Disruptions to learning cause concern for students’ education
Parents across Australia are concerned that disruptions to education over the past 18 months have adversely affected students’ schooling, with many fearing their kids are falling behind. Our latest customer survey found that 64% of parents across the country think remote learning and homeschooling has negatively impacted students’ education.
The disruptions to education have not been the same for all students, which reflects what has been a different lived experience depending on which part of the country you’re in, with some enduring extended lockdowns while others are living COVID-free.
A tale of two AustraliasParents in states that have experienced month-long lockdowns are more concerned about the negative impacts of disruptions on students than those that have been relatively untouched by COVID-19.
After enduring what is expected to be the longest lockdown in the world, Victorian parents were the most concerned with almost 9 in 10 worried about disruptions to education. Similarly, the recent Delta outbreak in NSW has raised concerns amongst the majority of parents. This contrasts to states like Western Australia and Queensland where they have managed to avoid extended lockdowns.
We also found that Western Australia was a clear outlier, with over one third of parents expressing that they didn’t have any concerns about their kids’ education.
Fears students are falling behindWhile parents expressed a range of concerns about their children’s education, one of the main areas was related to fears that their kids are falling behind on school work.
Some students more impacted than othersAdapting to a new independent online style of learning has been challenging for some students more than others. Many parents expressed that the situation has been relatively easy for one of their children, but a struggle for the other.
Students that prefer independent and self-directed learning have thrived, with more fluid class schedules offering flexibility over how and when to complete school work and allowing them to work at their own pace. While less interaction with teachers and peers has made some feel disengaged, for others remote learning has meant less distractions and more time to focus on their school work.
Compounding struggles for students already falling behindNot only has learning become more self-driven but more interrupted without the ability to interact face-to-face with teachers. Many students are reliant on emails and other digital platforms to receive feedback on school work, which can mean students can’t move on with their work as responses aren’t often immediate, causing them to fall behind.
Parents of students who require additional support expressed that delays in feedback were compounding their kids’ struggles. Without instant help from teachers for concepts they don’t understand, students are moving on from unfinished tasks, requiring them to revisit work later on and sometimes extending their school day to catch up.
Parents turning to private tutoringSome parents started using private tutoring in the past 18 months due to fears their child was falling behind in class. There’s been a growth in students using online tutoring services like Cluey, and many private tutoring companies have started offering their services online.
We’ve also seen more families adding tutoring expenses to their Edstart account. While private tutoring can help students keep up with their school work, it’s an added expense to the family budget that Edstart can help manage.