Dr Brian Mandell
About this class
The Global Classroom’s inaugural class focussed on how Covid-19 is affecting the physical and mental wellbeing of children. The novel coronavirus pandemic has been a source of huge anxiety for children worldwide and this was a unique opportunity for children from all four corners of the globe to put their questions to the experts in charge of the global response to this public health crisis, and discuss coping mechanisms with inspirational role models.
Children from more than 150,000 schools across 193 countries took part in discussions with an inspirational guest line-up that included Director General of the WHO, Dr Tedros Adhanom; Executive Director of UNICEF, Henrietta Fore; HRH Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed of the House of Saud; and Global Ambassador for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Samuel Eto’o. The Smithsonian Science Education Centre also supported with pupil-friendly packs and hands-on experiments.
“I hope the world will emerge stronger and more unified, and all of you children will have a part to play in that because you are our future leaders,” Henrietta Fore told pupils. A sentiment echoed by Eto’o, who said: “I have faith that there will be better days in store for us,” as part of a session on how to remain physically active during lockdown. HRH Prince Khaled, who is president of the Saudi Sports for All Federation, also offered advice about how to remain active during Ramadan.
Dr Tedros fielded questions from our global cohort of pupils, providing valuable insights into the practicalities of dealing with Covid-19. Our educational colleagues from the Smithsonian Science Education Centre also delivered a series of fun and informative practical experiments to explain the reasons behind social distancing. Their child-friendly support packs are translated in multiple languages for participating schools across the world.
“Together we can build a better world,” Dr Tedros told our pupils as he brought the session to a close. This rallying call sums up how Covid-19 has had a unifying effect on us all. One silver lining of this pandemic is that children across the world now have a shared experience of online education, which is equalising opportunities for all – something we will continue to champion through The Global Classroom.