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The Effect of Covid-19 Pandemic on Education.




How Parents are Supporting their Children's Learning during the COVID-19  Pandemic in Nigeria - The Education and Development Forum (UKFIET)
Father teaching his son during the pandemic




Dr. Olorungbemi, O.1




Parenting is the nurturing of a child from infancy to puberty sometimes till adulthood.

Parenting has a very serious implication for a child's education and it must be properly handled as it is the beginning of socialization. It covers almost a lifetime span. The training given to a child determines his or her self-concept as well as how the child will adjust to the society emotionally. Bad or poor parenting produces indiscipline, ill- mannered children that turn to nuisance in the society. Education of a child is more than schooling. Education covers both formal and informal learning that will build a total wholesome child.



The key concepts in this presentation are: Parents, child, education, child education, covid era Parent is one of the two persons from whom one is immediately biologically descended, a mother or a father. In African context, a guardian (i.e. one who is not the biological father or mother) is also a parent; since he/she agrees to train the child.



Child refers to the newly born human being, boy or girl, son or daughter. The ward in the care of a guardian is also a child. Google describes a child as a young human being below the age of puberty or below the legal age of majority. According to Google, it is synonymous with youngster, young one, boy, girl, little one, newborn, infant, toddler, schoolboy, schoolgirl, adolescent, teenager, youth, young man, young woman, young lady, young person, juvenile, young adult, minor, junior, stripling, kid, baby, heir, son, daughter and many more. Article 1 of the United Nations Convention, defines a child as 'every human being below the age of 18years, unless under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier'. The Child Protection Code in The African Child Policy Forum agrees with the earlier descriptions as 'Every human being below the age of 18years and that has not reached the age of majority by special arrangement'. A child is also described as 'A biological human being between the stages of birth and puberty or
between the developmental period of infancy and puberty. To Wikipedia, children generally have fewer rights and less responsibility than adults; they are classed as unable to make serious decisions and legally must be under the care of their parents or another responsible caregiver which points to the fact that parents must be responsible for proper upbringing of their children. Below are some of the provisions of Child Right's Act;


1.     Best interest of a child to be of paramount consideration in all actions

2.     A child to be given protection and care necessary for his wellbeing

3.     Right to survival and development

4.     Right to freedom from discrimination

5.     Right to dignity of the child

6.     Right of a child to free, compulsory and universal primary education

7.     Responsibilities of a child and parent


Education is the over-all development of an individual. Education is the development of character and mental ability. Education is defined severally by some
educationists/philosophers. John Dewey(193B) in his book on 'Experience and
Education' defined it as a social process and as a growth. He opined that education is not a preparation for life but life itself. It is also defined as a systematic process through which a child or an adult acquires knowledge, experience, skill and sound attitude (John P., 2012). It is a lifelong process.


Types of education

1.     Formal education

2.     2. Informal education.


Formal education refers to the systematically arranged learning programmes in an
organized setting that makes room for test or examination within specific period (Jibrin, 2015). Informal education is just the opposite of the former. The learning is not preplanned, not in an organized setting and no formal test or examination. It is the knowledge or skill acquired in homes, market places, churches/mosques/shrines, farm etc. Formal education is delivered usually by a professional or an unprofessional teacher. Informal education is mostly done by parents/guardians, pastors/imams, peer groups and mass media like television, radio and newspaper.

Formal education starts from the pre-primary to post primary and tertiary institutions. Informal child education covers infancy stage till marriage or for a life time. Informal education is primarily handled by the parents, the more reason why it has to be properly handled.

Child education then refers to the overall development (whether formal or informal) of the unborn, newly born human- being, boy or Girl, son or daughter or ward of any age before maturity.



For us to understand the roles of parents in child education, there is need for a brief
explanation on the objective of education as. contained in the National Policy on
Education. The parents will be able to find their bearing in the national educational aims and objectives.


1.     The inculcation of national consciousness and national unity

2.     The inculcation of the right type of values and attitudes for the survival of the individual and the Nigerian society;

3.     The training of the mind in the understanding of the world around;

4.     The acquisition of appropriate skills, abilities and competences both mental and physical as equipment for the individual to live in and contribute to the development of his society.


