BVI News

Education authorities warn that impacts of COVID-19 can negatively affect child learning, behaviour

Local Educational Psychologist Dr Thomas Alexander said the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) coupled with extensive media coverage on the topic and parents becoming unemployed can all harm a child’s learning abilities and lead to behavioural changes.

He said parents should, therefore, be mindful of how they communicate their feelings, thoughts and behaviour around children.

“I think there is a relationship between emotion and learning. If you think of children right now, I suspect that there are many of our children who are worried at this time because of what they are hearing from parents, caregivers, and even the media,” Dr Alexander said while speaking during an online forum on Tuesday.

He said these messages can be fed indirectly to a child while a parent is having a conversation with another person, or while watching international news about the death toll associated with the disease.

“The child is sitting, the child is hearing, so the child becomes worried, concerned just as the parent is. Once the child starts getting worried, the child is going to focus on whatever it is of concern to them. So you think about learning and school, once that has begun to happen, then the child is not able to focus, their memory is impacted, and all those little things that we need for the child to learn is impacted because of that particular way the child feels at the time,” he explained.

Clinginess, reversion to bed-wetting

Dr Alexander said sometimes children can then exhibit various signs such as becoming clingier, they might reverse to behaviours like bed-wetting, or becoming irritable or stubborn.

Meanwhile, Early Childhood Education Officer Genevieve McMaster said with everything that is going on it, is very easy to lose sight of the youngsters, especially with mindsets that ‘children should be seen and not heard’.

“So it is easy for us to push them aside, just give them a toy and let them play in a corner. But we want to draw attention back to the fact that these are the years that they are forming who they are going to be, not just now but who they are going to be throughout life. The development doesn’t stop because of everything that is going on,” she stated.

Children are observing

McMaster said at a when schools are closed and homeschooling is the new order, children are observing parents and how they manage what is happening around them.

McMaster also made it clear that a parents’ behaviour is not the only determining factor, but it was a strong contributor.

“What I don’t want people to think is that we are looking for scapegoats to say it’s just the parents, and we are blaming the parents because that’s not what we are trying to do,” she explained.

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10 Comments

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  1. Idle hands says:

    While many actually are interested in learning…some of then just don’t want to learn their school work at all, they just want to be on their phones and laptops all day and night. And some have the device that was given to them by the school and all they doing on it is pure foolishness.

    Like 8
    Dislike 1
    • Parents says:

      Parents are always a problem in the Black world. They expect that someone else is responsible for the daily welfare and education of their child. They take little or no interest in what their child does in school as long as he/she is there. Now with schools closed the parents must step up and care. Enforce a daily routine. However as history has shown and is evident around the globe this will not happen.

      Like 4
      Dislike 8
  2. No nonsense says:

    The minister in charge need to stop promoting lip service!!

    Like 5
    Dislike 1
  3. outsider says:

    To Parents: your comment is false. I know lots of Black parents that take a great interest in their children’s education. As a matter of fact before the children go to school they were their first teachers. When my children and grandchildren started kindergarten they were reading on a second grade level. I started teaching them phonics at the age of 9 months. Yes nine months! My children and grand children were admitted to gifted programs at a young age. I have many friends that believe in their children getting the best education.

    I don’t know your race and I don’t care. STOP GENERALIZING WHEN IT COMES TO BLACK PEOPLE. MANY OF US ARE VERY EDUCATED BECAUSE OUR PARENTS BELIEVED THAT EDUCATION WAS THE KEEP TO RACIAL ADVANCEMENT IN THIS WORLD.

    Like 12
  4. Reality says:

    The government need to seriously look at reopening the schools. The children are suffering. Parents who still have their jobs have to go to work. Children as young as 7 are being left home alone all day. Black market daycares are everywhere – they have no regulations, no safety checks but parents are forced to send their children because they have nobody else to look after them – this results in many children crowded together with no regulation and not enough supervision. Children are put in front of screens all day – not out of choice – but the parents have to work or they will lose their jobs. The government have to reconsider opening the schools, especially for the early years. Children are low-risk to the disease. Any parents with the means can keep their children at home if they want, but the reality of our situation now is that being in school will be a lot safer for the majority of children in this territory. Don’t let them down.

    Like 6
    Dislike 1
  5. Concern!!!!! says:

    The whole early childhood needs an over haul. To much favoritism in the department against the centers. Ask Ms. Mc——- many have originality and if she can’t control the owners they are not included or invited in many things. They need a person who can lead and be fair on all ends of the table. To much hypocrisy!!!

  6. Hmmm says:

    Children are affected too if their parents are locked out. Imagine being without your parents for 3 to 4 months during these times.

  7. island man says:

    We are covid free..why are school still closed. Its not like dengue that you can catch it with a mosquito bite. Come on many kids say they prefer to be in school.

    Like 3
    Dislike 1
    • @Island Man says:

      IF WE STAY COVID FREE UNTIL SEPT. WE CAN ENTERTAIN RE-OPENING PHYSICAL SCHOOL. WE ARE ABOUT TO OPEN THE BOARDERS, LETS SEE WHAT HAPPENS. WE WANT ALL COVID 19 PERSONS TO COME, WILL THEY COME THAT THE QUESTION.

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