Children continue to struggle with basic skills such as writing and speaking after the Covid-19 pandemic, a new study by the UK government’s education agency has found.
This is one of the findings of a series of reports published by Ofsted on Monday, based on evidence from about 280 inspections of educational institutions across different age groups, as well as focus groups with government department inspectors.
In the “early years” group, Ofsted found that education providers reported delays in speech and language development in young children. Some providers have also found that infants have difficulty responding to basic facial expressions, which they suggest may be due to reduced social interactions amid the pandemic. coronavirus and related deadlocks.
In addition, some education providers highlight the fact that children lack confidence in group activities, while toddlers and preschoolers need help in learning how to share and change. turn.
Service providers are also seeing how the pandemic has affected the physical development of young children, such as delays in crawling and walking in infants. Some report that children have reduced independence and self-care skills, prompting providers to spend more time with children participating in physical activities, to help develop the skills they need. gross motor skills.
Meanwhile, school-age children were found to have gaps in math, phonics and “writing ability,” although educators say that compared to the previous semester, the gap in knowledge has been narrowed down.
As is the case in many countries around the world, the Covid-19 pandemic has forced schools in the UK to close to the vast majority of children, meaning many students are being educated at home during the lockdown period. closed water.
Student mental health also remains a concern, with educators noticing lower levels of resilience and confidence, as well as increased anxiety in students.
In fact, this section of the report that focuses on this particular age group says some schools have found that the pandemic has affected the subjects students choose to study before high school and college prep exams, called GSCEs and A Levels.
For example, some schools find that few students choose to study all of the major science subjects – biology, chemistry, and physics. And one educator believes that few students choose to learn another language because their confidence levels drop after the course.
Schools are also seeing how the pandemic has affected students’ technology skills. “For example, one school noted that students were only comfortable using touch screen devices, so they solved this problem by focusing on using desktop computers.” , the report said.
Ofsted Chief Inspector Amanda Spielman said that while progress has been made with efforts to help children catch up on what they have been missing, “it is clear that the pandemic has created some lingering challenges. “
“I am particularly concerned about how young child development, if left unattended, can cause problems for primary schools,” she said.