Closures affected mental health of disadvantaged students

By | August 28, 2020

Students in socially disadvantaged areas say their mental health was negatively affected by school closures, with many reporting lower levels of well-being in 2020.

A new survey found that four second-level pupils out of five felt their workload increased while studying at home, which led to increased stress.

Students said a lack of interaction with peers and reduced feedback from teachers during lockdown also had a negative impact.

More than 1,000 students took part in the survey by the School of Education at Trinity College Dublin.

Only one-third agreed with the predictive-grading scheme for the Leaving Cert.

Meanwhile, many parents whose children are due to sit the Leaving Certificate in 2021 also say the closure of schools during lockdown had a negative impact on their children’s learning.

A survey by the Central Statistics Office on the social impact of the Covid-19 pandemic shows two-thirds of parents reported that closures had a major or moderate impact on their child’s learning. One-third said it had a mild impact.

More than one-third of parents of secondary-school students are worried their child has fallen behind.

As schools reopen across the country, the findings of the survey highlights how parents fear their children’s social development was also negatively affected.

More than half of parents of students in senior cycle believe enforced school closures had a severe impact on their social development.

The survey also found that nearly 17pc of women, compared with 4pc of men, fear they will have to give up work if primary schools close again.

Half of employed parents said their work pattern would be negatively affected by schools having to close again.

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As the search for a Covid-19 vaccine continues, 66pc of parents revealed they would avail of a vaccine for their children.

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