Unmotivated to study: COVID-19 negative impact on schoolchildren

Latest survey shows 54.3% students lack motivation to study with researches blaming pandemic fallout.

Unmotivated to study: COVID-19 negative impact on schoolchildren

The COVID-19 epidemic is having a negative impact on people's daily lives, with the latest study in Japan revealing that more schoolchildren are disinclined to study.

A survey of 10,000 schoolchildren up to high school grades conducted last year showed that a record 54.3% of students “lacked motivation to study,” Kyodo News reported on Wednesday.

The joint study was carried out by the Benesse Educational Research and Development Institute and the Institute of Social Science at the University of Tokyo.

The latest figure was up from 45.1% in 2019, the year before the pandemic and 50.7% in 2020 after COVID-19 broke out.

Japan has been conducting such surveys since 2015.

The researchers reached out to the students through mails and other means between July and September last year.

Kaoru Sato, a sociology professor at the university, said: “COVID-19 has limited their interaction and the leisure activities they do together, while (restrictions such as) eating silently during lunch have taken the fun out of school life.”

While the pandemic had an impact on group studies as the number of students reduced, it also led to an increase in the proportion of students taking lessons using computers or computer tablets, which rose to 80.1% in 2021, up from 54.5% in 2019.

Ever since the pandemic broke in December 2019, Japan did not impose a complete lockdown in the country. It only imposed a quasi-state of emergency several times, empowering local governorates in its 47 provinces, including the capital Tokyo, to reduce working hours so as to stem the spread of the infection.

The country of over 126 million people has reported 7.4 million COVID-19 cases and over 29,150 deaths.