An online survey of over 1,000* secondary school students by Irish mobile education app, Exit Entry has highlighted the challenges faced by Irish young people during 2020. The vast majority (88%) stated that their education had been negatively affected in 2020, due to having missed out on a conventional school year.
Survey of secondary students by Irish Education App Exit Entry
At an age when friendships are all-important, over half of those surveyed (55%) found not seeing their friends to be the most challenging aspect of COVID-19, ahead of home-schooling, the disrupted school year or anxiety about contracting the virus. This is the age when you stay connected almost exclusively by social media (76%) with the more traditional methods of simply texting or calling barely registering. While a lifeline for some, only 5% of students have used Zoom to connect with friends.
When asked to sum up the year in an emoji, the top five included – the face-mask emoji, the crying emoji, the sick emoji, the confused emoji and the poo emoji!
For social media, TikTok currently reigns supreme as the social media app of choice with 58% choosing it as their favourite, with Snapchat as second choice with 20%.
Newspapers, TV and Radio are now more relevant for 85% of teenagers surveyed. Between spending more time at home and keeping even an informal tally (81%) of daily infection rates, young people are more in tune with the more traditional media sources for current affairs.
Schoolwork at home
In a near 50/50 split, 52% of students claimed their schools were good at communicating with them during lockdown while 48% thought their school communicated poorly. 77% confirmed they did their home-schooling assignments while 23% admitted they didn’t do the assignments issued.
Impact on Mental Health
59% of students felt they were supported with their mental health with 41% saying that they could have been supported better. Family was the biggest source of support with 49% of the vote, followed by friends as a close second. In a worrying discovery, 73% of students confirmed they have never been to their school guidance counsellor, however 74% said they would use an app like Exit Entry to help them discover opportunities.
When asked on sources of comfort during isolation, 25% of young people sought comfort in sport and fitness, 21% indulged in Netflix, 9% found escapism on social media, 8% enjoyed their pets more, 7% turned to food while 2% of respondents delved into online gaming.
Enter the Exit Entry and eir competition
Exit Entry and eir have launched a nationwide competition for secondary school students in Ireland running until St Patrick’s Day 17th March. Five students will have the chance to get their hands on a Huawei Smart Phone by entering the competition through the Exit Entry Secondary school app.
To enter the competition download the Exit Entry App on a smartphone and upload any photo in the my profile section that reminds you of what any of these words mean to you – ADAPTABILITY , COLLABORATION, RESILIENCE, ENTHUSIASM AND SELF- DISCIPLINE (or if you are feeling brave they can upload a short video)
*Survey conducted with 1,018 secondary school students through Survey Monkey.