A report released early this year by Unifrog, an organisation which provides guidance on university and career options, reveals the impacts of the current COVID-19 pandemic on high school students. Given the challenging circumstances, more than half of the students surveyed acknowledged that their motivation has been negatively impacted when it comes to academic studies. However, the support provided by teachers is identified as a key factor which can boost students’ levels of motivation and wellbeing. The report found that 80% of the high school students who received ‘good levels of support’ from their teachers feel ‘positive or optimistic about the future’; this contrasts with the 44% who feel positive despite inadequate support.
The importance of pastoral care in schools has been the subject of educational research for decades, and today it must be clearly recognised that teachers are not mere disseminators of textbook knowledge – they have a responsibility in students’ mental welfare and personal development. Creating an environment in which teachers and students interact meaningfully and form caring bonds is a mission for any school that is to thrive in the future.
Another finding of the report is that excessive use of social media can increase levels of anxiety. This highlights the importance of self-management and a healthy lifestyle.
The full report can be accessed here.