More than 13,000 youth from higher education institutions across South Africa responded to a student survey that looked at the challenges they faced during the lockdown when COVID-19 hit the South African coast.
Blade Nzimande, The Higher Education Minister officially released the results of the study on Monday, entitled: The Impact of COVID-19 on Students in After-School General Education and Training – a few days before the country’s youth day on June 16.
Study conducted by the Human Sciences Research Council and Higher Health asked students about their food security during lockdown; their access to housing; their ability to study remotely and the impact on their mental health during the various stages of suspension.
STUDENT SURVEY DISCOVERS AMAZING STUDENT DIFFICULTIES
The results show that 40% of students residing or out of town had to return home when a tough lockdown was announced at the end of March 2020, while 1% had none and 37 % stayed with their parents during their studies.
The researchers were concerned about food security. 28% of students could not afford food and 79% were dependent on their families. for food. A total of 10% relied on donated food to support themselves; 14% sometimes went hungry, 12% went without food all day and 36% ate less preferred foods during this time.
Distance learning was possible for students at private universities, 90% said they did so in the Access to virtual academic programs was provided. A total of 35% of students in the public education sector said they did not have access to distance learning; 15% of these came from vocational training institutions.
In terms of psychological stress, 37% were from the 18-19 age group; 28% of the 25 to 29 year olds and 29% of the 30 to 35 year olds had psychological problems.
MINISTER REAFFIRMS THE NEED FOR STUDENTS TO COMPLY WITH COVID-19 PROTOCOLS
Response Based on research, Nzimande said, “From the results, we know that 53% thought they had a low risk of contracting COVID-19 and 15% thought they were at high risk. This underscores that it is important for students to understand that they are indeed carriers of the virus. “And although they can be asymptomatic, there is a risk of transmission to their parents and older grandparents.”
Nzimande said the results suggest that students need to be consistently reminded to practice basic COVID-19 prevention methods.
He felt himself with the students for the struggles they particularly experienced with food insecurity and Ak discontinuation of the distance learning program due to restricted access to data. He commended higher education institutions for the steps they have taken to ensure that online mechanisms are in place to facilitate distance learning for their students.
He also commended students who volunteered to participate in programs Support the fight against COVID-19. Nzimande praised the 12,000 youth volunteers who were trained by Higher Health over the past year to help when needed.