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Finnish kids excelled in distance learning during COVID-19 epidemic

Published : 18 Jul 2020, 22:32

  DF News Desk

DF File Photo.

The majority of Finnish schoolchildren said that they did well in distance learning during the COVID-19 epidemic, reported Finnish national broadcast Yle on Saturday, quoting a fresh survey conducted by United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) Finland, reported Xinhua.

The survey found that 71 percent of children in grades 3-6 in Finland said that they performed well during distance learning. In general, the children who responded to the survey perceived the state of emergency and the distance learning during the COVID-19 epidemic as positive.

Only about 8.0 percent of 3-6 graders said that they felt learning, homework and instructions difficult during distance learning, while 7.0 percent said they needed help with school assignments and homework.

Children who did moderately or worse in distance learning said that distance learning was stressful. They worried about COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, and were bored and lonely during the epidemic, noted Yle by quoting the survey result.

"You could say that in Finland, decision-makers as well as schools, daycares and families did very well to protect kids' wellbeing during the state of emergency," said Mia Malama, education specialist at the Finnish Committee for UNICEF, in a press release.

She added that it would be important to ensure that every child receives the support they need for distance learning.

In addition, the majority of 3-6 graders said that they had received enough information about the virus and exceptional circumstances. But younger children in daycare often did not understand the situation, according to the survey.

"It is possible that a state of emergency will become the new normal. We should listen to the views of children and young people about how life should be organized in the future," noted Malama, adding that it is important to ensure that children and young people know where they can get help.

The survey was conducted by UNICEF Finland between May and June, after children returning to school. A total of more than 4,000 daycare and primary school children participated in the survey. Children in grades 3-6 responded to the online survey independently during classes, while younger children in daycare, preschools and grades 1 and 2 responded primarily via group interviews.

Due to the COVID-19 epidemic, the Finnish government announced the state of emergency in mid -March, and shut down schools and moved to online learning between mid-March and mid-May.