A new report highlights the significant negative impacts on finance and health by keeping the schools, colleges, and childcare facilities shutdown. The Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity also reveals the safest and fairest ways of reopening.
Avik Roy, the reporter and co-author of this report, said in a Tweet that the main objective of this report is to make the policymakers understand and “heed the educational, social, and public health impact of prolonged school closures” for the US students estimated at 80 million who have already been out of school for months in 2020.
According to the report article, the current educational plan design is not sustainable. The closure of childcare, schools, colleges, and the institutions for higher educations have already put a negative impact on all families and especially, has affected the families with lower income. The good thing is that the report says that the solution is not at all challenging or risky due to the unique immunity to Covid-19 children have.
The truth is that children are at very low risk of crucial illness or morbidity due to Covid-19. The fact is children with the age group between 5-14 are more likely to get affected by influenza than of the said corona virus. Statistics shows that Americans under the age of 25 sums up to only 0.15% of the total number of Covid-19 fatalities.
Another good thing is that the Covid-19-related rate of hospitalization and transmission among children in school is also very low. According to the author, the very idea of waiting until the vaccine is ready is not practical as the delay in opening the schools makes students more vulnerable to other risk factors.
The negative outcomes for students spending long time at home often results in increased social isolation, depression, boredom, suicidal thoughts, substance use, sexual abuse and many other things. The idea of not opening the education organization place students at higher rate of both morbidity and mortality.
Although all the students are suffering from schools closures, the author has put more stress on the fact that poorer children are suffering more as they have very limited learning scope outside the schools. Researches show that outside school learning opportunities create a significant gap in educational achievement between rich and poor children. The reason behind this is pretty straightforward. The poor children are less likely to have a stable internet connection at home which is the most vital element in outside school learning process.
Additionally, these students have not been provided with the taxpayer-underwritten school lunch and mental health resources that they get when they are inside the schools.
Based on all the research and documents, The Foundation for Research on Equal Opportunity strongly recommends the idea of re-opening the schools while following all the guidelines of American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). The guidelines stated by this organization is more realistic than the Centre Of Disease Control. These guidelines include wearing masks for older children, maintaining proper distance, testing, and tracing.
According to the research article, the state should take responsibility of developing virtual schools for the students who must stay at home. The virtual schooling should be the last resort after trying the alternatives of traditional schooling structures like micro-schooling.
Colleges need to be more creative and concerned to encourage students in self-reporting symptoms. Temperature sensors can also be installed outside the classrooms to identify students who are symptomatic.
The foundation has also been doing researches in expanding the economic opportunities for the underprivileged.
The article further acknowledges that America has all the potential to be the leader in reopening the schools by implementing the right science and technology in creating the best environment for its students.