Tutoring the Next Generation

Young girl listening and participating in an online class lesson at home from remote teacher. FatCamera/E+/Getty Images

A side-effect of the COVID-19 pandemic is the catastrophic homeschooling/childcare crisis, in which many women have been forced to leave work to provide care, to cut back on their hours or to work their regular hours with more distractions.

Encouraging female tutor works with preteen boy in the campus library. SDI Productions/E+/Getty Images

The UH Institute for Research on Women, Gender & Sexuality (IRWGS), a think tank seeking creative solutions to some of our nation’s most pressing challenges, has a solution. But it’s not an easy answer.

Among the policies proposed in a recent Op-Ed in the Nation by Elizabeth Gregory, the director of IRWGS, are Universal Online Tutoring and Pandemic Parenting Pay, channeled through a new WPA for the 21st Century: a Working Parents Administration.

Gregory cites the ACES program at UH as a real-world solution to the homeschooling problem brought on by COVID-19. This tutoring program teams up at-risk children with well-vetted college students who are not that far out of high school themselves.

“That in-person program went online this spring and has protocols for vetting and training tutors, and supervising the interactions, so it doesn’t put kids at risk,” writes Gregory. “ACES and others are working with the city to reach more kids this fall, drawing on a combination of government grants and donor funds.”

Universal Tutoring would be the ideal situation because, in Gregory’s words: “Wealthy families have rushed to book [tutors], online and in-person. Why would the non-wealthy need them less?”

Category: Social Justice

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