SEOUL, Dec. 1 (Korea Bizwire) — The ongoing coronavirus pandemic continues to take a toll on public schools, imposing pressure on local daycare centers and children’s welfare facilities.
A rising number of infections in Seoul resulted in daycare centers being asked to shut down on Nov. 27. However, many centers continue to open at least partially due to other concerns.
In the meantime, staff at local daycare centers are experiencing extreme fatigue, not knowing when the coronavirus will ever end.
“Local daycare centers are supposed to open only in the afternoon,” said Yoo Eun-jin, head of Songpa District Ogeum-Dong Local Children’s Center.
“Ever since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, however, we’ve been operating for the full day, and it has been tough for the teachers.”
Another concern is the psychological state of children having to stay indoors as the pandemic continues.
The teachers are also responsible for ensuring that these children don’t experience the sense of loneliness or depression.
A report from the Gyeonggi Institute of Education in July showed that 18.9 percent of all elementary, middle and high school students did not exercise or go out for a walk every day, while 35.2 percent did not meet up with friends.
Another 46.7 percent spent more time accessing media content unrelated to their studies.
Experts argue that with the current structure, local children’s welfare facilities won’t be able to offer the services children need.
“It is crucial to recruit professionals who can deal with situations like these, when not even the manuals provided by the government are effective to deal with the coronavirus,” said Lee In-sook, head of the Yeongdeungpo District Local Children’s center.
“The staff also need to be treated better.”
Lina Jang (firstname.lastname@example.org)