students’ mental health majorly impacted by COVID-19

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Students across Kentucky continue to deal with the uncertainty of navigating school in a COVID-19 world. Back in May, the Prichard Committee for Academic Excellence conducted a survey of thousands of students across Kentucky on how they’re coping with coronavirus.

The survey was sent out to 13,000 middle and high school students in 119 counties, with a goal of giving a voice to the voiceless students. The survey consisted of fill-in the blank and multiple choice questions. The results show students crave a deeper collaboration between themselves and their teachers.

“And yet, overall, over 25 percent of students reported communicating with their teachers once a week or less. Nearly 50 percent reported meeting with their teachers synchronously once a week. Students also desired more organization and structure in the work they’re being assigned,” Pragya Upreti said.

Overall, COVID-19 has taken a major toll on students’ mental health. The survey reported 50 percent of students wanted access to mental health services, but didn’t have any.

“The majority of students, especially female students, took on new responsibilities, from cooking, to cleaning to taking care of their siblings,” Nyasha Musoni said.

Because of those new responsibilities, the Prichard Committee’s Student Voice Team says the survey results show students request more meaningful work, with more schedule flexibility.

“Over and over we see responses of ‘I just want work that matters and I want to feel like I’m learning.And this whole idea of students still crave learning and education. And they want to get their work done, but only if it feels like it has a purpose,” Sofie Farmer said.

The Student Voice Team requests schools offer safety nets, like expanding the meal plan.


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