The impact of disasters on education is incomprehensible amongst the public which is an issue that must not be ignored as its effects results in major societal disruptions.
Trauma is an emotional injury caused by a disturbing experience which can in fact last longer than most adults would think. A trauma does not only affect student’s performance in school or university, but researchers have proven that a trauma affects student’s trajectory in life, impacting every single aspect of their lives. As life goes on after any disaster, students may find it difficult to concentrate and go back to their routine as if nothing had happened. Everyone is always expected to get up the next day and move on, but that notion is misinterpreted because ignoring the problem or sugar coating it, does not make it go away.
For that reason, educators should be aware of the above and work hard on ensuring that students are provided with the right amount of support to avoid the impact of disasters on education as much as possible. How?
University and school are environments that are familiar to all students where they share experiences, cohesion and have a sense of community ownership and pride. It is the place in which students will most likely feel encouragement and stability in comparison to the overall community that is trying to overcome a disaster. Even the community itself looks to schools to provide safety in chaos and turmoil. To that end, all university environments, be it in classrooms with teachers or meeting rooms with classmates, the goal is to provide stability with one another in order to feel some kind of “normlessness”.
The most important thing to know is that you are not the only person going through this abnormal state of mind, where nervousness, and anxiety feel like they’re taking over your world. Those symptoms are only normal, but ‘normalizing’ the feeling with each other and talking about them with one another, acknowledging that you are all sailing the same boat, will make the journey appear easier.
By: Lana Fadel
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