SEOUL, May 24 (Korea Bizwire) — Seven in 10 childcare center teachers in South Korea believe the coronavirus pandemic has reduced language development opportunities for preschoolers, a poll showed Monday.
In the poll of 709 teachers at national and public daycare centers in the greater Seoul area, 74.9 percent agreed with the view that children’s language development was disturbed by the use of masks against COVID-19.
The poll was recently conducted by the World Without Worries About Shadow Education, an education nongovernmental organization in Seoul, and Rep. Jung Choun-sook of the ruling Democratic Party.
Seventy-seven percent said the pandemic also reduced children’s physical exercise time and opportunities to develop large and small muscles, while 63.7 percent said excessive indoor living increased the frequency of stress, irritability and aggressive behavior, it found.
The view that COVID-19 has increased the incidence of shyness, difficulties in adapting to institutions and peer-related problems was held by 55.5 percent of the respondents, it said.
A separate poll of 742 parents by the same civic group also produced similar results.
Seventy-six percent of polled parents said the pandemic has reduced children’s physical exercise time and opportunities to develop muscles.
“The government and local governments need to expand support for counseling and treatment to help solve the problem of delayed development of children,” a civic activist said.