The gap between the haves and the have-nots continues to widen in the realm of education. We were already in the midst of global learning crisis, even before the quarantine and now the divide is even greater. Children of low and middle-income homes lack proper resources like internet and a working computer at home. Even before the pandemic children of low income households were slipping behind, with many of them unable to afford school supplies, and many wrestling with food insecurity and instability at home. It’s hard to focus when you are hungry.
It’s hard to stay engaged when you have all these other issues blaring in the background. It’s hard to get help with homework when no one at home has experience with technology. Many low income students simply didn’t sign in to e-learning this spring. When surveyed, teachers estimated that it was due mostly to the parents’ lack of time and resources. These are children of essential workers so they aren’t home to help as much as parents from other socioeconomic backgrounds. Teacher’s are doing the best they can with the lack of funding, with many coming out of pocket in an attempt to enrich the education of their students, but the gap still continues to grow ever wide.
The effects of poverty of education are made more apparent by the pandemic. Remote learning is perhaps the safest and easiest way to conduct classes during the COVID-19 crisis, but is it the most effective? How do we ensure the future of our little darlings and keep them from going under?