The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has discovered that 73 per cent of youth who study or combine study with work have been adversely affected by the closing of schools, universities and training centres. According to an analysis published in a recently released ILO Report titled Youth and COVID-19: impacts on jobs, education, rights and mental well-being, 65 per cent of young people reported having learned less since the beginning of the pandemic because of the transition from classroom to online and distance learning during lockdown.
The report says, “Despite their efforts to continue studying and training, 51 percent believed their studies would be delayed and nine per cent thought that they might fail. The divide is even more shocking when we take into account the varying degrees of privileges enjoyed by youth in countries from the developed and developing world.”
The Global Survey aimed to capture the immediate effects of the pandemic on the lives of young people (aged 18–29) with regards to employment, education, mental well-being, rights and social activism. The survey covered 12,000 youth from 112 countries, with a large proportion of responses coming from educated youth and those with Internet access.
According to the report, while 65 per cent of youth in high-income countries were taught classes via video-lectures only 18 per cent in low-income countries were able to keep studying online. This highlights the ‘digital divide’.
In another important finding, the report has discovered, “Severe disruption to learning and working, compounded by the health crisis, has seen a deterioration in young people’s mental well-being. The study finds that 17 per cent of young people are probably affected by anxiety and depression. Mental well-being is lowest for young women and younger youth between the ages of 18 and 24.” This underscores the interlinkages that exist between mental well-being, educational success and labour market integration.
“The pandemic is inflicting multiple shocks on young people. It is not only destroying their jobs and employment prospects, but also disrupting their education and training and having a serious impact on their mental well-being. We cannot let this happen,” said ILO Director-General Guy Ryder.
The entire report may be read here: