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Three quarters of Australian students are worried Covid lockdowns will cripple education

Three quarters of Australian students going into Year 12 are worried Covid lockdowns will cripple their education

  • Survey found three in four Year 11 students concerned about their education 
  • Education expert Dr Selina Samuels said students were stressed and anxious 
  • Teenagers have dealt with more than 18 months of disruptions to schooling 
  • Premiers vowed to ease restrictions when majority of people are vaccinated 


Three out of four Australian students heading into their last year of high school are concerned Covid lockdowns are causing lasting damage to their education. 

Of current Year 11 students, 74 per cent said they were nervous about Year 12 because their learning has been disrupted for the past two years, while 76 per cent are concerned about more lockdowns next year. 

In addition a large majority of students (86 per cent) felt they were disadvantaged compared to previous years, a survey of 416 students across different states found.

A survey of Year 11 students found the majority are worried Covid lockdowns have caused lasting damage to their education (pictured: Year 12 students lining up to get the Pfizer vaccine in Sydney on August 9)

High school students have dealt with more than 18 months of intermittent lockdowns (pictured: Year 12 students at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney line up for the Pfizer vaccine as defence force trooops assist)

High school students have dealt with more than 18 months of intermittent lockdowns (pictured: Year 12 students at Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney line up for the Pfizer vaccine as defence force trooops assist) 

‘[Lockdowns] have set me back in my learning so much… It’s so difficult to be productive with online learning, and I’m incredibly worried that the setbacks from this year are going to negatively impact my HSC year,’ one NSW student Georgie said.

‘It’s been a roller coaster and I’m nervous for the future. Covid has changed the way we learn and has impacted our mental state,’ student Jennifer added.

The survey by Cluey Learning was conducted from August 4 to August 10 as more than 60 per cent of the country was once again under stifling lockdowns. 

Greater Sydney and surrounding areas are entering their third month of lockdown to combat an Indian delta outbreak that began in mid-June.

While Victoria, a state which endured one of the world’s longest and harshest lockdowns in 2020 is also once again under restrictions, likely until vaccine targets are hit.

While there have been intermittent snap lockdowns and border closures across Queensland, South Australia, WA, NT and the ACT for the last 18 months.

Students have transitioned to online learning for months in Melbourne and Sydney (pictured: Mount Alexander College in Melbourne)

Students have transitioned to online learning for months in Melbourne and Sydney (pictured: Mount Alexander College in Melbourne) 

Education expert Dr Selina Samuels said that students would have to work harder to catch up after disruptions to their education (pictured: a Sydney vaccination hub)

Education expert Dr Selina Samuels said that students would have to work harder to catch up after disruptions to their education (pictured: a Sydney vaccination hub) 

Dr Selina Samuels, Cluey’s chief learning officer, said she was concerned there could be lasting effects for a generation of Australians.

‘In what is our second year of disrupted schooling, I’m not surprised that Year 11s are anxious and stressed as they progress into their final year,’ she said.

‘With school closures, it is difficult for them to get the practice and feedback that establish strong foundations for their final year.’  

Children will return to school in NSW from October 25, while the premier has promised everyone would have ‘more freedom’ once 70 per cent of the state’s population was fully vaccinated.

Gladys Berejiklian said the government was working on plans to reopen certain industries in a ‘very staged and safe way’ at the 70 per cent mark.

Victorian Premier Dan Andrews has made the commitment to the plan.

But both premiers have also not ruled the possibility of more lockdowns if case numbers get too high. 

Year 12 HSC students in Sydney wait to get Pfizer vaccines at the Qudos vaccination hub (pictured)

Year 12 HSC students in Sydney wait to get Pfizer vaccines at the Qudos vaccination hub (pictured) 

People aged 16 to 39 will be eligible for the Pfizer jab from Monday, while the Therapeutic Goods Administration also recently gave the green light to Pfizer for 12 to 15-year-olds, with bookings to start from September 13.

Children in that age bracket who have compromised immune systems, are Indigenous or live with underlying health conditions are already eligible.

The AZ jab is not yet approved for people under 18.

There are also hopes the Moderna vaccine could become available for younger people in the coming weeks.

Premiers have committed to ease restrictions once a target of 70 per cent vaccines have been reached (pictured: a Sydney vaccination hub)

Premiers have committed to ease restrictions once a target of 70 per cent vaccines have been reached (pictured: a Sydney vaccination hub)

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