economy and politics

Education in a pandemic weakened social skills

Education in a pandemic weakened social skills

Education was one of the sectors most affected by the pandemic, especially given the the need to implement new educational models that allow the reception of classes remotelyonline or virtual, which are different from each other, but have in common that you do not need to be in the same place and simultaneously.

(Read: National University students will go on strike due to deficit).

This was positive, because it expanded access to education to people who are in different cities and countries, according to experts. But he brought with him Negative effects such as little interaction, which affected people’s mental healthaccording to a report published by the World Health Organization (WHO).

In the first year of the covid 19 pandemic, the global prevalence of anxiety and depression increased by 25%”, describes the WHO document.
To which is added that loneliness, fear of infection, suffering and death of oneself and loved ones were some of the stressful factors, which for the researchers leads to episodes of anxiety and depression.

A study carried out by the Center for Emotional Education ‘UR Emotion’ of the Universidad del Rosario showed that students who entered the middle of the pandemic have less social skills such as empathy, teamwork and relationship.

On the research, identified that 11% of those surveyed have a diagnosis of mental healthl, in which anxiety and depression are the most common among students.

Additionallyfound that 20% of the young people who responded to the study and who are not at risk of a mental health diagnosis, do have some symptoms associated with mental illness.

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In this regard, Alejandro Cheyne, rector of the Universidad del Rosario, said that “young people may be at risk of a mental health diagnosis, because they are diseases derived from social interaction around immediacy and the implications of the pandemic in the development of students’ socio-emotional skills”.

This led the researchers to conclude that “the need to implement intervention programs that promote the development of social and emotional skills to face challenging situations that often arise in life is even more urgent.”

On the other hand, the latest Dane Social Pulse survey, with data as of November 2022, sheds light on this mental health scenario, but focusing on the 23 main cities of the country.

This survey showed that in these cities of the country, 40.4% of the population stated that they feel worried or nervous, 35.8% tired, 11% irritable and 5.7% lonely.

Also, 12.8% of the respondents reported feeling sadness, 15.8% stomach pain, while 16.1% had difficulty sleeping, 1.1% had a heartbeat without doing physical activity and 1.2% found it impossible to have positive feelings.

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On the contrary, 36.4% of the people who responded to the survey stated that they did not have any of the feelings described.

When analyzing the data by gender, women are the ones who report more mental health problems, according to Pulso Social. In the case of worry or nervousness, this affects 36.8% of men and 42.7% of women.

Likewise, 15.9% of women reported feeling sadness, and in men it was only 7.9%. In each of the variables the incidence in women is higher.

From these data, it is possible to understand that mental health is a growing problem in societyespecially after a context of pandemic and that is why some educational institutions are promoting initiatives to face it and achieve what José Manuel Restrepo, rector of the EIA University of Envigado, qualifies as “the healthy balance between knowledge and be”.

What should universities implement?

Restrepo says that in order to deal with the decline in social skills and mental health problems, Accompaniment programs must be implemented for the integration of university life, as well as more attention to students who require it.

Another of the tools that the rector of the EIA considers fundamental is the need to “strengthen skills that are more subjective than objective: passion, motivation, happiness, responsibility, commitment and ethics, soft skills.

On the other hand, the Universidad del Rosario proposes the Emotionally Safe Classrooms program, which encourages teachers to understand what may be happening to their students and promotes psychological care for those who have the needs.

Portfolio Journalist

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