Lessons to learn as schools return

Every child can (or ought to be able to) read print

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The power of print as kids head back to schools print Business UK
The power of print Print Business UK

Gareth Ward the editor of Print Business in the UK writes:

Print is making the return to school possible thanks to some enterprising thinking, though is hampered by lack of funds and confusion over what schools need to do.

The power of print will be ably demonstrated the length and breadth of the country this week as printed graphics remind school children to keep apart from their friends, to keep washing hands and where they should stand and sit to minimize risks of spreading Covid-19. Digital simply cannot do what print can. Print has a key role in society for all ages, not just older generations.

Other printers are producing exercise books with microbial coatings, creating sanitizer stands and printed work books. This is all very encouraging for our industry but more can be done. For example what is disappointing is education’s adherence to remote learning using computers and online resource for those not in school. The evidence is clear that not every child has unfettered access to a laptop and a decent internet connection. Those without may be left behind. Yet every child can (or ought to be able to) read print. Printed books can level the learning playing field. Children can use printed materials without the distraction of Fortnite or Counterstrike.

Even if not actually producing print for schools, print companies should exploit what is happening. This is absolutely clear evidence that print is as relevant today as it has ever been. That does not mean that print is static: it is evolving, as the crisis enfolding paper and high volume printing demonstrates. But if it is changing, it is not going away. This week, every child returning school for the first time in moths will understand this.

Roads back to schools

The article Road back to school is paved with print goes into quite a bit of interesting details of what schools and printers in the UK and Scotland are doing to make it happen for kids headed back to the classrooms. Do login and have a read. NK

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

It is the right time to support our high-impact reporting and authoritative and technical information with some of the best correspondents in the industry. Readers can power Indian Printer and Publisher’s balanced industry journalism and help sustain us by subscribing.

– Naresh Khanna

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