again as many of the youth are also back to their home town from abroad and they have no choice rather than doing farming so most of the youth have again gone back to farming in their fields. As in the last decade, most of the fields in the hilly region were deserted and people have left to grow crops but pandemic has given than once again an opportunity to grow crops in their lands which they had left in deserted.