By RICHIE MALOUF
THE CENTER SQUARE
(The Center Square) — Most teens prefer in-person learning over virtual or hybrid learning, a new poll from the Pew Research Center found.
The poll found that 65% of surveyed teens prefer school to be completely in-person after the COVID-19 outbreak is over. Only 9% of the polled teens report that they would prefer an online-only environment.
The survey found 30% of teens also report that they are a “little/not at all satisfied” with how their school has been dealing with virtual learning.
Another 22% report that they are somewhat worried they might have fallen behind because of COVID-19, while another 16% said they are “extremely/very worried.”
The lack of in-person learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic does not affect every demographic equally, the poll found, with 28% of Hispanic teens saying they are “extremely/very worried” they may have fallen behind in school.
Comparatively, 19% of black teens and 11% of white teens said they also feel extremely or very worried.
A similar survey released by Express Employment Professionals last fall focused on the “the long-term personal, professional, mental and financial ramifications of remote learning for students and companies.”
According to the survey, “81% of adults believe the school disruptions will pose long-or short-term challenges to young people’s performance at school or, later on, the workplace.”
The poll also found 34% of adults think current students will not have all of the skills necessary to succeed when they enter the workforce.
Another 84% said they believe a “lost generation of students” will be a problem for employers in the U.S. down the road.
“Intervention now is imperative to save this ‘lost generation,’ and the good news is it’s not too late,” Express CEO Bill Stoller said when the survey was released.
Overall, the poll indicates that most Americans believe students have suffered from the disruption caused by the pandemic, and this disruption will inevitably lead to future problems for the workforce.
According to the survey, when asked about who is responsible for fixing the “lost generation,” 52% of Americans said that the individuals themselves bear responsibility. Still, most Americans also believe that employers will need to change how they conduct their business for these students to become successful.
The poll found 51% said employers need to provide additional, specific job training for their employees. Another 45% said employers also need to provide flexible work hours. Finally, 44% said employers should pay employees with advanced skills higher salaries.
Overall, both students and adults seem to agree that COVID-19 shutdowns had a negative impact on students.
“Change will take a concerted effort by many entities, but it’s well worth the investment,” Mr. Stoller said.