(WDVM) — For many students, school provides resources, such as food security, facilitate connections to a community of caring adults, counseling needs and other resources that they can’t otherwise receive, creating a feeling of uncertainty and anxiety for many families.
Now, as we head into the summer months, kids will be negatively effected by the learning they lost out on with schools having to close early due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This pandemic crisis has exposed some of the educational and social inequities which have been a long-term crisis in the U.S. About one in six children under 18 living in poverty and 1.5 million children are homeless. They are especially vulnerable during this crisis with the disruptions to their education, limited access to technology needed for online learning, food insecurity for students who depend on school meals, lack of access to medical attention and financial challenges for working parents and families.
And now the World Bank Group is making it their mission to try and prevent the most vulnerable students from facing long term learning loss. Remote learning programs are free but they have to implemented equitably so that all children and youth can participate. The board says teachers need to realistic about what to expect, when schools reopen,
“Teachers are essential to play the role that we are asking of them, they need practical training in the assessment techniques and teaching skills necessary to help all students , and especially the most at risk to recover learning,” said Halsey Rogers, Lead Economist in the Human Development Network for the World Bank.”They also need to prioritize curriculums that in normal times would be considered too ambitious, and after the closures could prove impossibly demanding. ”
But experts say despite of the pandemic, if school boards invest in closing digital gaps, there is a real opportunity to “build back better”.