THE POST-COVID IMPACTS ON THE AVERAGE NIGERIAN CHILD: 24.05.21
In commemoration of the children’s day, we held a tweet conversation titled “the Post-Covid impacts on the average Nigerian child” with Rejoice Olori, a Child Development Specialist.
QUESTIONS OF THE DAY
Q1. What are the Post-Covid impacts on the average Nigerian Child?
A1. Oh well, I’ve always believed that building working institutions begin with a child and that can be achieved when academic excellence is not perceived as the only fundamental part of a child but also the emotional and social development.
In respect to daily living, what are your thoughts on the Covid-19 pandemic that struck last year?
A2. When the pandemic struck, many countries were quick to close their borders, turning inward in the scramble to protect lives and livelihoods. Sadly, the crisis has done little to bond nations against this shared, invisible foe – in some cases blame for the outbreak and rows over responses actually exacerbating geopolitical tensions. Lives were lost, unemployment rate rises. Very sour experience.
However, the news of an effective vaccine makes the prospect of a ‘return to normality’ more hopeful.
#The Covid Pandemic has certainly affected every aspects of our lives and societies.
Q3. The Covid-19 pandemic has affected all, regardless of age, status or location.
In what ways has this virus affected the Nigerian Child? Has it had any positive impact on the average Nigerian child?
A3. The high level of stress that humanity is experiencing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic may generate tolerable or toxic stress for children and adolescents, depending on if and how support is ensured. Under the appropriate care and support of adults who provide children with constant feelings of security and affection, the child’s body reorganizes itself biochemically and quickly returns to levels of physiological functioning without further damage.
However, when this support is non-existent or inadequate, a failure of the body’s functions to return to basal level primarily impacts the cardiovascular and neurological systems, with consequent irreversible loss of connections in the infant brain, due to toxic stress.
An increase in parental stress levels during a pandemic, a factor that directly interferes in children’s quality of life, is therefore evident. Anxiety, excessive concern with cleanliness, excessive fear of falling ill, We all know that genetic predispositions are modified by environmental influences and that affect learning capacities, adaptive behaviours, lifelong physical and mental health, and productivity. Given this perspective, the COVID-19 pandemic has influenced the physical & mental health of children such as isolation itself, school shutdown, reduced physical activities, sleep difficulties, exposure to disharmony at home, excessive screen use etc
Also, while many countries have easily adapted and switched to virtual classes, in Nigeria, it is not only difficult but also impossible to open schools virtually due to the lack of facilities necessary to operate virtual classes, poor provision of the internet network, unstable power supply, high cost of mobile data and other challenges. Many children were out of school even before the pandemic, and even more, have dropped out due to the pandemic. They learn from home teaching method introduced by the Nigerian ministry of education to teach through radio, TV isn’t yielding the desired result as the electricity supply in the nation is below average. Majority of Nigerians cannot afford televisions or radios.
What do you suggest be done or implemented for the alleviation of these negative impacts?
A4. Education provides the platform to improve the quality of life and continuous regeneration of knowledge, capacity, and skill in the society for continuous productivity and development. especially in previously unstructured homes and a lack of physical activities are factors. In the face of this pandemic, the creation of activities to promote healthy development and prevent toxic stress, should be a priority to improve the overall health and development of children and their families, and the intellectual & working capacity of these individuals over the long term, with positive economic and social results for the nation.
Thank you so much
I have learnt a lot from this conversation and I’m certain our audience did too. Children are the future of our society and their developmental process should be a priority to us as a nation.