One-in-four parents say children didn't learn enough during Covid-19 school closures, Trinity study finds

One-in-four parents say children didn't learn enough during Covid-19 school closures, Trinity study finds
Trinity College Dublin's survey found 14% of parents felt they were not able to help their child, and one-in-four felt their child didn't learn as much at home as they would have in school. File Picture.

One-in-four parents surveyed by Trinity College Dublin (TCD) feel their child did not learn enough during Covid-19 school closures, citing poor communication or a lack of time.

While more than half of almost 800 parents surveyed said they were happy with their child’s learning, more than a quarter felt that their child was not continuing to learn enough.

Parents of children with a disability and those with children in the senior primary classes were more likely to feel that their child is not learning enough.

With five weeks to go until the planned reopening of schools, the Covid-19 parent survey is the second in a series of three reports by TCD, examining the impact of school closures on education in Ireland.

One parent surveyed said, “If we had a better understanding of exactly what the curriculum contains we could move forward faster and stop him being bored going over subjects he already knows.” 

Another said, “I know they’re doing work, but I don’t know if they’re learning anything as I don’t have teaching skills.” 

The majority of parents (75%) said they felt confident in supporting learning at home. However, some 14% of parents surveyed felt they were not able to help their child, with parents of children with disabilities feeling less able.

One parent said, “It is extremely stressful trying to ensure the children have access to digital devices and internet, do their schoolwork with them to a good quality and also have to work myself. I feel like I am not giving enough time to either my children or my own work.” 

The study also found that one-fifth of households do not have access to good internet connection.

While tablets were readily available in most homes, regardless of socio-economic status, laptops or computers were less likely in households where parents were unemployed or did not have a third-level education.

A majority of parents said they were happy with the communication with their child’s school, with close to 80% reporting that it had been ‘excellent’ or ‘good’.

When parents had contact with multiple people in their child’s school, for example, the teacher, principal, and a special needs assistant (SNA), they were more likely to rate communications as ‘excellent.’  However, schools that communicated solely to provide work for students had significantly worse ratings. 

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