December 14th, 2020
This pandemic has set our children back many months in their education with no signs of letting up. The disparities are higher in minority and poverty laden groups. With the pandemic raging throughout the country now, people are rightly focused on survival and following the community ordinances.
However, there will be a reckoning coming when the pandemic ends. We will have to make some serious decisions to help our children catch up. However, with the right social supports and parental guidance, the losses can be caught up.
If I may, I will relate the abridged version of my father's experience losing years of education
following World War II. Born in 1936 in Poland, his family was taken to Germany in the early 1940's by the German government for forced labor and then likely relocation or removal from the Earth.
Fortunately, the war ended in 1945 and my family was placed into displaced persons camps or what we now call refugee camps. A few years passed and they got the green light to travel to the United States and seek citizenship. My father, at this point, spoke only Polish and had missed most of his primary education from age 8 to 13. Arriving in the United States, he spent the next 5 years trying to catch up by learning English and trying to pass grammar school. He succeeded in passing and graduating from High School in Perth Amboy, New Jersey despite the odds. He would later join the Air Force to obtain a GI bill giving him the financial support needed to further his desires to learn and get a job. Fast forward to completing college and a masters degree allowing him to obtain a job with International Business Machines or IBM. The rest as they say is history.
I wonder, at times, if COVID is not unlike a war where education is displaced leaving it up to the individual to work hard to overcome the missing pieces while the government augments this process as it can.
This may be another amazing opportunity time for the youth of America to turn to any means necessary to achieve the end desired goal. Maybe more people will go into the military, or trade schools, the peace corp, mission work or anything that provides a stepping stone to that which is desired, further knowledge and education.
I am grateful for the hard work that both my parents put forth during the hardest times in recent history. My generation has known no hardship per se until now. It seems about time for the generation X team to step up and work for a better situation.