Covid-19 puts the social skills of children at risk

Covid-19 puts the social skills of children at risk

Covid-19 puts the social skills of children at risk

Covid-19 puts the social skills of children at risk


The health crisis is also putting at risk the social skills that boys and girls learn in schools.

In addition to learning Spanish and mathematics, the collaborative work that is learned in the classroom could be diminished for an entire generation.

According to Paulina Amozurrutia, an education specialist, in the case of preschool education, more than 80% of learning is collaborative.

When you don’t have that, you greatly limit learning; the school provides means of socialization, of containment of emotions that are not being achieved then also there we should look for parallel situations that can help, that is, the school should be thinking about socialization activities by zoom, collaborative work where children and girls have to send audios or messages because, otherwise, for these generations who are experiencing this, this learning, which is a priority, will be diminished, ”he warned.

The fact that a child is overcrowded and cannot socialize with his peers reduces his social skills and his socio-emotional capacities, ”he added.

As of March 23, 30 million 148 thousand 667 girls, boys and adolescents enrolled in any of the levels of compulsory education stopped going to class because of the pandemic. The government’s response to continue the school year was the launch of the Learn at Home program.

However, according to Paulina Amozurrutia, the focus of the educational authority has been limited to the curriculum, when the school gives much more to the students, such as links and social networks.

Today, according to the query #InfanciasEncerradas, seven out of 10 girls and boys, mainly between 6 and 11 years old, say they almost do not speak on the phone to someone who is not at home and this same proportion say they almost do not chat with girlfriends and friends.

The biggest problem, Amozurrutia explained in an interview, is that at each age there are sensitive learning periods that can be very difficult to recover.

We are going to have a five-year setback in education due to the pandemic (according to the UNDP) and when people hear it they say: but why five years if we are going to lose a year or a year and a half, and it is fair because we are losing those sensitive periods where knowledge and learning overlap and then when they are not acquired at the moment, it is very difficult to obtain them later ”.

That is, in addition to the learning that is not being had or that was planned in the educational curriculum, all these socio-emotional, psychological and social skills that are being put aside if a lot of time passes and they are lost, it will be more difficult to learn them. An example, for a 5, 6-year-old child it is very easy to understand a language when for an adult it is much more complex because it is no longer in its sensitive period ”, she explained.

This week the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development warned about the fact that the interruption of learning in schools will cause a loss of skills in students that will affect their productivity in the future, which could result in an average drop of 1.5% of GDP during the rest of the century. This, because the loss of learning will lead to loss of skills, and people’s skills are related to their productivity.

Given this, he suggested that children contribute at home as this helps their socialization.

The parents are doing well and we cannot saturate them to seek the sensitive learning period of their children, but what they can do are elements that seem very simple but that help girls and girls to work on fine motor skills, gross motor skills, like sweeping or shaking, for example. Let’s make a team and allow them to participate in family tasks because there you are working on socialization, teamwork, the attitude of waiting, the will. So beyond thinking about other standardized activities that will be difficult to carry out, you can make a route around the house where everyone participates, let’s not be afraid that they will help at home, that they have very specific tasks, because sometimes we believe that


What moms and dads can do at home to help their children’s motor skills:

  • Have the children help sweep or shake the house.
  • Allow them to participate in family tasks, because there they work on socialization.
  • You can make a route at home where everyone participates; not be afraid that they help, that they have very specific tasks.


Santiago takes classes and spends six hours sitting in front of a monitor. Photo: Special


Santiago must spend six hours sitting in front of a cold computer monitor to follow his classes online. In his second year of primary school, his classroom had to be moved to his bedroom and recesses to the living room.

He is only seven years old and with regret he confesses that sometimes he is bored and that is why he moves so much from his swivel chair, while he is online.

They ask me to stand upright and listen carefully so that I don’t get confused, ”he says.

And you do it?

More or less, sometimes I turn the chair and I’m bored, my miss tells me not to turn the chair and to pay attention ”, he replies.

