Students’ Lives During COVID-19: A Special Look at Underdeveloped Countries

April 20 15:06 2022

April 20, 2022 – Researcher, Taief Chisty recently released a comprehensive literature that discussed the effect of COVID-19 on students’ lives in underdeveloped nations of the world. Focusing on how students in underdeveloped countries could be helped during times of crisis like this, the study explained the difficulty faced by these students in areas like academics, emotions management when they lose a loved one, impacts of bank/ student loans, etc. For this study, Taief specially looked at nations like Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh. 

Taief explained that while COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on student life all over the world, the situation is even worse in underdeveloped countries. He pointed out that;  

“One of the most notable differences is how it is affecting students in high-income and low-income countries. In high-income countries, students have more resources to help them combat the virus, such as plenty of hand-washing stations and ways to debar the virus from coming into contact with those places. However, in low-income countries, these resources are often not available or accessible to all students. Additionally, high-income countries are more likely to require teachers to continue teaching during school closures, while low-income countries are less likely to do so.” 

Backing up his study with data from UNESCO, Taief outlined several issues faced by students in underdeveloped nations, including the struggle with the reopening of schools, the little to no monitoring of students’ learning loss, the inadequacies in resources and COVID response from the authorities, and the least likelihood to be able to access remote learning among others. Also pointed out is the important fact that many students lost loved ones to the deadly disease and there is a lack of support for such people as they try to continue their education. 

Many organizations are not taking into account the psychological trauma that these children have experienced and are not providing them with the necessary tools to continue learning.” 

While it was thus noted that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused massive disruptions in societies and economies all over the world. It has without doubt had a greater negative impact on students’ lives in Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, and other underdeveloped nations. Additionally, disadvantaged groups, such as children with disabilities and the homeless are less likely to access learning materials and return to school. Summarily, challenges such as a sudden new education system, internet problems, lack of resources, poor educational system, and transport blockage were outlined. 

Conlusively, Taief mentioned how important it is to assess the needs of all students in order to provide them with the best possible support, pointing out that students in underdeveloped countries can be helped by providing more flexible and personalized interventions for them. It was further explained that this can only be achieved through better investments in professional development for teachers so that they are able to deliver personalized learning plans for their students. 

Furthermore, schools should support students’ emotional and social development by increasing the amount of time to learn and the quality of the education. This can be done by implementing long schedules and summer enrichment programs, as well as building smaller teacher class sizes. Moreover, online instruction needs to be better tailored to the needs of each student, making sure that it is high-quality and accessible to all. In order to achieve this, districts and teachers must apply an “equity lens” when targeting tools and resources.

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