Children’s Experiences of the Three-Week Lockdown in Ghana, West Africa: A Case Study of Accra and TemaJournal
: Praxis International Journal of Social Science and Literature (Vol.4, No. 2)
Publication Date: 2021-02-17
Authors : Sylvester Kyei-Gyamfi; Bernard Akyeampong Amoh Frank Kyei-Arthur;
Page : 94-140
Keywords : COVID-19 lockdown experiences of children; COVID-19 knowledge; attitudes and practices of children;
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By April 2020, about half of the world's population was under some type of lockdown, which affected over three billion people in more than ninety countries. These global lockdowns, implemented to mitigate the spread and impact of COVID-19, inflicted high human costs worldwide and the protection measures put in place severely impacted daily lives. This study explores children's experiences related to the three-week lockdown in Ghana and gains insights on their knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding COVID-19. Using a cross-sectional approach which employed mix-methods for data collection and analysis, this study has provided clarification on children's opinions and experiences during the lockdown period in Ghana. The study utilized mixed methods relying on remote research methods including a web survey and phone interviews for data collection from a sample of 385 children in Accra and Tema; two of the hotspots of COVID-19 infected areas in Ghana. Almost half of the children sampled affirmed that the lockdown affected them. Some of the positive effects of the lockdown include; prevention from the transmission of the virus, children having quality time with their families, and learning new skills at home. In terms of the negative effects, the lockdown affected schooling and learning due to school closures, increased mental stress of both parents and children, and had adverse effects on livelihoods of some parents. The findings indicate that two out of ten children were subjected to different forms of punishment during the lockdown with most being victims of punishment as a result of the lockdown affecting the livelihoods of many parents. This puts these parents under extreme stress and made them overly aggressive to the least provocation from their children at home. Regarding knowledge, the results show that almost all children sampled were aware of COVID-19. The qualitative aspects however, reveal that some children do not have accurate knowledge about the causes of COVID-19.
There is therefore the need for an increased educational drive aimed at strengthening children's knowledge of the risks of the transmission of the virus in educational institutions and in settings where children and young persons are the dominant groups. Awareness raising is required to sensitize the public about the negative effects of physical punishment and the need to be circumspect when correcting children at home.
Last modified: 2021-06-22 00:15:23