Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Irish students are reporting they are not receiving enough support from the government support during the pandemic.

Research has found there are fears and uncertainty among college students and those entering third-level education. Their mental health has also been affected during the pandemic.

A new survey of over 1,000 students, suggests the majority of students feel the government is not doing enough to support them during the pandemic. 79 percent of college students and 64 percent of those doing their Leaving Certificate feel this way.

97 percent of those who were due to sit their leaving certificate exams this year are still hoping to stay in education, however, 17 percent are reconsidering their options due to Covid-19.

Almost 60 percent of college students found the process of studying for and sitting exams online challenging. With socialising, meditating and comfort eating being cited as ways for them to relieve stress.

The Department of Education announced last month that schools will be reopening this autumn, while colleges are set to do the same. However, issues around accommodation have arisen because there is concern over not being able to accommodate social distancing.

Support structures

Meanwhile, according to the Minister for Higher Education we have not talked enough about the impact the pandemic has had on children.

A new survey shows that 43 per cent of parents are worried that their children have fallen behind due to home schooling.

According to the Irish League of Credit Union survey, 35 per cent of parents think their children have spent too much time watching TV or on devices since lockdown.

Minister Simon Harris says there has not been enough focus on children during the pandemic:

“It has been a really, really difficult time for children in this country. While we have quite rightly seen a focus on older people in our country in relation to Covid and that is right and proper.

“I am not sure we have talked enough in this country about the impact that the pandemic has had on our kids. We have taken away so many of their support structures, by necessity of public health.

“They could not see their friends, their teachers and they also do not have a routine. It has really had an impact and it is important that we get our schools back up and running again.”

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