School closings: Almost 30 percent of Osnabrück schoolchildren have had a very bad time

How did students fare during the pandemic school closings? Osnabrück University, the Bohnenkamp Foundation and the City of Osnabrück present the results of the pick-me-up survey. Photo: City of Osnabrück / Nina Hoss

How did Osnabrück children and young people experience the school closings during the lockdowns? The “Muntermacher” project was dedicated to these and other aspects. A total of around 600 children and young people from 14 primary schools, 15 secondary schools and three vocational schools took part. The result: many suffered physically and mentally.

“In summary, the children can be divided into three groups. 27 percent (type 1) fared bad to very bad during the pandemic-related school closings, a further 39 percent fared mediocre (type 2) and 34 percent of the students fared good to very good, ”explains Prof. Dr. Sonja Nonte from the University of Osnabrück.

“According to Muntermacher’s findings, type 1 children and adolescents can be identified as a vulnerable group who were under great psychological and physical stress from the school closings and who hardly use family resources such as contact persons at home and less support with homework supervision could “, explained Prof. Dr. Christian Reintjes, University of Osnabrück.

Loneliness and boredom are a burden for children and young people

The loneliness was an aspect in particular: There was a lack of social contact and exchange with classmates. Distance learning in and of itself and coping with the tasks were also very difficult. The Osnabrück comprehensive school students stated that loneliness and boredom and a high level of general stress were the main difficulties.

High school students also found a lack of social contact problematic and reported back that they classified school closings as “lost time”. High school, junior high school, secondary school and vocational school students also missed social contacts and found distance learning with the factors of independent learning and a lack of feedback to be difficult.

Giving children a voice

What do children and young people want for their leisure time in general? 44 percent would like to spend time with friends again, pursue hobbies and take part in activities such as going to the cinema or swimming. Excursions and going on vacation were also wishes of the children and young people.

“With the survey, we want to give the children and young people a voice and scientifically evaluate their needs and wishes during the pandemic,” explains Michael Prior, Board Spokesman of the Friedel & Gisela Bohnenkamp Foundation, on the background of the survey. Wolfgang Beckermann, First City Councilor, thanked everyone involved and supporters.

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