How did students experience the lockdown in foreign countries?

We continued our research about the virus situation in different countries. We made a questionnaire and we received answers from the eastern half of Europe, for example from Greece, Latvia, Poland and Turkey. In what follows, you can read a summary of the answers, to give you an idea what experience young people have had so far.

The picture is for illustration purpose only.

Our first question was about the lockdown, what was their first impression about the situation, how did they feel, were they scared.

The lockdown started in March in most of the countries. Actually, the responding people are divided in different responses. Some of them are sad, because they want to meet their friends at school, but some of them are happy because they think learning from home is less stressful than at school.

Our next question was about the way schools coped with the situation, and what challenges did they encounter, how teachers handled the situation.

The teachers and the students were stressed because of the new situation. They started learning online, and they had online classes and exams, but not as many as now. The schools and the teachers had time to organize the work schedule. That was the average response, but there was also an example of optimism. In some countries there was a planned online teaching system.

We were also interested in what has changed since last year.

As I mentioned before, students have more lessons, and everyone got used to the new system. In most of the countries nowadays, the online teaching is smooth and organized. One of the students answered this:  „I would say the way people see offline school. There were times when we were happy that we did not have to go to school, but a lot of students understood that it got harder when they had to study on their own.” I also think this is the main change.

Then we went on to ask, how does the lockdown affect their personal life and plans.

All of the students said it heavily affected their life and plans. They had plans for the summer, they wanted to go on holiday or festivals, but now it is more than that. People are depressed because of the lockdown and I understand them. The human is a social being. We need to be in touch with our loved ones, for example friends especially of our age.

Our next question was about how school started in September, are there any new regulations, restrictions.

In some countries, they started the school online. In some others there was offline teaching and there were new rules. Somewhere, students had to wear masks in the class, and in some other schools, they had to wear it everywhere. Offline education nowhere lasted long. In every country they started online learning again.

Next, we inquired about what they learned from this experience.

One of the students said: „Anything can change and nothing is guaranteed.” It really makes sense, because this is the biggest edification. The lockdown taught every student how to work alone, without any help from the other students or the teachers. I am proud of our generation, because most of the answers were positive. There was only one student who said: „How to cheat on every test.” Well, at least it was an honest answer.

We also asked what they hope happens next year.

Clearly everyone hopes it will end. The vaccines will work and everything will be normal as before the lockdown. Obviously I hope that too.