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What will the true cost of the Lockdown be for our kids?

June 1, 2020 1 comment

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As the ties loosen, shops open, horse racing returns and we dare to hope that the pubs will be open before the end of June, the questions that have been troubling many for the duration of the Lockdown are finally finding their way into the news.

It is troubling that only after 9 weeks of the Lockdown have senior Tories recognised openly that there may have been a related increase in abuse for children vulnerable in their own homes.

The voices speaking out against the Lockdown from the start are a comparative few to the number today. But the realities and consequences of a universally-applied Lockdown with a piecemeal response from the Chancellor were openly being discussed back in March.

What the suicides, job losses, bankruptcies, cases of abuse, evictions and a seemingly endless list of personal tragedies that have yet to unfold all have in common is that they will be suffered most often only by individuals, their families and the people immediately around them. These are not stories that will make the mainstream news.

Yet there is one story that is very different to all of the above. That is the question of the impact that the Lockdown is having on our children, their education and what home schooling for the better part of half an academic year is going to involve.

It was disturbing to learn that a Union boss has gone on the record over the weekend to evangelise that Teachers deserve their full summer holidays on the basis they have continued working ‘flat out’ to ensure that the children continue to be taught.

I dont know what parallel universe this so-called representative came from, because it is does not contain the same world where I and many parents like me are from.

Children of all ages and from all backgrounds are completely switched off to education today, and have been since the Lockdown began.

It is impossible for parents to replicate the school environment in the home – no matter how motivated they are to do so, unless there is ongoing proactive intervention from teachers and educators, sufficient enough to keep education and learning real for their students during a period that has been confusing, unnerving and completely strange for adults and children alike.

Some teachers are getting it right. They are using all the great resources at their disposal to get the messages and encouragement through. Yet in the majority, these diligent educators represent not the state system, but the Private Schools that the very same Unions would like to see destroyed.

The disruption to the learning process and backwards leap for children who will only get this one chance aside, the psychological damage that children are suffering from having the life they understood switched off like a light, taking their friends, grandparents and many others out of their lives in one stroke will be very VERY profound.

As adults, 9 weeks of this strange reality have passed very quickly. But to a 9 year old, 9 weeks are an eternity that makes what we perceive as a temporary change, one that feels very permanent indeed.

Parents are beside themselves. They can see what the Lockdown and the withdrawal from life is doing to their kids, but they are dependent on those with responsibility providing the way out.

The majority of parents know it would be much better for children to be back in school learning. Because the benefits of consistent education far outweigh the risks from Covid-19 that only Unions and those with a vested interest in pursing their own agendas are still choosing to see.

 

Teachers are not teaching our children during the Lockdown as they could and they should

If anything demonstrates just how out of touch and anachronistic the Unions are today, it will be the argument being staged on the front pages where Union Barons want to stop teachers going back to work amid the spurious argument that their Members won’t be safe from Coronavirus if they do.

The Daily Mail carries the headline ‘Let our Teachers be heroes’ which sounds great.

But as the whole Lockdown is being perpetuated on the back of myths the Government and its Behavioural Insights Unit created, it really would be good for everyone if Teachers focused on being the nations educators again.

They could begin by doing everything right now to help children of all ages learn as they can and should.

Parents shouldn’t have to wait for the Schools to return or for a discussion about when it will happen for this headline to be used.

To do so suggests the only thing that makes any employee a hero is if they leave their home and become exposed to the perceived increased risk of catching Coronavirus in a job that pays them and which they applied for at some point by choice.

Oddly, many of the people who would like to be heroes right now don’t have the opportunity that teachers have done since the start of the Lockdown and still do.

Technology like FaceTime and Zoom will allow and facilitate contact between teachers and children to be taught on a level not far short of a universal basis.

Oddly, Private schools are already filling this gap and in many cases offering a complete alternative timetable as they do. But State education is not.

Instead, parents of children in ‘free education’ who should today be in schools across the UK have had to manage the fallout of bored and disengaged children who want to do nothing because the people who need to motivate their academic studies are not available to them even in a basic coaching form.

Their teachers have instead relied on pages of dreary worksheets made available through clever portals that they tell us are a workable replacement for the work and the learning they would receive if they were physically in school.

Yes, some of our kids are motivated to utilise whats on offer to them however weak it might be. Like many other parents, I have one child who is and one who is not.

This damaging replacement for schooling that the Government and media have systematically overlooked doesn’t allow for the significant number of disengaged kids nor those that sit somewhere in-between.

The counter argument is likely be that as there are children (or parents) that don’t have access to the internet or to smartphones, schools cannot give to one or any number if they cannot be certain that they can give to all.

This is a sad, regrettable reality where rights and inclusion have been twisted by activists who have nothing to lose like our children do and have assumed the responsibly to police the workplace and every perceived misdemeanour that is involved.

The outcome is it is always the lowest common denominator in standards or achievements that inevitably comes out on top.

Parents who are desperately doing all they can to keep their jobs whilst working from home are not responsible for changing what any healthy child’s perception of their home vs. the school environment should be.

Home is home. School is school.

The only way to find a happy median in the shitty circumstances this Government created is for teachers to make the best of the situation and get actively involved.

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