Covid-19 Era - Coronavirus pandemic is a global health challenge. The disease is
caused by a virus called corona. It belongs to the family of viruses that range from
the common cold to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). The most recent
one is described as Covid-19. It was detected in Wuhan, China in December, 2019.
The pandemic is highly contagious. The symptoms of the disease are difficulty in
breathing/shortness of breath, fever, high temperature, above 38 degree Celsius,
cough, sore throat, fatigue/weakness, muscle/body aches, new loss of smell or
taste, headache, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, confusion, etc. In handling this
strange pandemic and curtail it from spreading, it became imperative for government
to enforce lockdown of businesses, churches, mosques, schools, transport etc. and
everyone had to stay indoor for weeks before it was gradually eased. The
experience is positive and negative. Some became richer and some became poorer.
Lives were lost too. Fear and anxiety gripped everybody. People became more conscious of hygiene and what they eat.



This is a negative impact of the lockdown on education:


Frustration- Many students were depressed, frustrated staying indoor all through. Some students carried the frustration into the school on resumption became nonchalant, violent and disobedient to school rules and regulation.

The lockdown made pupils, students, teachers and lecturers to stay away from learning-teaching process for about 6/7 months. The UNESCO monitoring over 130countries implemented nationwide closures impacting over 80% world students’ population. Some other countries implemented localized lockdown. This caused educational disruption.


Immorality- Underage-girls became exposed to unwanted sex, adolescent/teenage
pregnancy resulted. UNICEF, 2020 reported that 'the lockdown led to an over 50% increase in the number of reported cases of sexual violence at our centre; up to 85% of those cases were children'.


Crime - There have been reported cases of armed robbery in some states as a result of idleness and/or inability to work and many youths are at the risk of deteriorating mental health. Some even committed suicide. DilshadMet all (2020) reported 37 suicide cases across 11 countries, 23 were student victims.


Test/Examinations disrupted - standardized testing and admissions were delayed across the country. School Certificate Examination and NECO were delayed. Some states cancelled standardized tests out rightly while some just carried out some tests. The essence of test/examination is primarily to give information about the Child's progress for families, teachers and the students themselves. The loss or delay of this
information hinders/delays the recognition of high potential and learning difficulties that can have long term negative consequences.


Online teaching and learning- the lockdown made way for some schools to engage online opportunities in their teaching/learning process. In as much as it is good, there are some challenges attributed to it. The students living in rural /remote areas could not access the internet. Some had power failure. Some could not use Computer/tab/phone for learning. This became a burden for low income families. Concentration became an issue for students who had access to internet. Children with learning difficulties had challenge with online teaching as there was no provision for braille and sign language. Schooling is a way of teaching and raising skills- Skills like interpersonal relationship, communication, talent exhibition and many others are learnt through clubs and societies organized in the school. These skills could not be actively learnt at home.



Covid-19 has made it difficult to realize some of the objectives of education. Education is regarded as a major tool in achieving national development. And as such parents have a very huge role to play if these objectives are to be met. Parents' involvement in a child's education is consistently found to be positively associated with a child's academic performance (Hara and Burke, 1998; Hill and Craft,2003; Marcon, 1999).


The role of the parents in child education is to lay the foundation- moral, spiritual and intellectual — on which the child is to build later in life. The first people with whom the child comes in contact are his parents. They transmit to him their own values of right and wrong at a time he is not in contact with any other influence. They initiate him into the cultural heritage and into his immediate society and teach him from birth what is morally acceptable to the community. Unless these lessons are of the right type, the child starts life at a great disadvantage. Unless the foundation laid by the home is sound, the school has nothing to build upon and the child later becomes a problem to his parents and the community at large. Covid-19 is one of the challenges of life that needs wholesome parental background. It is only when the parent performs his parental function effectively that the school can hope to strengthen the foundations of greatness and intellectual achievement already laid for the child. And the community can then utilize his potentialities to enrich the cultural heritage. The responsibilities of the home/parents are enormous and cannot be overemphasized. These responsibilities start as soon as the child is born.


At this era that some children and youths have demonstrated some maladjustment
behaviour and grown cold towards learning, there is need for parents to understand
their roles in bringing up their children in a promising and fulfilled manner.