Without leaving his house, at 8 in the morning Santiago is in front of his computer screen to start his virtual classes, which end until 2 in the afternoon. Without hesitation, he says that what he misses the most about school is seeing his classmates in person.

What I miss the most is being at recess with my friends ”, he admits.

Angélica, her mother, explains that both for Santiago and for her returning to school has been very difficult under these circumstances.

Every day there are calls for attention by children who have bad behavior during the session and it is not being easy at all, because not only do they have to fight with the confinement and with the fact that now they are no longer in the classrooms full of ornaments and that so much joy transmit, but also be away from your friends. They are children and they do not stop moving, if for one as an adult it is difficult to spend so many hours sitting in front of a monitor and it is tedious, for them worse. They sway in chairs, put their feet up, pick their noses, get distracted when we adults pass near them for some reason ”.

There are times when the miss gets desperate because a child cannot read her work quickly, because she is looking for it while looking through her notebook and there are definitely very agile children, but there are others who go more slowly, ”she says.

Furthermore, this mother of a family comments on how learning is representing a new challenge as the children lost “the thread.”

One day the miss asked where her children were, who already knew how to differentiate between units and tens, since of the 19 who connect daily, most had difficulty in this matter, which was seen in the past cycle. And the thing is that the miss spent little more than half an hour reviewing it and not even then did she have the desired answer, ”she exemplifies.

For Angélica, the emergency imposes the challenge of being more aware that the children are not having a good time and we must be patient with them.

-Laura Toribio


Virtual classes impose on teachers the challenge of modifying their teaching practice, that is, the way in which they teach their students, which implies, even questions such as rethinking the distribution of time in an online class and imagining alternatives pedagogical for its different types of students, those who learn visually, auditory or through activities (kinesthetic).

According to specialists consulted by Excelsior it is not enough to transfer the contents from a physical classroom to a virtual one because that would mean a setback of decades. Teachers must leave behind, they agreed, the teaching model based on the figure of the teacher.

That is to say, what cannot happen to us is that we pretend that learning occurs only through a teaching exposition, which is the great temptation we have because when being in front of a screen what one does is speak, then you speak, you speak and you speak but no, you do not promote that participation and to think that only by this visualization of a class the child is learning would be like going back 30 years, because it is not only transferring the contents of a classroom or a book and mounting them on a platform, or instead of giving them to the students, give them to a camera ”, warned Daniela Salgado Gutiérrez, director of the School of Pedagogy at the Universidad Panamericana, Guadalajara campus.

Furthermore, we cannot forget that there are children who learn through different channels; For a kinesthetic child, being in front of a screen for five hours is exhausting, it is very heavy and we cannot expect it to achieve the same results as the one who is completely visual and is happy sitting watching the screen taking classes ”, he explained.

The member of the Education with Rumbo movement, stated that beyond the technological tools that undoubtedly constitute a means to bring learning online as well as a blackboard or a projector is in a face-to-face class, the great challenge for teachers is to become in “designers of learning experiences.”

One of the benefits or of the main characteristics that the school has is precisely the possibility of interaction between students and social learning, so that is the great challenge that teachers now have, how do they generate this interaction and how do they get students to go carrying out their own learning process, that has to make us re-consider the issue of the time distribution of a class ”, he commented.

Paulina Amozurrutia, a member of Education with Rumbo, highlighted that teachers, for example, cannot give a 45-minute zoomed-in talk because they would lose their students.

Now each time teachers have to facilitate learning, be mediators, make the student get to know each other, there is a process called the zone of proximal development, which works for any learning through scaffolding, that is, if I want to. to teach my six-year-old son to add, in reality he already knows how to do it with or without me, but if I want to teach him algebra, no matter how much I explain, he will not understand it, then the learning process has to be more and more in the development zone, where the teacher makes a scaffolding where little by little the student takes this information and develops it alone, almost reaching a metacognition, the capacity more developed in education, which is learning to learn ”, he said.


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