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Half Of N.B. Students Report Anxiety Symptoms

By Brad Perry Sep 14, 2022 | 11:17 AM

Mental wellness among New Brunswick students remains a concern, according to the education minister.

The Department of Education released the results from the 2021-22 provincial assessments on Tuesday.

While nearly half of Grade 6 to 12 students reported spending at least three hours a day on social media, 30 per cent said they felt lonely most or all of the time.

Half of the students reported symptoms of anxiety and 46 per cent said they have symptoms of depression.

Meanwhile, four in five students felt their teachers like and care about them, and three in four felt close to people at their school.

The report also noted that 89 per cent of students believe learning new things is important and 85 per cent felt they can succeed at school.

“We know that the mental health and overall wellbeing of our students is crucial for their long-term success,” said Education Minister Dominic Cardy.

Cardy said his government has made significant investments into supporting learning, mental health and ensuring students and teachers have access to the resources they need for students to succeed.

“We will continue to work with the education system to ensure any needed support is made available,” he said.

Learning also impacted by pandemic

When it comes to academic results, “indicators point to greater negative impacts on literacy development of younger students,” said Cardy.

A total of 59.5 per cent of Grade 4 students passed the English reading assessment, down from 68.6 per cent in 2020-21.

Grade 6 scores increased slightly, from 69 to 71.7 per cent, and English Language Proficiency in Grade 9 remained stable at more than 81 per cent.

Seventy per cent of Grade 4 students and 64 per cent of Grade 6 students were successful with the Scientific Literacy Assessments, which were paused during the pandemic.

According to the province, learning results in the anglophone sector generally remained stable, while most of the results in the francophone sector show “significant provincewide impacts” on student learning over the past three years.

Reading assessments for Grade 3 and 7 in the francophone sector remained fairly stable, while math assessments at all grade levels in the francophone sector showed the greatest declines.

“While there are certainly areas that require attention, it is the incredible levels of engagement and flexibility of our teachers that has enabled student progress despite numerous challenges,” said Cardy.

You can view all of the assessments by clicking here.

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