Vocational students avoiding lessons since Covid; Lecturers concerned
Even though practically all the coronavirus restrictions are history in the Netherlands, students in secondary- and higher vocational education are still not attending in-person lessons. There are no exact figures as attendance is not compulsory for every lesson, but several educational institutions have noted that their classes are worryingly empty. Lecturers are very concerned about this, Het Parool reports.
"I am very concerned about the students who stay away," Christien van Dinten, director of ROC TOP in Amsterdam, said to the newspaper. "Students find it difficult to go to school, they are less interested, less enthusiastic, and when they do come, some react lukewarmly."
"Forcing students to sit at home for months has had a huge impact o their psychological health. They have lost connection with their studies and each other because they had to do a lot alone for a long time. The longer they stay away, the more difficult it becomes to get back on track," Van Dinten said. ROC TOP has an attendance requirement of 80 percent, but the school will be lenient with enforcement, she added. "They are having a hard time. We don't want to punish them."
Higher vocational institutions also noticed an attendance problem. "For many students, it is still stressful to physically come back to the universities of applied sciences," a spokesperson for Inholland University of Applied Sciences said to Parool. The Hogeschool van Amsterdam deployed student advisors to call absent students and find out how they are doing and why they are not coming to class.
Student union LSVb is keeping an eye on the situation, chairman Ama Boahene said to the newspaper. "I hear about students who find it difficult to return to physical education. Some find it takes a lot of energy, and they have to get used to the interactions that come with physical education."