Ghana: Covid-19 Distance Learning Platform for Children Not Effective--CRI

18 November 2020

About 3,967out of 4,458 children surveyed across the country have saidthe distance learning platforms provided as a result of the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has not been effective, a research conducted by the Child Right International has revealed.

The research also said the digital platforms on education only reached five per cent children in Bono, Ahafo, Ashanti, Western, and Eastern regions, while television and radio coverage reached 32 per cent of children surveyed.

These were contained in a research conducted by the Child Rights International (CRI), between March11, 2020 and November 9, 2020, known as the "COVID-19 State of the Children in Ghana" and was launched yesterday in Accra.

The surveywas conducted in 589 communities, towns and cities with a sample size of4,458 children and additional information from the nationwide data on COVID-19 provided by the Ghana Health Service.

Also, the survey said more than 70 per cent of children claimed that they had no support or encouragement from their parents regarding their studies,while 28 per cent of the children surveyed said performing excessive activities for their parents affected their learning during their stay at home.

The survey again said that the rate of COVID-19 among children in the country was low indicating out of the 49,202 cases of the virus recorded from March 11 to November 9 this year, only 2,180 children who were below 18 years contracted the disease.

It said 1,161girls contracted the disease as compared to 1,019 boys who were affected but themortality rate was higher in boys than in girls.

It said four children died from the disease out of which three were males and one was a female and were aged between zero and 14 years.

The Executive Director of CRI, Bight Kweku Appiah said the use of traditional classrooms settings in the learning process had created difficulty for majority of the children to adapt to the distance learning platforms.

This, he said had resulted in diminishing the effectiveness of distance learning as an alternative means for learning.

As a result, Mr Appiah said most of the children were eager to return to school since the alternative of being at home had become worrying.

Healso called for the urgent need for technology to be considered inthe educational sector from primary to the university, adding that it would make it easier forits usage andapplication inlearning modules for children.

Mr Appiah suggested that reporting and closing time as well as generaltimetable in schools could be adjusted in an attempt to manage the pandemic when school reopened.

The Executive Director of CRI called on the government to intensify its campaign on the virus toensure childrenunderstood the importance of adhering to the protocols as well as institute programmers to boost theimmune system.

He called for a comprehensive nutritional plan under the School Feeding Programme to enhance the nutritional status of children.

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