by | 9 Apr 2020 | Press Releases

Schools must help learners manage anxiety amid coronavirus lockdown

Distance Educator, Brainline, has stressed the importance for schools and institutions of learning to ensure that they assist learners, especially Grade 12’s, with growing anxiety amid the current coronavirus lockdown. It is yet unsure when schools will reopen and Basic Education Minister, Angie Motshekga, said that reopening of schools would be determined by how South Africans conduct themselves during the 21-day lockdown. Student Mentor, Liezel Bruwer, says while classes for Brainline Grade 12’s officially started this week, many of them expressed concerns about various issues currently in the news.
‘We sent out a short questionnaire via Google Forms last week to assess how our students and their parents are coping amid the lockdown. While many expressed gratitude that they could continue their studies uninterrupted, others were concerned about possible measures that may affect Grade 12 learners across South Africa.’

Brainline opened its virtual doors for the second semester this week for Grade 12 learners. Other learners will start online classes next Tuesday, 14 April 2020. Bruwer says while students are grateful for the fact that Brainline can continue without interruption, they are anxious about the economic strain caused by the pandemic.

‘Despite being in a fortunate position education-wise, students are concerned that their parents might not be able to afford continuous education due to financial constraints. It is a genuine and important concern, as many households had to cut down on their expenses due to loss in income’, she explains.
Bruwer says other areas that are causing anxiety relates to emotional issues. Limited interaction with friends and family outside their immediate homes, being able to complete upcoming tasks and thinking of ideas to stay busy, are just a few. She says it is important for schools to provide support to learners amid these uncertain times.

‘Communication with learners and parents are paramount at this stage as many are worried about what the future might hold. Make use of available technology such as social media, email communication and smses to reassure families that the school has their best interest at heart.’

Bruwer says Brainline will continue to provide support to those students, to ensure their emotional well-being.

‘Our students can book private online sessions with me to discuss their concerns and to work on ways to relieve stress.’

Bruwer says though all children deal with emotions and anxiety in different ways, school closures, cancelled events or separation from friends, necessitates feeling loved and supported. She says it is also vital for parents and teachers alike to help create a sense of normalcy at home while navigating ‘the new and temporary normal’.

Here are a few helpful tips:

• Routines and schedules help one to cope. Now is the time to set a new schedule, with the entire family involved.
• Stay informed, but don’t obsess. It is not helpful to obsessively check the news. Remember to use trustworthy sources.
• Focus on what you can control—staying at home, washing your hands, doing essential shopping, keeping your distance and getting enough sleep.
• Make a list of what worries you and a list of possible solutions you can think of.
• Stay connected; use technology to keep you in touch with friends and family.

Brainline is IEB recognised. Learners who are enrolled with us to complete their final examinations and who fulfil the requirements for this qualification will receive their National Senior Certificate (NSC), as issued by Umalusi.

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Author: Brainline

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