Sunday, 20 September 2020 - 01:31

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  • Education.

    The future salary of the Spanish 'pandemials' will be reduced by 2% due to the closure of schools for 6 months

  • Generation chaos.

    This is how teenagers suffer the coronavirus crisis

The scene is more or less like this.

There is a girl attending to the television cameras at the door of a school in Valencia on the first day of class after six months away from the classrooms because of a virus that seems to be taken from a science fiction movie.

Behind her there is a father, perhaps a teacher, a group of girls milling about, all with colored masks, and a boy with a box of slippers on his head, because in these times all precautions seem little.

The girl is asked about the nuisance of going back to school with a mask and she says:

"It's a little worse because you can't breathe at all, but nothing happens ... that is better than dying



And she shrugs.

The video, which barely lasts eight seconds, spread like the coronavirus a few days ago through all social networks and perfectly portrays the labyrinth in which children live trapped in their new abnormality.

At the school door is everything:

chaos, absurdity, fear, conscience, uncertainty, irresponsibility, common sense

and a helmet in the shape of a cardboard box to remind us that all this, deep down, is not more than a gigantic nonsense.

“During the first weeks of confinement, my impression was that the minors were fine, even happy.

They did not go to school and that meant a decrease in academic and social pressure.

Especially those who had difficulties with studies or those who had problems with classmates.

In addition, they were spending a lot of time with the family, which is not the usual thing, ”explains Dr.

Antonio Pelaz

, a specialist in child psychiatry at the San Carlos Hospital in Madrid and managing partner of the Cadapa clinic.

“Over the weeks the situation has changed.

A lot of coexistence, a lot of tension, a lot of need to go out, more laxity with the rules ...

The little ones who were happy at home no longer want to go out

, they have their needs covered and fear for the information they receive;

and adolescents who were tired of being at home without seeing their friends, when they have been able to go out have no longer wanted to go home at all.

In this roller coaster a fifth has been installed that the marketing had already baptized as the

alpha generation

, those born after 2010, the children (do not be scared) of the



Since the pandemic began, more than 50 million babies have been born across the planet


According to expert estimates, more than 2.5 million


children enter the world each week


That means that in 2025 there could already be more than 2 billion.

The world (or what's left of it) will be yours.

All the manuals said that they were going to grow up more connected than ever and conditioned, finally, by the change of priorities at home.

"They are raised in families in which

traditional parental roles are more blurred than decades ago

, tasks are shared like never before and the life-work balance is taken care of like no previous generation," said Uruguayan psychologist Roberto Balaguer in a recent report by the BBC.

What no one counted on is a virus that took that hyperconnection and that new idea of ​​conciliation and shook everything at an unexpected speed of agitation.


alpha generation

, hello



"We can already speak of a generation that, unlike the previous ones, is not delimited by changes or technological advances, but by

the impact of a virus that revolutionized the life of every inhabitant

of this planet", writes marketing expert Andrés Elías .

According to his analysis, the future of today's children will be marked by the challenge of climate change, sustainability, the rise of artificial intelligence and big data, but also by new business, work, education and interaction models Social.

It is difficult to guess how much a pandemic like this will really affect in the future, especially when the pandemic itself insists on showing us that everything is unpredictable.

However, there are already several studies that draw the first effects of what was experienced this year.

The pandemic has already caused the most serious disruption in education systems in all history

United Nations

The Secretary-General of the United Nations,

António Guterres

, presented last month the report

Education in the Times of Covid-19 and Beyond

and warned that the pandemic has already caused

the most serious disorder recorded in education systems in all history

and threatens to cause a learning deficit that could affect more than one generation of students.

Unesco statistics show that

almost 1.6 billion students from more than 190 countries

- 94% of the world's student population - have been affected by the closure of schools and about 24 million students may not return to school. school for the remainder of the year.

What will this hole in school absenteeism translate into?

The OECD has just published a work by the economists Eric A. Hanushek and Ludger Woessmann that for the first time calibrates

the cost that the closure of schools

that we suffered for six months

could have in terms of school performance

and that we could live again if The pandemic worsens and its transfer to the Spanish case ventures that only due to the deficit of knowledge of these months, children and adolescents of today will in the future have a salary almost 2% lower than that of previous generations.

