Australian Teens Feel Forgotten In Pandemic, Survey Finds
Most Australian teenagers are worried about their education being disrupted or held back due to coronavirus-driven changes to their schooling, a survey has found.
The UNICEF Australia research also found that 40 percent of Australians aged 13 to 17 years view many of the pandemic-related discussions about children and young people, such as school closures, as being more about the impact on parents, carers and the economy.
UNICEF Australia program and advocacy manager Juliet Attenborough says young people have been struggling with the mental health and wellbeing implications of continuing their education and social interaction in relative isolation, relying on intense, prolonged screen time in online video for both.
"While a quarter (26 percent) feel they have no way to contribute to the national discussion and are not really being seen as an important part of the overall picture," she said in a statement on Sunday.
"They are experiencing high levels of uncertainty about the impacts it will have on their senior studies and graduation from high school and a sense of being relatively overlooked stakeholders in public discussions."
The survey found 67 percent of the young people were worried about their education being disrupted or held back.
The national survey of 1007 teenagers was conducted through YouGov Galaxy in the first half of April and UNICEF Australia young ambassadors followed up with consultations of young people in regional NSW, Tasmania, Perth and Sydney.
"Young people told us that when sitting and concentrating on a screen for a long period of time, it becomes intensely draining - many have lost the ability to immediately ask their teachers questions or to clarify understanding with their friends," 17-year-old young ambassador Daphne Fong said.
"Learning processes have slowed down."