Canberra: More than half of Australian secondary school students have said that the Covid-19 pandemic affected their education, a study has revealed.
The survey, which was published by researchers from Australian National University (ANU), examined the experience of more than 18,000 students who were in year 10 — the final year of compulsory education in Australia where students are typically aged 15-16 — at 300 schools across the country in 2022, reports Xinhua news agency.
It found that 52 per cent of year 10 students in 2022 said their learning suffered as a result of the pandemic and that 59 per cent said they did not feel prepared for school in 2022.
Ben Edwards, the project leader from ANU’s Centre for Social Research and Methods, said in a media release that students from states and territories that had the longest school shutdowns during the pandemic — Victoria, New South Wales (NSW) and the Northern Territory (NT) — were most affected.
“Two-in-three students from these states and territories, 66 per cent, reported falling behind compared to 43 per cent of students in states and territories with low school closures,” he said.
The survey found that 45 per cent of students who experienced a high rate of school closures said they had caught up with their learning by 2022 compared to 52 per cent of those who experienced low rates of school closures.
“Clearly we have a major cohort of young students, who are now coming to the end of their high school education, that we need to make sure are supported to catch up in the vital learning and opportunities they missed during the pandemic,” Edwards said.
Participants were also polled on their post-school professional aspirations, with health professions the most popular career choice followed by design, engineering, science and transport.