A recent study conducted among school-going adolescents finds evidence of anxiety among boys and girls alike due to "Education-related uncertainty".
Findings from the mixed-methods research and impact evaluation study conducted among adolescents attending grades 7 and 8 in public and semi-private schools in Chittagong and Sylhet, were presented at a webinar titled "Adolescent Experiences in Chittagong and Sylhet: The Adolescent Support Programme and COVID-19 Impact" on Monday.
The surveyed adolescents also discussed their lived realities during the pandemic and reported facing social isolation, boredom and exhaustion, said a press release.
They also mentioned reducing daily food consumption as a coping strategy adopted by their families to reduce the economic crisis caused by the pandemic.
These findings were obtained from quantitative data collected from 2,220 adolescents in February and March 2020 by Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), and qualitative interviews with 100 adolescents, their parents and key informants jointly conducted by BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD) and BRAC James P Grant School of Public Health (BRAC JPGSPH) between August and September 2020.
Learning loss risk as a result of Covid-19 induced school closures was an important concern for adolescents.
"As education sector envision schools reopening the most important question for us right now is how we can capitalize on adolescent productivity to take advantage of the demographic dividend," commented TM Asaduzzaman, education specialist and team leader of South Asia Education Global Practice of the World Bank Group.
"Whenever we decide to reopen schools – and I think we should think of that sooner rather than later – we'll be starting from a situation where there is a huge backlog of learning loss , especially among the poorer segments (of adolescents)" said BIGD Executive Director Dr Imran Matin.
The study was conducted under the Gender and Adolescence: Global Evidence (GAGE) programme, funded by UK Aid.