Women across the globe are far more likely to take on the bulk of remote learning responsibilities than men, according to Dynata’s Global Consumer Trends: Economy Edition report.
Examining the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the global economy and consumer trends – including the education sector’s response to the outbreak – the report collates the insights and opinions of 9,542 consumers across nine countries, including the UK, US, Canada, France, Germany, Netherlands, Australia, China and Japan.
According to the findings, 75% of women with children between 5–10 years old report being responsible for their child’s remote learning, compared to just 55% of men. This shifts to 42% and 37%, respectively, for parents of 16–17-year-old children.
On top of this, results show that between September 2–19 2020 – the period when the survey was ‘in field’ – almost three-quarters of participants with school-age children reported that their child was back in the classroom full-time. In this same time period, half of UK parents with school-aged children said their child would be back in the classroom full-time within the next four weeks, followed by China (45%) and Canada (32%). This is a stark difference to what we’re seeing now, with The Guardian reporting just last month (20 October) that an estimated 400,000 UK learners were not attending school.
In the US, parents expected a slower return to the classroom, with just 11% of respondents thinking their child would return within one month.
Overall, 71% of the survey’s global respondents said they would send their children back to school in the next three months if the situation allowed, while 15% said the opposite and 15% weren’t sure.
Five percent of participants across all countries surveyed said homeschooling was a permanent solution to the crisis and their child would not return to school. It’s likely that this number is so small due to the sheer time and resources required to support remote learning from home – especially when so many parents have had to juggle home learning with work responsibilities.
In Germany, Australia, Japan and China, the report revealed that remote learning duties are taken on by one parent, and that, as expected, younger students require more attention. Participants with 16–17-year-old children have less involvement with overseeing remote learning, with 23% saying their children generally take charge of the learning process.
Across the global higher education sector, the pandemic has had a direct impact on enrolment, with the current uncertainty surrounding the situation leading many to delay their study decision. According to the survey, at least one in seven parents of 18–19-year-olds confirmed that the pandemic had altered their child’s decision to enrol at college or university. Despite this, however, two-thirds of participants with children aged 18–19 years old said their child was either currently enrolled, about to start or resume post-secondary education as of September this year.