“In a typical summer, when students are out of school for 10-12 weeks, students lose 10-20% of the learning gains made in the previous year.

And that loss is greater for children with low-income parents, who have fewer enrichment opportunities during the summer, such as trips, visits to museums or camps.

This year, students have lost much more and also the stress in families and the lack of social connections can amplify these losses, ”explains

Dave Marcotte

, professor of Public Affairs at the American University in Washington

, via email


In 2007, Professor Marcotte analyzed the impact that the closure of schools caused by snowstorms had in the United States and concluded that an average of five days without class translated into a fall of about 3% in the general rate of passed, the equivalent of one student for each class of 30.

“Days lost due to school closings due to weather do not give us enough data to forecast the total costs that this pandemic may have, because previous closures were limited in duration and a return to normalcy was safer.

There is no modern precedent for a situation like the current one

, so we cannot simply extrapolate the learning losses observed when 10 days of school were missed to infer that missing 100 days would be 10 times worse, ”Marcotte now explains, convinced, without However,

there will be "dire effects" on children's development

, as well as on their emotional and mental health, especially for children from low-income families, who have less access to resources to minimize learning losses.

One in four children has suffered from anxiety episodes due to social isolation

Save the children

“Possibly the most profound effect on children is economic.

Unemployment, for example, terribly affects families, even in the educational aspect ", shares the philosopher and pedagogue

José Antonio Marina

, who next week will present his new book,

Proyecto Centauro

, a manual to respond to the uncertainties of the future without falling into catastrophies.

"I fear that the pandemic will be used as an excuse to cover other defects,"

complains Marina.

“With the speed at which things are changing today, daring to predict definitive changes 10 or 15 years from now, it doesn't cause me concern, but rather a laugh.

It's like when they said at the beginning of the century in Madrid that if the increase in horse carriages followed the same progression, in the 1940s the manure would reach the balconies on the first floor ».

Beyond crystal balls and ominous predictions, the truth is that you don't have to wait a decade to perceive the first damage in childhood.

A study carried out by the NGO Save the Children in different countries around the world, still in the early stages of the pandemic, revealed that

one in four children was suffering from anxiety episodes due to social isolation

and warned about the possibility of that the pandemic caused permanent psychological disorders.

In Spain, where Save the Children interviewed nearly 2,000 families with few resources, levels of stress and coexistence problems had increased in four out of 10 households.

“We cannot underestimate the impact that the pandemic is having on the physical and mental health of children.

They are undergoing many high-impact changes in a very short period of time.

We must act now if we want to avoid long-term mental problems

, "said Anne-Sophie Dybdal, an expert in Child Protection and Mental Health at the NGO.

"In the long term, I think the social and economic impact of the pandemic is going to have more influence than the fact of not having gone to school," insists Antonio Pelaz, especially concerned about the damage to the little ones.

«The lack of socialization and contact with family and friends is very important in development and learning.

School is a meeting point for socialization and there is incidental learning that is acquired without anyone teaching us, simply by being there


In the United States alone, there are about three million adolescent students who receive some form of mental health care in school, more than 13% of students of that age.

The closure of schools has been especially damaging for them.

“Children have an enormous capacity to adapt and are now shaping themselves culturally.

They will assume things that were not predictable and they internalize them easily, but that does not mean that it will not affect them.

The pandemic is necessarily going to transform them because it leads us to a different society, because it is going to change the way we are who we are,

”says Guillermo Fouce, president of the Psychology Without Borders Foundation.

The element that most worries Fouce is, once again, uncertainty, the trait that will inevitably condition this




«The main problem is that

we do not have an exit route, we do not know when or how it will end, or if we will have to change more things

, so the only solution is to tell the children the reality and listen to them because the children tell the truth They are forceful and know how to express very clearly what we are experiencing ».

Or, as the girl said at the school door, yes, everything is a little worse, but it is better than dying.

According to the criteria of The Trust Project

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