The reaction of secondary school and university students toward COVID-19-induced lockdown


  • Tewodros Mulugeta Department of Biology, College of Natural and Computational Science, Kotebe Metropolitan University, Addis Ababa
  • Elazar Tadesse Department of Human Nutrition, Minilik II Health and Medical Science College, Kotebe Metropolitan University, Addis Ababa
  • Tewodros Shegute Department of Pharmacy, Minilik II Health and Medical Science College, Kotebe Metropolitan University, Addis Ababa
  • Takele Taye Desta Department of Biology, College of Natural and Computational Science, Kotebe Metropolitan University, Addis Ababa



COVID-19 lockdown, opportunities and threats, social connection, mitigation strategies, students


Background: The Coronavirus pandemic triggered a worldwide partial lockdown. The lockdown instigated the school’s shutdown making the students follow their courses in the virtual modalities while staying at home.
Methods: The data were collected using an online survey using a semi-structured questionnaire. The study involved anonymous as well as voluntary 77 secondary schools (Grades 9th to 12th) and 132 university students (class standing 1st to 5th year).
Results: The lockdown introduced excruciating experiences for most of the students; however, it also created unanticipated opportunities to learn new skills and develop insights on how to mitigate unforeseen crises while remaining reasonably productive. The steps taken to reduce exposure to the coronavirus infection showed a gender discrepancy. Accordingly, males were disproportionately taken risks regardless of the curfew imposed, while females were deeply concerned about the lockdown-induced break of social connections. Students who were attending public schools, presumably from low-income families were found to be more productive during the lockdown compared to their private school counterparts. This shows that, in some instances, the Coronavirus pandemic is a blessing in disguise. The lockdown created mixed feelings; accordingly, the students reported significantly varied responses towards it. This also introduced some inconsistencies in the response of the students. Perceptions about the lockdown and its impact in most instances significantly varied among students, which unlocked the opportunities to learn new lessons on how to manage unprecedented crises.
Conclusion: Policymakers need to take into account gender and living standard while developing strategies to mitigate unprecedented challenges.

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How to Cite

Mulugeta, T., Tadesse, E., Shegute, T., & Desta, T. T. (2023). The reaction of secondary school and university students toward COVID-19-induced lockdown. Journal of Public Health in Africa, 14(2).



Original Articles