The 16-year-old boy tells us that:
‘Closure of schools led to lack of counselling and guidance services school offers. Schools are second homes for learners. Infact; Woolfe. Murgatroyd and Rhys (1987:3) suggested that guidance and counselling can be convinced as opposite ends, a continuum concerned with the nature of the relationship between helpers and those seeking help. Home schooling during COVID-19 is welcomed but it is not the same as one going to school as there is an element of intolerance by those helping us at home.
Stakeholders have turned a crisis into an opportunity, what with data and smart phone and tutoring. Different learning styles (online) should enhance effective learning as there are different perceptions about the mind. We understand that learners could learn to be independent in lower and higher education as we need to start doing our research.
However, this style of learning does not enhance effective learning as it is hard to understand without the guidance of a teacher, where you can ask without being judged or have another student asking on your behalf and you get to understand – a hide away place. Even sad now is that other children do not have phones whilst some do not have means of buying data bundles. Once going to school is considered, similar topics which were done online should be revisited for the sake of learners with no mobile phones and those who still need guidance. Parents and children who are able to afford things other children need but cannot afford should consider sharing. We need to have schools open because that is where we are free and feel comfortable learning without feeling ‘stupid’. Zambians need to unite in this fight of COVID.’
These stories remain a testament of how children seek validation in a familiar environment and that COVID-19 has negatively affected them in that regard.