The vast majority of Moroccan children respected Morocco’s strict lockdown and stayed home between March and June.
According to a recent study by UNICEF and Morocco’s High Commission for Planning (HCP), only 2.5% of Moroccan children left their homes during the lockdown.
Approximately half of the children that left their homes did so to play, while one quarter went out to buy groceries from nearby stores.
The report, published today, December 24, revealed that the nationwide lockdown has had several psychological impacts on children.
The most frequent psychological impact among children was anxiety, reported by 50.9% of households that participated in the study. Following were fear (42.6%), feeling trapped (30.3%), obsessive behaviors (24.3%), and sleeping and eating disorders (24.1%).
Other impacts include lack of interest in practicing hobbies (8.1%), hypersensitivity (7.1%), fatigue (5.3%), and depression (5.0%).
The report also studied the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the education of Moroccan children. It found that only 9.3% of children aged above 15 allocated some of their daily time for education.
Children above 15 that studied from home allocated, on average, 212 minutes per day for educational activities. However, the average study time of all Moroccan children over 15 was only 20 minutes per day.
The situation was relatively similar for younger children. During the lockdown, nearly 84% of preschoolers in Morocco did not follow remote classes. The main justification that parents presented was their lack of awareness about the available tools for remote learning.
In primary schools, nearly three quarters of students (73.2%) attended online lessons during the early months of the lockdown. However, after Morocco announced it will cancel end-of-year exams, the attendance rate dropped to 53.5%. The same pattern occurred for middle school students (81.2% to 57.3%).
High school students, meanwhile, were not concerned by the cancellation of final exams, but 45.7% reported that they spent less time on education during the lockdown.