Kiwi students push for mindfulness, financial courses in wake of COVID-19

A new survey has revealed Kiwi school students are wanting to be taught more wellness and financial courses to help them navigate adulthood.

The Student State of the Nation survey has been released, which asked NCEA students how they had been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Founder and CEO of tutorial platform LearnCoach Dave Cameron told The AM Show on Wednesday the report showed significant increases in students' anxiety levels over the past year.

Over 90 percent of students involved in the survey reported experiencing anxiety, as a result of the unknown during the pandemic but also other pressures.

"I think schools can be crazy and overwhelming places for students as well," he said. "Whatever crisis you are in - and if you are a student as well, you don't just have school, you also have homework, jobs, responsibilities."

He said, as a result, students are now asking for a variety of different topics to be taught in school.

"The big trend we saw was, despite all of the anxiety that came out of COVID-19, students are more ambitious than ever and they are starting to question whether school is going to equip them for this changing, crazy world that we live in.

"More specifically they are wanting mindfulness courses, psychology courses, closely followed by financial courses. They actually want things that are going to prepare them to go out into the world and solve things like climate changes and pandemics."

Cameron also revealed the survey found one of the biggest changes was "way higher portions" of students wanting to go straight to university from high school, as the option of an overseas experience is currently not an option. But he warned it comes at a cost.

"What we are seeing is big dropout rates because university isn't the best choice for everybody. So they get in there, spend a lot of money, a student loan, and walk away with nothing."

The Government has recently been promoting trades training for school leavers to help with the post-COVID construction boom.

But Cameron said it's hard for students to know what's best for them.

"I think the big thing for students is you are sitting in school but you haven't been out in the workforce so you don't know this already, so you are just listening to parents and teachers who say if you are clever and hardworking - go to university."