The aftermath of a pandemic in education in Latin America | OP-ED
A look at the undoubted effects that the Covid-19 pandemic has left on students and institutions. Nothing different from the conditions of these countries.
The Covid-19 pandemic transformed, among others, the reality of education in many countries around the world, leaving very long-range challenges and tasks that will surely transform the development plans of governments and institutions.
Despite the deficiencies inherent to inequality and inequity in Latin America, educational institutions, teachers and students quickly adjusted to the new circumstances. According to the World Bank, before the pandemic, only 19% of the portfolio of higher education programs in the region were offered virtually and only 16% used hybrid modalities.
The gaps in aspects such as Internet access, the very poor conditions of many populations, the notorious lack of computers, the neglect in the training process, among others, were in evidence surprising many leaders of the education sector who, under normal conditions, would have never been faced with such stark reality.
Among those who managed to continue studying during the pandemic, according to a UN survey on youth in Latin America and the Caribbean, 38% claimed to have a poor connection or not have it in their homes, 28% must share the computer with other members of the family and 11% do not have a computer, which of course has impacted the learning processes and increased attrition.
As a balm for these horrible figures, the pandemic also gave us hope with multiple examples of solidarity among young people who organize themselves including everyone, because diversity is part of their daily lives and without formalities, but with great effectiveness. We will return to the classrooms vaccinated against indifference and strengthened to work to close the gaps because now more than ever, and despite everything, we know we are connected.
Governments and institutions return to normal, having lived in the flesh of the human beings that make them up the importance of the minimum, the basics, mental health and families as true soldiers in real contingencies.