Students orphaned due to COVID-19 need psychosocial support: experts hinh anh 1Illustrative image (Photo: VNA)
HCM City (VNS/VNA) - School leaders and teachers need to work closely with families of children who have lost a caregiver due to COVID-19 to counsel them through their grief and offer them psychosocial support, experts have said.

A long-term, coordinated effort of teachers should be made with privacy, respect and sustainable principles to ensure children receive appropriate support, said psychologist Dinh Duc Hoi.

Private discussions between teachers and students should be arranged so that students’ family-related information is kept secret.

Hoi said that releasing private family-related information on social networks could have a detrimental impact on children who have lost one or both caregivers due to COVID-19.

Teachers should work closely with political and social organisations to offer psychosocial support to their students even when they move to other schools, he added.

More than 1,500 students in the city have been orphaned due to COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, according to the Department of Education and Training.

Duong Tri Dung, deputy director of the department, said that teachers and parents should work together to offer appropriate support for students as schools have adopted online learning due to the pandemic.

Schools have completed half of the first semester with fully online learning programmes for nearly two months.

A teacher of literature at a high school in Thu Duc city who declined to be named said that teachers needed to use various communication skills when talking to students who have suffered the loss of their caregivers due to the pandemic. 

Inappropriate communication and care delivered by teachers could result in adverse consequences and cause students to be reluctant to share their thoughts and feelings, she said.

Pham Dang Khoa, head of the Education and Training Office in District 3, said that head teachers with trained skills and knowledge could help students without caregivers with their learning and long-term growth.

Nguyen Thi Diem My, a lecturer at the HCM City Pedagogical University’s psychology department, said that teachers needed to be fully aware of psychological changes among children who have lost a caregiver due to COVID-19 and give appropriate support./.