- The Covid-19 pandemic, which has impacted multiple sectors including the economic and health care system, has drastically affected the schooling system along with everyone involved
- Sanitation, social distancing and the wearing of masks are among the few additional challenges faced by learners provided that they have access to a schooling environment
- Briefly News conversed with a range of parents and learners in the pursuit to discover how the global pandemic has impacted their lives along with the changes and adaptations that have stemmed from the unexpected circumstances
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DURBAN - It has been a long road for many students due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The global pandemic, which has drastically impacted multiple sectors in South Africa, has extended its affect towards the schooling system.
New challenges have risen for not only learners and teachers but for parents with children in school. For learners fortunate enough to have access to a school environment that meets covid-19 regulations the additional challenges of masks, hand sanitising and constant social distancing has been a difficult adaption for some learners.
With the pandemic clearly having some form of impact on the education system, the degree to which it has affected those involved, still remains. Briefly News chatted with a few learners and their parents about how the pandemic has impacted schooling.
How have learners adapted to school life since the start of the pandemic?
14-year-old Yash Naidoo from Gqeberha says that learning has not been that much different and explained that although online schooling became a part of his life, his teachers still assisted him:
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"They send our work on WhatsApp and they do help us. I prefer it this way as our teachers spend more time, individually, with learners than they did before the hard lockdowns."
Kalila Lovedale, 8, however, does not enjoy the changes that have followed since the global pandemic:
"I love school but everything has changed. I don't like the changes at all. I want to play with my friends and my friends don't like it either."
What happens to the children's daily routines?
Many schools across SA have developed a "one day on one day off" policy. Learners face daily battles with following routines and schedules.
Punitha Padayachee, 39, a mother of two boys, stated that the aforementioned policy does tend to make life a bit harder for her kids:
"I am grateful that the kids are back at school as they need that environment and to be around other people - with Covid-19 regulations in place. I am used to sitting with my son, Yash, and assisting him with his work.
"My younger son finds it difficult to keep track of the days. He sometimes wakes up on weekends, expecting to go to school. It's hard for smaller kids to understand the changes."
Is it better to keep a routine for your children - some parents differ on this
Natasha Chiazzari, 34, stated that her kids were in what she described as a 'home-mode'. She explained that it was difficult to keep a routine with them as they were used to going to school and working before coming home to do homework.
"They are at home the whole day, doing lessons. There's a lot of distractions. The routine changed quite a bit because it was [me] trying to adjust everything. I had to try to fit in homeschooling, my online work and things around the house"
39-year-old Povindrie Marimuthoo, and her daughter, Darshni Shriya Marimuthoo, 9, spoke with Briefly News about their routine. According to Povindrie, her kids' routine stayed the same.
"They wake up early, start their day as if its a normal school day, have lunch at a certain time and by the time I come home from work; I am able to sit with them to do their home work. When they are at school, Shriya starts at 9am.
"The kids have missed out on a lot of work due to being at home and it has been a huge adjustment."
Darshni Shriya stated that schooling has been "a little bit hard".
"I wake up early, the same time as before. I liked it when we did work on our computers from home. It was fun but I prefer being in class."
Feedback from a range of parents and learners has illuminated the affects of Covid-19 on schooling
With expected adaptations such as routine changes and more of a home school environment being faced by the vast majority of parents and learners, it has become clear that certain changes affect certain people more than others.
Although one learner may not enjoy being at home and away from their peers another learner may enjoy the freedom that comes from a home based learning environment.
South Africa's high unemployment rate, where is it heading?
Previously, Briefly News published an analysis on South Africa's high unemployment rate. The unemployment rate keeps gradually increasing and it is not showing signs of falling which has been reflected in the latest figures from the Statistic South Africa's survey.
The new unemployment rate has put South Africa at the top of the global list of 82 countries with the highest unemployment rate, according to Aljazeera. Over seven million South Africans currently do not have jobs with black women being the most affected at 41%.
Although South Africa has one of the largest economies on the African continent, it remains at the top with the highest unemployment rate for young people. According to Finance Yahoo, the employment rate of young people aged between 15 and 24 is currently at 64.4% and people aged 25 and 34 at 42.9%.
Source: Briefly News