15 June 2020 | Brussels, Belgium | Maja Ahac.
Mother of two, Natasha, is representative of the help ADRA is giving to deprived families who otherwise fall behind with their schoolwork.
“We have tried to keep our girls engaged in the school process and ensure them to keep up with school materials,” Natasha stated. But as schools in Slovenia were closed, and education came via the internet, her daughters were struggling. “We were using an old smartphone and quickly realised that we could not download files and write school homework on the phone.”
Her girls had trouble keeping up with the materials the school was offering and started to fall behind. Help came from ADRA Slovenia, who donated a computer. “This helped us immensely to keep up with school materials,” Natasha said. “The girls are in the fifth and eighth grade and having a computer will not only ensure they can participate in e-learning but will also serve them for further education. We are very grateful.”
As a hard-working mother, but with limited resources, she is delighted, stating, “The computer is working perfectly, and we are very happy that the girls enjoy e-school and are learning new methods.”
Natasha’s girls are just two of more than 42,000 people in Europe who have received support during the COVID-19 pandemic. Although some schools are opening their doors, UNESCO reports that nationwide school closures in multiple countries are still impacting over 1 billion students (or 60% of the student population).
The closures increase the inequality gap between rich and poor, which can be present in education systems at the best of times. Poorer students face increasing obstacles to achieving good grades as they contend with a lack of space to work, problems reaching online resources and psychological challenges.
While educators have scrambled to put learning resources online, in a bid to teach young people remotely, the Coronavirus crisis has amplified educational inequality by putting low-income students at a greater disadvantage than their wealthier peers.
Educators wonder if the period out of school will lead to a variation of the phenomenon known as summer learning loss, where students – especially from disadvantaged backgrounds – lose months of learning, particularly in mathematics, during the holidays.
These students may not be able to afford summer school or activities enjoyed by higher-income students, therefore exacerbating the achievement gap between both groups.
What can we do? As ADRA we are supporting students by providing technical access and by advocating on their behalf.
How can you help? By signing the ADRA petition, Every child. Everywhere. In school. you too can show solidarity with children and teenagers coming from disadvantaged homes. Join with ADRA in creating a better learning environment for all children.