Physical care - The parent sees to the physical hygiene of the baby. The mother bathes the baby in the morning and evening, washes the mouth and tongue, creams him, wears him clean dress, change his nappies when necessary. (The mother does this until the child be left alone to take care of himself).


Parents are sometimes annoyed that the child does not remain clean for very long. To counteract this, some parents restrict the child from moving about to play. The danger in this, is the risk of denying the child the joy of childhood. The child should be allowed to jump, run and climb, push, haul things, and to explore. The parents only need to give little supervision so that the child does not sustain serious injury. By the time the child gets to school, the school will not become boring to him; rather the enthusiasm to learn would have fully developed in the child. The child's brain would be fully developed and alert for learning.


The parent should ensure also that different toys are available for the child to play with. Toys that can stimulate the sense organs- sound, touch and sight; toys of different colours and shapes stimulate the eyes, toys of different sounds stimulate the ears and toys of different shapes stimulate sense of feeling. The interaction of the baby with toys makes him familiar with some concrete objects that he will later learn in school. For example, a child that has never seen ball may not understand when the teacher in school mentions ball.


a.     Toilet Training:- The parents are equally saddled with the responsibility of giving toilet training to their children. The earlier a parent (mother especially) starts the better. This is to regulate the time the child eases himself and where he does it. The parent is to provide the child with pottee and be consistent in the time she takes the child "wee-wee" or "puu-puu". By the time you do this in one or two weeks, the child becomes used to it and finds it difficult to mess around. On getting to school, the job becomes easier for the teacher. The child already knows the meaning of pottee, or water system and what it is used for, and one aspect of personal hygiene is already clear to the child.

b.     Engaging the child in mild tasks: - As the child grows a little older, the parents should introduce the child to sweeping, washing of plates, gradually to washing of his pants and singlets. The parents should also note that children learn more through imitation. Therefore, mothers should be good role models. It is important that parents do not sit idle and saddle the house- girl with all the house work. By doing this, you are already imparting to the child the right type of values and attitudes for survival and at the same time, making him to acquire appropriate skills, abilities and competences that will make him live and contribute to the development of the society.



c.      Language Development: -

It is expe3ted of parents to help their child in language development. In pregnancy, the father and mother can talk to the child because psychologists reason that since they (i.e. unborn babies) are living things as classified by the scientist, that they can hear. When the child finally arrives, the job continues. Parents should not assume they are babies and cannot hear. When the baby wakes up you smile to him and say 'darling, how are you this morning? How is your daddy? You will observe that the baby will respond by smiling, stretching his fingers and hands (if he is matured enough to stretch hands) and even his toes. When the child cries, ask him questions like "oh, my dear, what can I do for you? Are you hungry? Or is your nappy wet? Or you do not like the position in which you; are kept? This way, you are stimulating the hearing organ of the child. In a short while, in a matter of months the child will start making some sounds like bla, ma, ma-ma. And as the child is making efforts to pronounce certain words, parents should try to help the child pronounce it better. Parents should move closer to their babies so that they can understand them and help them.

Furthermore, parents can speak more than one language at home especially
when the child is about 2years.According to psychologists, a 3year old can pick 2 or more languages at the same time. Longitudinal studies by Harvard University confirms that learning additional languages increases critical thinking skills, creativity and flexibility of the mind in young children. With proper language development, the child will be able to take instructions, interpret instructions, and communication becomes easy for the child. The need for polite language should be taught on the child. He should learn the use of 'please', 'sorry', 'thank you' etc. This helps the child to have respect for the feelings of others and not being selfish/ ungrateful. Non- verbal cues are communication skills the child needs to learn.


d.     Training of children should not be stereotyped:- Both sexes should be taught how to sweep, wash plates and clothes, cook and clean the house. They should both be taught to be humble and respectful. Research has shown that gender stereotyping can make some girls to the timid and not wanting to take some careers. National Science Foundation (NSF, 1996) found that women are sorely represented in Science and Engineering; women were less than a quarter (22%) of the nation's scientist and engineers. In addition to that, men who are not properly brought up in house chores end up being a problem to the family.


