It is no secret that 2020 is a year that we will all remember, and not in a favorable way. As we head into winter, if you listen carefully, you can hear the frustrated cry of parents, from across the entire country, being pulled to near breaking. What started as a quick patch to get us to the end of the school year in March, has exploded into a year-long ordeal in which parents predominantly must take up the strain for their ailing children’s education.
While American schools all have vastly different approaches in their Covid response, the similarity is equally difficult for parents across the board. Parents are having to make tough decisions, choosing between family and career. Many supporting their floundering children during the day and completing their normal work outside working hours. Playing the role of teacher, worker, and caregiver is bringing parents to the breaking point.
Issues in the education sector are not only due to Covid, they have been building over the past years. However, Covid has exasperated them, bringing them bubbling to the surface.
An aging population of teachers, about a quarter of which are over 50 years old, is one such non-covid related issue. However, according to The New York Times, there has been a wave of these teachers opting for early retirement rather than face the unforeseen challenges and risks Covid has brought with it.
Worryingly, a study conducted by the Institute of Education at University College London, published in The Economist, states that the average student working in an on-line capacity spends a mere 2.5 hours per day on their studies. This will deeply impact their long term education.
Finally, and potentially most damaging, is the division being created between income levels. While families with higher incomes are able to arrange for support, such as tutoring Stamford families, for example, lower-income families may not be able to offer this solution. This may set up inequality in education which will be difficult to correct going forward.
While authorities have left the burden of maintaining education levels of children prominently to the parents, there has been an interesting development. Concerned parents everywhere are finding solutions to these issues and heading on mass towards private tutoring.
Trends during summer have seen parents creating Facebook groups to combat educational issues for their children. Educational Pods have evolved with 3 to 4 families grouping together and hiring a tutor to teach their children. This is freeing up parents to concentrate on their jobs while ensuring the children fulfill their social and educational needs.
Another interesting development is the stepping up of employers. It makes sense that retaining high work standards is vital to businesses and many companies are creating solutions for their employees.
One example of an insightful employer is Kinesis, who provides a tutor to oversee the online learning of their employees’ children. Other companies are utilizing vacant office space and hiring a tutor to create micro classrooms for their employees’ children. The overwhelming demand for tutor services has led to a huge increase in companies offering solutions for parents.
Other ways employers are assisting their staff through these testing times are by offering flexible hours and either paid or unpaid leave options for parents. However, many human resource departments are investigating the viability of packaging paid educational tutoring as part of salaries.
However you look at it, it is not only the kids of America that need supporting through these tough times, it is also the parents. The solutions must support the USA workforce to keep this country running.