In-person schooling benefits exceed risks of Covid-19, study shows - News.MN

In-person schooling benefits exceed risks of Covid-19, study shows

In-person schooling benefits exceed risks of Covid-19, study shows

On 1 September, Mongolian children have returned to the classroom after along a Covid-19 shutout. Still, masked students in blazers filed into a primary school in the capital Ulanbaatar, where classrooms were kitted out with temperature monitors, hand sanitiser and social distancing stickers.
Mongolia has taken some of the world’s toughest and most enduring measures against the Covid-19 pandemic, shutting schools and kindergartens since January 2020 and plunging children into a purgatory of remote learning with patchy access to technology. Over the past two years, Mongolian educational institutions conducted more than 30 percent of their classes in classrooms due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A study published Friday examined how children in schools can be physically present in the classroom while maintaining proper safety protocols. Since academic learning has altered dramatically since the start of the pandemic, the study, published by Science, analyzed the influence of COVID-19 on children and how it has affected classrooms.

“Children have a very low risk of severe or fatal COVID-19,” the researchers said, “but, early in the pandemic, uncertainties about their role in virus transmission led most countries to close educational settings as part of national lockdowns to control the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)”.

Furthermore, the researchers concluded that children had similar chances of infection as adults, yet they were not as likely to transmit. Further studies of schools that were able to reopen with alleviation procedures such as social distancing and masks discovered that outbreaks were minimal within their communities.

The study also states that while the shutdown of schools does reduce transmission, they would be inadequate in preventing community transmission and, “consequently, the benefits of in-person schooling outweigh the risks.”

As vaccines have now been approved for children as young as 5, and further evidence has been presented that spread can be contained, researchers are looking for ways to keep students in classrooms.

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