The Pandemic’s Impact on Students

The Pandemic’s Impact on Students

It was obvious that the pandemic had significant impacts on students across the world. Many fell behind during virtual learning, and that gap has still not been closed. Recent standardized testing has shown how Maryland public school students have suffered academically at the hands of the pandemic.

The data is shocking. Concerning students in grades 3-8, 15% showed passing scores in math, and 33% passed English. These tests were last taken in 2019, where 33% passed math and 44% passed English. The numbers were low to begin with, and now are despairingly low. Maryland State Superintendent Mohammed Choudhury claims that math scores were falling before the pandemic, and the pandemic was what threw the devastating blow towards our school system. Younger students’ enrollment in their local schools have also been on the decline nationwide; in Maryland there was a 25% decrease in kindergarten enrollment.

Schools have struggled in a multitude of ways since the pandemic. Problems ranging from staff shortages to school closures have had a great impact on school systems. Teachers are struggling to catch their students up and teach them new material. Teachers already have a hard job to begin with, and these added struggles are catching up.

In addition, mental health has become a potent issue amongst students. Being isolated from peers, structured learning systems, and extra curriculars such as sports proved to be hurtful to students. Many students lacked the motivation to do their online work and therefore got little out of online learning. In 2020, studies showed that teen suicide rates jumped 31% in response to the pandemic. These numbers were high to begin with, so seeing this increase is alarming.

COVID-19 has caused a serious impact around the world, and the impact on education systems is no secret. It is hard to tell whether these learning gaps can be closed or not. The virus is still mutating, so the education system’s future will depend on how well we can stop the spread once and for all.