Three quarters of Australian students fear Covid lockdowns will cripple education

Three quarters of Australian students entering Year 12 fear Covid lockdowns will cripple their education

  • Research found that three in four 11th grade students were concerned about their education
  • Education expert Dr Selina Samuels said students were stressed and anxious
  • Teens have faced more than 18 months of educational interruptions
  • Prime Ministers have vowed to relax restrictions when the majority of people are vaccinated

Three out of four Australian students entering their final year of secondary school are concerned that Covid lockdowns are causing lasting damage to their education.

Of current year 11 students, 74 percent said they were nervous about year 12 because their learning has been disrupted over the past two years, while 76 percent are concerned about more lockouts next year.

In addition, a large majority of students (86 percent) felt they were disadvantaged compared to previous years, according to a survey of 416 college students in several states.

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

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

High school students have faced more than 18 months of intermittent shutdowns (pictured: 12th grade students at Sydney's Qudos Bank Arena queue for Pfizer vaccine as armed forces assist)

High school students have faced more than 18 months of intermittent shutdowns (pictured: 12th grade students at Sydney's Qudos Bank Arena queue for Pfizer vaccine as armed forces assist)

High school students have faced more than 18 months of intermittent shutdowns (pictured: 12th grade students at Sydney’s Qudos Bank Arena queue for Pfizer vaccine as armed forces assist)

‘[Lockdowns] pushed me back so much in my learning… It’s so hard to be productive with online learning, and I’m incredibly concerned that this year’s setbacks will negatively impact my HSC year,” said an NSW student Georgia.

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

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

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

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

Although there have been intermittent snap lockdowns and border closures in Queensland, South Australia, WA, NT and the ACT over the past 18 months.

Students switched to online learning in Melbourne and Sydney for months (Photo: Mount Alexander College in Melbourne)

Students switched to online learning in Melbourne and Sydney for months (Photo: Mount Alexander College in Melbourne)

Students switched to online learning in Melbourne and Sydney for months (Photo: Mount Alexander College in Melbourne)

Education expert Dr Selina Samuels said students should work harder to catch up after interruptions in their education (Photo: A vaccination center in Sydney)

Education expert Dr Selina Samuels said students should work harder to catch up after interruptions in their education (Photo: A vaccination center in Sydney)

Education expert Dr Selina Samuels said students should work harder to catch up after interruptions in their education (Photo: A vaccination center in Sydney)

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 11-year-olds are anxious and stressed as they enter their senior year,” she said.

“With school closures, it’s hard for them to get the practice and feedback that will form a strong foundation for their senior year.”

Children will return to school in NSW from October 25, with the prime minister promising that everyone would have “more freedom” once 70 percent of the state’s population is fully vaccinated.

Gladys Berejiklian said the government is working on plans to reopen certain industries in a “very phased and safe manner” by the 70 percent mark.

Victorian Prime Minister Dan Andrews has committed to the plan.

But neither prime minister has ruled out the possibility of more lockdowns if the number of cases gets too high.

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

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

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

People ages 16 to 39 will be eligible for the Pfizer shot starting Monday, while the Therapeutic Goods Administration also recently green-lighted Pfizer for 12 to 15-year-olds, with bookings starting Sept. 13.

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

The AZ shot is not yet approved for people under the age of 18.

There is also hope that the Moderna vaccine could become available to younger people in the coming weeks.

Prime Ministers have pledged to ease restrictions once a 70 percent vaccine target is reached (Photo: A Sydney Vaccination Center)

Prime Ministers have pledged to ease restrictions once a 70 percent vaccine target is reached (Photo: A Sydney Vaccination Center)

Prime Ministers have pledged to ease restrictions once a 70 percent vaccine target is reached (Photo: A Sydney Vaccination Center)

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