What effects have school closures had on learning?

THINGS WILL GET HEAVIER AND HEAVIER FOR THEM’:

THE DEVASTATING CONSEQUENCES OF COVID-19 SCHOOL CLOSURES IN LESOTHO

In 2019, schools in Lesotho were closed for months due to teachers’ strikes. In 2020, schools closed for the majority of the year because of Covid-19. Now, in 2021, schools are gradually reopening, but many students from poor families are unable to return because of their families’ worsening financial instability – a result of the economic impact of Covid-19.

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How inclusive are Covid-19 laws for persons with disabilities?

COVID-19 AND HUMAN RIGHTS CONCERNS FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES IN SOUTHERN AFRICA

Children, women, older persons, homeless persons, as well as those in the rural setting faced the above challenges with an even greater, more specialized intensity owing to the intersectionality of their vulnerabilities. The right to education of children with disabilities came to a standstill because the alternatives offered were neither inclusive nor available for all the learners whose needs warranted special attention. The measures adopted by governments to protect the life, health and safety of these people largely ignored their heightened vulnerability.

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How has the pandemic affected you financially?

EMOTIONAL & FINANCIAL STRESS ON YOUNG ADULTS & CREATIVES

The focus that is spent on each young individual must be met with another level of empathy – the emotional effects of many young people who are disappointed with the outcomes of their hard work can linger and taint other areas of their life. If they don’t feel supported they can often fall into destructive habits to ease their pain and tension. Support groups and close communities are essential in tracking the development of young adults and creatives as they navigate the new world. COVID-19 hit the world hard – and each individual must be understood based on their experiences and their emotional and financial situations to fully comprehend what they are feeling during this time.

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What effects has the pandemic had on young school girls in rural areas?

GIRL LEARNER BACK TO SCHOOL PROJECT IN MALAWI WITH UKHONDO SERVICES

As more schools open up, I would like to see better initiative being taken by the schools. There’s a gap in the mindset of how people view education and how we would like them to value education. There are all these roles that we place on school children… we say ‘get educated to be a nurse, or a doctor, or a pilot, roles which aren’t actually so prominent’. Whenever I am doing advocacy campaigns or awareness, I don’t mention these roles, I want people to understand that even as a housewife you have to be educated.

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How have healthcare systems handled the influx of Covid-19 Cases?

HEALTH SYSTEMS IN ZIMBABWE

‘Presently things are better than they were the last month and a half. The period after the 2020 Christmas holiday was the most frightening and January 2021 was the worst as we would have 4 to 5 deaths per day at our provincial hospital but now we can go up to 2 or 3 days without a single death. During the holidays people became ignorant and started attending functions with no masks and no social distancing. I have also noticed that most of the people who are succumbing to Covid-19 have underlying illnesses which makes them more vulnerable to infection’

-Nurse

Harare, Zimbabwe

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Are teachers essential workers?

TEACHERS: THE HEARTBEAT OF EDUCATION RECOVERY IN SOUTHERN AFRICA

In southern Africa, teachers in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Botswana and Madagascar remain outside the priority list to access the COVID-19 vaccines.  Why? What makes these countries different from those who have prioritised the inclusion of teachers in priority groups for COVID-19 vaccination? The answer: leadership. On this World Teachers’ Day, OSISA joins other stakeholders in amplifying the voice of teacher unions and other workers’ unions, healthcare workers for example. We pledge our solidarity and continue to advocate for the vaccination of teachers.

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Has the pandemic changed the way we consume content online?

STORYTELLING WITH PHAELLO TSHABALALA

I for one learned that not everything on social media is true. I learned that sometimes social media sparks my anxiety, it triggers me and I am more careful when it comes to it. So I feel that we take whatever on social media with a pinch of salt as opposed to believing it entirely.

 

-Phaello Tshabalala

Johannesburg, South Africa

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