LOVE in the family especially to the child is a necessary ingredient for child's education. Whenever a child is denied this love probably because he came as a mistake or as a wrong sex different from what the parent expected, the child feels neglected and frustrated. This may make the child to seek for where he will be loved. He may join cults where he will be introduced to a lot of deviant or maladaptive behaviour. As a girl child, she may take solace in boy-friends. It is essential that parents show love to the child by buying him most of the things he needs, such as clothes, shoes, food, snacks, chatting with the child, telling him educative stories, taking him out to places of fun. Love gives the child sense of security that is required for better academic achievement. The child feels free to discuss with you. The love a parent shows to the child does not cancel

correction or beating when necessary. This will assist the child to discern between good and bad character.


DISCIPLIN: - The child should be given the right discipline by the parents. There are some tendencies for a child to just grow any how if not sharpened. Parents should learn to punish bad character in the child as well as encourage/reward good habit found in the child. The punishment should be appropriate to the offence committed. And it should come immediately the offence is committed so that it has effect in the life of the child. As you punish or frown at bad character, do not neglect/fail to reward a good conduct. Sussan (2017) studied 'The Impact of Student's Self-Discipline and Parental Involvement in Student's Academic Performance'. Results indicated that Student 's self-discipline and parental involvement are significantly correlated with Students ITBS scores and GPA (ITBS is Iowa Test of Basic Skill and GPA is Grade Point Average.) Parenting in the study has highest correlation with academic performance.


RIGHT TO FORMAL EDUCATION- Each parent owes the child the responsibility to be trained in school. Parent should struggle to have steady income that will help in the training of the child. The child needs to pay school fees (especially in private schools), he needs textbooks, and other instructional materials, school bag, neat uniform, white socks that will always keep the child tidy. He needs good food for growth, brain development and immunity against sickness. When the child is fully equipped with the aforementioned items, he will develop positive self-concept, confidence and he will be able to relate with teachers and mates with ease. Learning then becomes easier. Inferiority complex is wiped out. The parents should also assist the child in home work. However, the parent is not expected to write the answers for the child as this will make the child dependent. For example, a child is given home work on "addition of units", viz. 2 + 1 ( ). The parent should help the child by asking him to pick 2 stones to represent the figure 2 and ask him to pick another one stone to represent the figure 1, then tell him to add the stones together. Let the child now write the answer in the box. If a parent is illiterate and cannot teach, the parent can employ a teacher to be coaching him up or make friend with a neighbour's child to teach his child. It is important the children should attend lessons
during the holiday. When they get to secondary school, enroll them in a computer training so as to learn it before writing computer-based exams. Parents should find out the weakness and strength of their children academically. If his performance is low in a subject, help him by teaching him or get a teacher to do that. 'Good soup, na money kill am'. Buy past question and answer books for them to practice.

The parent should try always to search the child's bag for any strange thing/object so that you can quickly curb stealing. The parent should endeavour to find out the friends the child keeps and as well read the comments made by the teacher concerning the child in the report card. This will help the parent to correct any wrong habit in the child earlier. It is important that parents attend PTA and honour the invitation the teacher of the child gives any time. It is better that parents join hands with teachers to educate the child. The result of such joint efforts is always wonderful.


SEX EDUCATION - It is the process of teaching the child [adolescent to develop a positive and wholesome approach to sex at the right age, in the right forum and with the right person. It is also the process of enlightening them about the dangers attached to each stage of life if caution is thrown to the winds.

In the past, parents have failed in this respect. They felt it was culturally wrong to talk about sex to a young one and this attitude had led to a lot of problems in the society. It is necessary to give sex education to your child. These days of gross immorality where teachers or indecent adults rape little girls, the female children especially should be taught from age 2 where people must not touch in their body. The children should be taught the meaning of different forms of sexual immorality like pedophilia, deflowering, rape, incest, lesbianism, homosexualism and how to avoid it. Some children start puberty earlier than others. Some start as early as age 10. It is the duty of the parent to begin earlier (like 9 years of age) to talk to the child. If the child is a girl, the mother should teach her what she is to expect in her body, like breast budding, growth of hair at arm-pit and private part, on-set of menstruation. She should be taught how to handle herself during menstruation. The parent should make her realize that when a girl sleeps with a man, the egg in the girl child is fertilized and she becomes pregnant. The parent should not fail to make her understand the damage such unwanted pregnancy will do in her life. She should make her understand the danger of abortion and several Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) like syphilis, gonorrhea etc. that can be contacted during 'unholy' sexual intercourse. The same teaching is needed for the boy child so that he does not just go and impregnate an innocent girl from another family.

