It is September. Looking back, the past year or so has not been an easy ride for children at all. When schools are suspended, you worry that they cannot catch up, yet when schools resume, you are not sure if they can adapt after being away for so long.
In the past, schools would address the inequalities and differences among students by providing remedial support, grants and subsidies for grassroots children. However, during the pandemic, students can only rely on themselves and their families. Parents who have abundant learning resources and are capable to help can certainly make good use of the time-off and keep their children on track; while grassroots children may not even have the space for a desk and have to study in bed, not to mention buying a computer to learn online.
According to the results of CUHK’s Health Behaviour in School-aged Children Study in Hong Kong: Assessing the Physical, Emotional and Social Well-being report, released in June this year, only about 18% of the students are “very satisfied” with their lives, which is much lower than the global average of 36%. The researchers believe that, during the pandemic, families’ socio-economic status greatly affects students’ life satisfaction.
This pandemic has undoubtedly made parents feel deeper about the urgency for education and the important role that schools and teachers have been playing. The situation is especially dire in East Asia and the Pacific, where schools have been closed for around 200 days, and 80 million children have no access to any remote learning at all. However, facing the impact that school closures have had on students’ learning progress, one-third of all countries have yet to take any action to help students catch up. Therefore, it is troubling even just to fathom the impact of these extensive and prolonged school closures have on students across the world.
Since the pandemic first spread across the world, World Vision has been responding in over 70 countries and has already reached over 62 million people globally. We have provided education training and support for over 62,000 teachers, as well as over 1.2 million pieces of education materials to support children to continue their education remotely, and more importantly, remind them that they are not forgotten. As the Bible says in 2 Corinthians 1:4, “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.” (NLT)
Chief Executive Officer