Students Lack of Learning: Covid or Laziness?

Students Lack of Learning: Covid or Laziness?

Katarina Sin (10th), Editor

Over the years, school systems have continuously dropped success rates in proper education. Coming back to regular learning after years sheltered due to the pandemic has caused teachers to notice an alarming drop in kids’ learning abilities.

Back in 2019 the pandemic known as “Covid-19” swept through nations, shutting down everything from local shops to schools. This then began the era of distance learning through endless Zoom calls and drive through book pick ups. 

When schools shut down face-to-face learning, it also shut down the students’ motivation to want to learn. Over the two years spent digitally learning there were a multitude of students not retaining the information they should’ve been. Thus creating a worldwide drop in students’ test scores and learning levels.

While speaking with an English teacher here at Pitman High School she revealed to me that one thing teachers, including herself, have noticed is that there’s been a visible decline in students’ reading levels over the past few years. Several grades came back last year seeing that their reading levels had dropped from something average to way below. Kids who should have an 11th grade reading level were performing at reading levels that of middle schoolers. 

These circumstances that came about raised one question asked by me and many others: Did Covid affect the way kids learn nowadays, or have they just become lazy?

It’s no lie that kids nowadays just aren’t as knowledgeable as they used to be. Sure kids might be more street smart or know more about politics thanks to their social media platforms, but technology has also taken away the ability for kids to learn without distractions. I mean, how many teenagers do you know who can list all 50 states without reaching for their phone to look them up?

One thing technology has done other than distract kids from school is make them lazy. With everything at the touch of their fingertips nowadays, kids no longer have to truly research things anymore, meaning they aren’t learning as much as they should be. This lack of motivation and overuse of technology for educational purposes can tie into the reasoning behind why kids’ reading levels have been dropping over the years. 

To gather other opinions on this, I asked Pitman High sophomore Harleen Hundal, “Do you think Covid or overuse of technology has had a larger impact on kids’ learning abilities?”

Hundal responded, “I believe Covid is the reason for students’ lack of motivation nowadays.”

“Why do you think this?” I asked.

“Well due to the fact that it was a very uncertain time, a lot of students fell into a loop that really changed the way they learned. A normal sense of learning was lost during this time,” she says.

While one side of the argument might say lack of motivation and a lessened demand for proper education has affected students learning more, blaming it on the setback covid caused can definitely still be valid as Hundal argues. Hundals argument is further supported by the responses I received from Pitman High senior Sonny Sin.

While interviewing Sin, he expressed how he spent most of his high school years confined to a screen as his only source of education, making for an unsteady way of learning.

“While I think technology has definitely made kids a lot lazier than they once were, Covid has really emphasized how much we need regular learning without an excessive use of technology. Even though we rely on technology a lot nowadays, we got a taste of what it’d be like if we let technology control our entire lives and education during the Covid lockdowns, which is something I’m assuming most people didn’t enjoy. I know I didn’t,” Sin says.

Sin then goes on to say, “Hopefully we can learn to reduce our use of technology in our daily school tasks.”

So while you can either take this argument as one side or the other, there’s ways to support both sides at once. Education may not be the same as it once was, or as effective as it should be, but that doesn’t mean we can’t change that in the future and create a more effective way of learning that truly encourages kids to work hard for their education.