As of September, distance learning gave way to face-to-face education. After about a year and a half, the children got their classes. With the opening of schools, experts drew attention to the decline of students' learning skills.
It was stated that being away from education in Turkey, which is one of the countries where schools are closed for a long time, increases the psychological and social effects on students. According to McKinsey's 2021 report, the effects of 'incomplete learning' became more prominent after starting school.
When face-to-face education was started, students who moved to the next class could not actually reach the knowledge and skills required for the class they should have started in distance education. Especially the inequality of opportunity in online education has made this difference more obvious. Although the structure offered by the school system was tried to be provided to a certain extent in the online environment, the decrease in social interaction in this process limited the ground on which these skills could develop.
Parents must remain calm during the re-adjustment to school
Stating that returning to school is a process that may take time with the re-start of face-to-face education, Dr. from Istanbul Bilgi University Psychology Department. Instructor Member Zeynep Maçkalı said, “Each child and young person's level of readiness to return to school may be different. At this point, it is important to understand the difficulty that the child and young person have in returning to school, without making comparisons. Parents should be careful not to talk about their own anxieties and fears when talking about the importance of returning to school. Talking about what they like to do at school and how their day went on the way to school can also be encouraging for going back to school. Parents may feel uneasy about their children starting school, it is important to realize these feelings. When talking to their children about going back to school, they should be careful not to show their own uneasiness to their children. Although the child's perception will be different according to the age period he is in, the child who senses the uneasiness of his parents may see going back to school as a threat or danger. This can create reluctance to go to school. At this point, trying to put the child's benefit first and handling the situation calmly, reassuringly and encouragingly may help the process to pass more easily. At this point, they can try to be a model for their children by talking about how they are trying to cope with this difficulty.
Mathematics decreased by 5 months, reading skills decreased by 4 months.
It is noteworthy that researches showing that social skills of children in the preschool period decrease considerably (E.g. Timmons, Cooper, Bozek, & Brand, 2021, Engzell, Frey, & Verhagen, 2021). Emphasizing the report published by McKinsey & Co in 2021, Dr. Instructor Member Zeynep Maçkalı; “According to the report, it was stated that the mathematics skills of primary and secondary school students declined by five months and their reading skills by four months. In another study conducted by Prowse et al. in 2021, which included the experiences of university students on online education, it was revealed that about 30 percent of them had difficulty in transitioning to distance education, they experienced more stress, their negative moods such as isolation, loneliness, hopelessness increased, and their motivation decreased. It is not difficult to predict that with all these negative effects, the academic performance of university students may also decrease.”
Extreme stress caused sleep problems
Starting face-to-face education again after the differentiated classroom layout, shortened course hours, and early school programs in distance education can create difficulties for many students. As the required physical distance rules, the obligation to wear a mask, and differing attitudes towards vaccination, were left in March 2020, we were faced with a quite different environment.
Transferring the results of the research (Marques de Miranda et al., 19) on how COVID-6 affects the mental health of people aged 21-2020 in America, China, Europe and South America, Dr. Instructor Member Zeynep Maçkalı; “According to the report, approximately 12 to 48 percent of people in this age range experience depression and anxiety. In a study conducted by Schwartz et al. (2021) on students returning to school between the ages of 12 and 18 in Canada, it was determined that 25 percent of the students' stress levels were above the critical level. It was stated that they experienced more sleep problems, hyperarousal and negative affect in relation to this situation. In another study (Ren et al., 19) examining the psychological effects of COVID-2021 on university students with the introduction of face-to-face education in China, it was revealed that students suffered from depression and anxiety symptoms. In another study (Hillis et al., 21) conducted with the under-18 group in 2021 countries, it was revealed that over a million people lost at least one of their parents and/or caring grandparents. At this point, situations such as reluctance, difficulty in concentration and introversion were observed in students who lost their relatives in the process of returning to school. In this respect, it is important to plan psycho-social support activities that will provide space for the processing of losses and increase psychological resilience.”