The COVID19 pandemic has changed the lives of almost every person and students are a social category that has been hit hard. They are affected in various ways such as the shift to online learning, deterioration of their mental health due to negative news and fear of getting sick. The ways students are affected are endless. However, with the various concerns that students have on hand, exactly how worried are they about COVID19?
Recently, The Straits Times published an article titled “Children in Singapore more anxious about exams than Covid-19: Survey”. As mentioned in the title, students feel more negatively about their upcoming school exams than the Covid-19 situation in Singapore. The findings also revealed that the general population of students in Singapore hold exams and grades in high regard.
Such a mindset occurs because students only see the immediate impact on themselves. COVID19 resulted in drastic changes made to the education system which students had to adjust to within a short period of time. Not being able to adjust to these changes quickly will have a detrimental impact to their grades.
So, what are the impacts of COVID-19 on the Singapore education system and its students?
From traditionally holding physical lessons in school, with at most an e-learning day every semester, to suddenly having home-based learning for a month is certainly a daunting transition. Students not only have to get familiar with using the online learning system, they have to cope with the frustration of wifi-connectivity issues, creating a conducive place at home to learn and whether there is the availability of electronic devices at home. All these concerns distract students from their studies, resulting in difficulty in following the online learning and decreasing productivity which will hamper their learning progress.
Some students may also have to worry over unfavourable household conditions. These worries include handling strained family relationships, the fear of their parents facing unemployment and contracting the virus. Furthermore, students are unable to meet their peers and feel very isolated from others at home, thus feeling a heightened sense of loneliness. All these may affect their mental health and distract them from their studies, resulting in deterioration results and exam performance.
Therefore, with increasing personal responsibilities and stress in the students’ lives because of the pandemic, they may be unable to cope with the changing nature of the education system. Thus, students try to eliminate this problem by placing more emphasis on their studies, which increase their academic stress level and thus, decreasing their fear of contracting the virus.