As part of sexual education, parents should not drive away adolescents of opposite sex from their own adolescents; rather, they should communicate those values that the society cherish and uphold to their children and use the open door policy as an opportunity to meet, study and assess those suitors. This is to prevent the children in arranging their meeting secretly elsewhere.

NUTRITION/HEALTH - Research findings have shown clearly that under-nutrition causes children and adolescents to have less energy and less interest for learning.
Malnutrition can result in long term neural issues in the brain, which can impact a child's emotional responses, reactions to stress, learning problems and other medical problems etc. Good food and adequate feeding enhance immunity/good health. Hence, parents should provide adequately for feeding of their children. They should also attend promptly to health issues of their children by taking preventive and curative measures when necessary. In this Covid-19 era, all protocols for safety should be exposed to the children.


PARENTS SHOULD DISPLAY POSITIVE ATTITUDE TO LEARNING- Any negative attitude of parents will go a long way to plant bad impression about school activities on the children. They should plant in their children dignity of labour and hard work so that they grow in it and not becoming cheats in life. They should attend PTA, Open Day meetings, learn and make contributions. They should read comments made by teachers on their report cards. Parents should make the home conducive for learning. Children should not be loaded with much house chores that will distract them from learning.

There should be chair and table for studying in the house. Parents can choose tv shows that can aid learning, control the time the children watch television. Parents should encourage their children to share information with them so that they can understand the happenings around them and be able to give advice when necessary.


CAREER CHOICE - This aspect is highly crucial. The foundation for a wise and realistic career choice is laid at childhood/primary school stage. At childhood stage, the parent is expected to expose the child to different types of career. The importance of each career cum the relevant subjects he requires for such courses and professions should be made clear to the child from the beginning. Similarly, prospects and hazards of the professions should be known to the child. However, all these cannot be taught in a day but should be gradually and systematically introduced to the child. For example, when you take your child to the hospital, show him who a medical doctor is. Tell him the subject requirements to qualify someone as a doctor. You then sensitize him to what the doctor enjoys and the problem he may be confronted with. On another different day, you tell him about another profession. By so doing, the child is having a for-knowledge of different careers. He may then start to make up his mind on what career to choose in life. Remember, a wise career choice gives job-satisfaction and self-fulfillment which is important to high productivity and subsequently, national growth and development.


At this juncture, I like to stress that it is not a good practice for any parent to impose any career/profession on any child. Allow the child to make — up his mind, you can only direct or guide him. Researches have shown that people who are forced to do what they do not have interest in are often frustrated and remain unfulfilled. It is important for parents to note that individual's personality is related to career choice. Holland(1997) and others like Monberg, (2004), Onayase and Onoyase (2009), and Soo(2010) confirm that people are most productive when there is a good match between their personality types and their careers.


PARENTS AS ROLE MODELS- Parents should be exemplary in their character so that they can bring up healthy, disciplined children. Lying, smoking, gossiping, drinking and other vices should be frowned at by parents.



The aims and objectives of education will remain unachievable if parents fail to take up their responsibilities over their children's education especially in this covid era. The moment parents sit up to take their tasks seriously, there will be sanity in the society, discipline will be higher, better academic performance, good leadership in the country and increased productivity at all sectors of the economy. The benefits parents stand to gain if they effectively carry out their roles in the child education are innumerable.

·        They will feel fulfilled.

·        They will have peace, experience less stress and less anxiety.

·        They can boastfully declare their parenthood.

·        They will, all other things being equal, enjoy the fruits of their labour. The child can buy cars, build houses, change the furniture in the house, take the parents abroad for sight-seeing, give the parents good medical care; and finally gives the parents befitting burial.


It is a thing of joy that one has a child/children, we should therefore ensure we do our best in bringing up these children properly.






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UNICEF-(2020) Covid 19: Children suffer violence during Lagos Lockdown.


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