A survey conducted at Ankara University offers a snapshot of the rising anxieties among college students in Turkey as universities across the country transitioned to online learning amid the coronavirus outbreak.
The survey, filled out by 874 students, found that 65 percent of the participants who responded are dealing with higher levels of anxiety and stress due to the epidemic. This anxiety is making it hard for them to focus on their studies, the students said.Suicide of university student sheds light on financial difficulties facing youth in Turkey
Some 21 percent said the income of their families had diminished due to the epidemic, while 62 percent said that they were having financial problems.
Asked what they thought about the transition to online learning, only 10 percent of the participants said they were happy about the creation of “virtual classrooms.” Some 65 percent of the survey participants said they were not satisfied with the new system, whereas 25 percent said learning had become totally inefficient this way.
Only 11.1 percent of the students are attending their online courses on a routine basis, whereas 28.3 percent said they are skipping the classes. Some 14.6 percent said they are not following the courses at all.
The mental strain caused by the epidemic is just one of the reasons of the drop in the attendance levels. Many of the students do not have a personal computer of their own or do not have access to internet.
Some 47.7 percent of the students have a personal computer of their own, but 37.9 percent are sharing their computer with other family members. Some 13.8 of the students have no home computer at all.
The Council of Higher Education (YÖK) had previously announced that students would be provided with 6 GB data of free internet through their mobile phone operators in support of their online learning.
Some 22 percent of the survey participants however said that they tried to utilize this free internet service but their attempts turned futile. Some 70 percent of the participants did not even try to benefit from this free internet scheme.
Turkey in March closed all universities to stop the spread of the coronavirus. After a break of three weeks, universities switched to online teaching.