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9 in 10 students prefer in-person classes despite COVID-19 risks: poll

All News 09:00 May 05, 2021

SEOUL, May 5 (Yonhap) -- Almost nine in 10 young students in South Korea prefer in-person classes to online ones, despite risks of coronavirus infections, a poll showed Wednesday.

According to the survey on 685 elementary, middle and high school students conducted from April 25 to Monday by a local teachers' group, 87.1 percent said they want to go to school and study even though they are exposed to the risk of catching COVID-19.

In a similar response, 71.5 percent said they would like to keep attending in-person classes even if the number of COVID-19 patients continues to rise.

Asked about online classes based on virtual conference tools like Zoom and Google Meet, only 19.8 percent expressed satisfaction, with 41.3 percent saying they were dissatisfied.

This March 2, 2021, photo shows children and a teacher having an in-person class while wearing face masks at an elementary school in Incheon, about 40 kilometers west of Seoul. (Yonhap)

The preference for in-person classes was stronger among elementary school students than among middle and high school students.

Over 63 percent of elementary school students said they enjoy going to school more often this year than last year, but only 46.2 percent of middle and high school students gave the same response. In-person classes here have gradually expanded this year as concerns over educational and nurturing vacuums increased due to the prolonged pandemic.

But 37.7 percent of middle and high school students were found to have experienced more difficulty in keeping up with their studies amid the pandemic, compared with 24 percent of elementary students.

Disruptions to daily routines due to the decreased school days were more serious among middle and high school students, the poll showed.

Nearly one in four middle and high school students said they have not been living a regular life since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic last year, while only one in 10 elementary school students said so.

nyway@yna.co.kr
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