LONDON (AP) – Some young children have forgotten how to eat with a knife and fork, while others have become diapers again as corona virus infection and related school closures affect young people’s learning, the UK Education Monitoring Group said on Tuesday.
The Office for Standards for Education, Child Services and Skills, known as Offstead, has released five reports based on the findings of more than 900 visits to education and community care providers across the UK since September. Chief researcher Amanda Spielman said some of the children affected by the outbreak were those who were in early education with working parents and “enjoyed less time with their parents and less time with other children.”
He said the teachers had told some of the toilet-trained students to use diapers again, adding that “others who had mastered some basic skills such as eating with a knife and fork – not to mention losing early progress in words and numbers”.
Among older children, some have lagged behind in math, struggled with literacy and concentration, or lost physical health, the report said. Others showed signs of depression, which included increased eating disorders and self-harm.
While most children have lost various degrees in their learning since March, some have coped well because they spent quality time with parents and caregivers, Spielman said.
Schools and childcare systems were closed to most children in March as the corona virus infection first hit Britain hard. Since September, all children in the UK have been attending live classes. Schools and universities were allowed to remain open under a new lock-in in the UK that began last week.
Authorities in Wales, which has imposed tougher COVID-19 restrictions compared to the UK, announced on Tuesday that important exams for high school students will be canceled by 2021 amid school disruption caused by the epidemic.
Welsh Education Minister Kirsty Williams said the epidemic “could not guarantee a level playing field for exams to take place” and that the decision “removes pressure from learners”.
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