There is no doubt that Covid-19 changed our lives and the way we think about our regular, every-day activities. We now wear masks, thoroughly wash our hands, and keep a safe distance from each other.
These changes have also impacted our school systems and how we perceive education. We have talked before about how isolation during this pandemic affected schools, particularly students and their teachers, who had to revert to online schooling. But as a new school year approaches, we are now faced with the reality of going back to school during a pandemic. As WHO mentions, as much as it can be a scary experience, going back to school benefits the student’s social and psychological well-being, allows them to complete their studies and give them access to proper, reliable information to keep themselves and others safe.
However, this also exacerbates the problem that is Early School Leaving – when confronted with a virus and a different way of learning and being in school, students that already were at risk of becoming early school leavers are unarguably more vulnerable. This reinforces the importance of giving teachers, educators, and other youth workers the correct tools to prevent this phenomenon, thus giving the MotivatEyoUth project an even more important role. With the tools provided by the project, built in collaboration with youth people and experts (youth workers), going back to school and preventing Early School Leaving during a pandemic would be possible, giving youth people in vulnerable situations and contexts the possibility to continue their studies and progress into viable education and/or training pathways, contributing to a better future overall, with or without a pandemic.