Following the Government's announcement to close schools across the UK amid the COVID-19 crisis, we spoke to A Level Student, Esmail Alhajji of Lawnswood School, Leeds, about his thoughts on the current situtaion, and how final year pupils are affected.
How do you feel about the prospect of being off school potentially for six months?
I can’t believe I’m even saying this, but I feel disappointed and demotivated as there isn’t a clear path to where I will end up. I feel a bit lost as right now I’m not entirely sure if there is a clear target that I’m working towards.
Do you feel like you’ve got enough information at the moment about COVID-19 and what it means for you?
I don’t think there is enough information regarding the virus itself or the consequences that it will have on us. The fact that the government seems to take rational decisions without a lot of thought is very scary. The fact that the government decided to cancel all exams without warning left us all in the dark and us as students had to make assumptions on how our grades and potentially our future will be dealt with.
How do you think your teachers might be feeling?
Just as stressed as us, most of the teachers have invested their time and efforts to help students achieve good grades for the past couple of years. All the work they’ve been doing up until now becomes pointless and a waste of time.
This is obviously an unprecedented time. What are you most worried about?
I’m worried about what the future will hold. No one seems to know what will happen. We also have to wait until July to hear back about our grades which is very nerve wracking. We have been told to keep revising like usual because we will have a chance to appeal and sit exams in September but that means I will be revising for almost 6 months. Someone like me who took the risk last year to resit A levels in the hope of getting better grades could potentially spend another year doing A levels which is not fair.
After a long wait I’ve finally received an offer at the University of Leeds to study Dentistry. However, knowing that all my work could potentially go to waste is very stressful.
Apart from studying at home, what will you do with all the time off?
I will try and stay fit by doing some workouts in the garden. I’m also hopping to learn a new skill such as coding.
What are you hopeful for at the end of all this?
I’m hoping that everything will go back to normal very soon and have a fresh start next year at university.