Distance learning increases stress for high school students

A new survey from a student group found higher levels of anxiety, and a perceived decline in teaching standards, during the coronavirus education restrictions.

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File photo of tables & chairs in a classroom / Credit: iStock

Finnish high school students, faced with working remotely with schools closed during the coronavirus crisis, are experiencing higher levels of stress with their studies.

A new survey carried out by the Union of Upper Secondary School Students in Finland SSL mapped how the transition to distance learning has affected high school students’ study and coping mechanisms, and finds that 60% say distance learning is mentally difficult – higher than regular studies, which just 40% of students say is stressful.

Students report increased independent assignments and class assignments, with not enough time to do all the required work. They also cite pressures and distractions of working from home.

“I am on the verge of burnout” one third year high school student said.

Student leaders say that in addition to the extra school work, remote learning impacts young people in other ways too.

“We are very concerned about the workload of high school students. In particular, the responses we received reflected high school students’ concerns about their well-being and loneliness” says SSL President Adina Nivukoski.

Nearly half of the 1,500 high school students who responded to the survey said that they’ve experienced a decline in the quality of teaching during the coronavirus restrictions.

The association is now calling for extra support services for students, and also for money in May’s supplementary budget to take into account the negative effects of the coronavirus epidemic on the mental health of young people.