Toygar Türkmaya – Independent Youth Association- Cyprus
Covid-19 pandemic contaminated numerous sectors all around the world and forced every state to take various measures to reduce collateral damage of the pandemic on negatively affected sectors. For instance, besides healthcare sectors which are still being struggled the most, financial sectors, tourism sectors, educational services and many different sectors are also hit harshly by the pandemic and all of them are dependent on the measures and guidelines that the governments took and are following for almost a year. By prioritizing the public health, governments formulated their measures and followed different ways to fight against the virus. However, measures of governments also contributed to increase of collateral damages of the pandemic over several dimensions.
Within the educational dimension, there are many controversial issues that almost all of the states are currently facing. Firstly, according to Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of the Human Rights, education is accepted as a fundamental human right. During the Covid-19 pandemic, most of the states had to create an online education infrastructure and the great percentages of the countries are still continuing education online at different levels of schools. Although the aim was to reduce the spread of the virus by obstructing the gathering of too much people in a closeddoors classroom or by decreasing the frequency of transportation; it created inequalities among students and in addition, among states. Even though developed states succeeded more than developing and underdeveloped states, students all around the world faced and are still facing various inequalities. Accessing to internet, possessing technological gadgets to join lectures, having an appropriate environment to listen lectures and more can be counted as examples of inequalities that online education brought. Secondly, other health problems started to be seen within students and teachers as they sit in front of computers for long hours. Besides seeing problems which may be the most common, various kinds of physiological problems such as neck pain, back pain may be increased. Furthermore, it is a fact that to stare towards a screen for a long time affects negatively the psychology of a person, especially of a child. Thirdly, schools were offering students an environment to socialize besides academic understanding of education. Therefore, students, especially the ones that can be considered as children, may struggle to get into interactions and communications with people that they are not familiar, as they didn’t have the opportunity to socialize since the schools are closed.
These 3 points are just some of the most common and signifi cant negative outcomes of closure of schools. There are more issues that it brought in terms of inequalities, socializing and more that the world is going to face as long-term consequences of the collateral damage of pandemic on the education.