The Education of Third World Children at The Time of Pandemic
The outbreak of Covid-19 disrupts the normal functioning of curricular systems worldwide. School closure, as a precautionary measure against the spread of pandemic, confines children at home and makes teaching more challenging. Furthermore, protracted home study may be harmful to both physical and mental health of children. Exclusion from necessary social intercourse and confinement within a narrow space may cast them into anxiety, claustrophobia, and loneliness. Also, long-time insulation at home may decrease the frequency of their physical exercise and weaken their constitution. On top of these problems which come after Covid-19, there are other issues which exist before the advent of pandemic and come to the fore amid the state of exception it generates.
During the spread of Covid-19, international and social inequality in education begin to surface and grow intensified. For example, many poor children from the Third World countries have met increasing difficulties in having access to educational resources after school closure. In Indonesia, many children live in rural areas devoid of Internet connections and telephone signals, which makes distance-learning inaccessible to them. Some of them have to travel several miles from their residence to places equipped with network devices. To make the situation worse, their parents are not well-educated and open-minded enough to embrace new technologies. In Syria, many children had dropped out of school even before Covid-19 swept the country because of its interminable military conflicts.
During this hard time, many individuals and organizations are devoting themselves to safeguarding the right of education for children who are eager to lift themselves out of poverty. Henrikus Suroto, a 57-year-old Indonesian teacher, spends about six hours every day on the way to teach his students at their homes, regardless of any inclemency. Amina Hassan, a Kenyan teacher at Dadaab camp, teaches refugee children English through camp’s radio system. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) sees it as its mandate to help children all over the world gain access to education through media such as Internet, radio, and television. It once introduced radio scripts from other countries to Rwanda and made necessary adjustments so that they can be aired on Radio Rwanda. United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) takes the lead to encourage different communities to work together to promote universal availability of knowledge. It has made an appeal to establishing a knowledge-sharing platform which provides educational resources open to adaptation and redistribution.
There is still a long way to go to deal with the unequal distribution of educational resources all over the world. For Third World children, access to high-quality education is the only way to get out of the cycle of poverty imposed upon generations. No one is an island independent of others. It is in the state of isolation that one grows aware of the interconnectedness of mankind. The epidemic deepens people’s understanding of the essence of education: The sharing of knowledge which transcends the limitation of time and space, social discrepancy, and difference of skins.
protracted adj. 长期的
claustrophobia n. 幽闭恐惧症
constitution n. 体质
interminable adj. 冗长的
inclemency n. 恶劣的天气
mandate n. 使命