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Bogotá: Opinion: What about future generations? – Bogota

The pandemic has revealed that we were not prepared to face a crisis of this magnitude. One of the most affected sectors has been Education, impacted by the strict confinement measures, accompanied by the scarce technological infrastructure, lack of methodologies, cultural appropriation and weak training of the teaching body to maintain a quality virtual education.

The Education sector in Bogotá presented challenges prior to Covid-19, delivering alarming indicators to the new District Administration that were not met with the Development Plan of the previous government.

The results in educational quality concerned cOnly 16.8% of official schools are in category A + / A in the SABER 11 tests. Likewise, non-official schools had shown a decrease of 5.7% from 2018 to 2019. In terms of coverage, challenges were also observed prior to the pandemic, where gross coverage was 87.3% and net coverage was 79.3%Results that were far from what was planned in the Development Plan with goals of 100% and 95%, respectively.

According to the virtual perception surveys conducted by Bogotá How We Go in July and November of last year, satisfaction with education was low and generalized across different socioeconomic levels. Only 23% in July and 22% in November were satisfied with the education of boys, girls and young people. It should be noted that in Bogotá, at the end of 2019, there were 1,328,268 students enrolled, 17% of the population.

Returning to the classroom in full is something that once again seems distant. Paradoxically, they had been working on preparing a safe return to the classroom for this year, when since mid-2020 it was estimated that a second and third peak of pandemic had a high probability of occurring, as had been observed in other countries.

(Read: Private schools in Bogotá will start calendar with virtual classes)

Likewise, households did not trust to return to classrooms as evidenced by the second phase of the virtual survey of Bogotá, How Are We Going in November, where 51% of those surveyed answered that they would only send their children to school if a vaccine was found, response that prevails in low socioeconomic levels.

At this time of pandemic, the care and protection of the population must continue to prevail in policy decisions, in such a way that we must accept the cost that the pandemic is leaving behind in educational terms.

However, we are talking about future generations, with which these results make it a priority to develop monitoring, evaluation and follow-up of the impacts that Covid-19 is leaving on children and young people.

Today we are already talking about how young people can be a “lost generation” if no structural measures are taken, now we must add boys and girls to this as a possible generation that it will face greater gaps and barriers to develop in the future.

Determined efforts must be made to measure the impact in cognitive, psychological and social terms of children. Only in this way can we generate short, medium and long-term solutions that mitigate the impact that have received more than 1,300,000 children and young people.

According to ECLAC economic recovery will only be seen at the end of 2024, However, the recovery of the time lost in educational quality can cost us decades of setback in the social and economic development of the city.

This is the precise moment to be designing instruments that allow quantifying and qualifying the consequences of this critical period. For example, create a great district monitoring system of children that I evaluated before, during and after the effects of the pandemic.

Also monitor the main areas of setback to prepare plans and programs that become operational when education returns to its natural coursel. Finally, in the crisis there is the opportunity and, in that sense, perhaps this is the moment in which a comprehensive trajectory of the education sector is considered from early childhood to entry into the labor market.

To continue reading:

-What will happen with private schools ?: Secretary of Education responds

-Learning and mental health, at risk for not returning to classrooms

Felipe Bogotá – Director of Bogotá How We Are Going

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