Comprehensive strategy needed to assist students who fell behind during pandemic

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Parents, teachers and community members are being told that they must seek to formulate a comprehensive strategy that will assist students displaced by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mental Health Coordinator in the Ministry of Health, Monifa St. John told Observer that many children especially those in the lower income bracket, were unable to keep up with online learning during the pandemic.

School plants across Antigua and Barbuda were closed for months at a time in an effort to manage the Covid virus.

As an alternative to in-person teaching thousands of students were forced to adopt online learning.

But reports from educators suggest that stay at home orders resulted in children becoming socially isolated and kept them from participating in normal extracurricular and community activities. It also caused hundreds of students without the resources to participate in online learning to fall behind their peers.

According to St John many students are not meeting their milestone based on age, because of the interruptions caused as a result of the ongoing pandemic.

“There are some learning milestones that children need to hit when they’re a certain age and if you realise that your child is not hitting that milestone, you know that your child needs help”, she told parents, as she advised them to seek help where they can.

She suggested that parents, teachers and community members setup a station or group within the community for children, with an aim to bridge the gap that the pandemic created for so many students.

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