The impact of Covid-19 and the resulting school closures has been especially hard on primary pupils. In a National Foundation for Education Research report, experts noted that this age group is more likely to be held back in their learning due to the disruption caused by lockdowns.
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The report found that primary pupils are more likely than secondary students to fall behind academically; for example, maths skills have suffered disproportionately due to missed school days. Furthermore, children from disadvantaged backgrounds are at even greater risk, with pre-existing educational attainment gaps now widening further because of the pandemic.
Steps must be taken to ensure primary pupils whom Covid-related school closures have impacted get the support they need to catch up. This could involve additional resources and funding for primary schools to ensure that pupils have access to tutoring, extra classes and other help during recovery. As well as providing much-needed support, these measures will also help to ensure that educational attainment gaps between different social groups do not widen further.
Governments worldwide must take decisive action now to protect primary pupils from suffering even longer-term damage from school closures due to Covid-19. Only through such interventions can we ensure no child gets left behind in their learning and development.
The report also highlighted the mental health consequences which could arise as a result of extended school closures. These include increased anxiety and depression, as well as social isolation due to a lack of contact with peers. Therefore, it is also important that schools and governments provide pupils with the necessary counselling or mental health support which could prevent such issues from taking hold in this age group.
All in all, the Covid-19 pandemic has had a seriously detrimental effect on primary pupils around the world. Therefore, governments must take appropriate action now to ensure these young people have access to the additional resources they need to catch up on missed learning and any mental health support they may require during this time. By doing so, we can help to mitigate some of the longer-term implications of the pandemic on this age group.
This issue must be addressed with the utmost urgency, and governments must act now to ensure no child gets left behind as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.
In what ways can the government act up to help primary pupils?
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