BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Moving into a university environment represents a significant step in an individual’s life, accompanied by feelings of excitement and, on the other hand, trepidation. During this life event, a number of factors collide, affecting almost every aspect of an individual’s life. Individuals may relocate to another geographical location within Nigeria and, in some cases, internationally, in addition to the obvious change in academic challenge, where students are expected to become more autonomous in their studies. This change represents a significant shift in independence. For many new students, having total power over their behavioral choices becomes the norm for the first time, with the possibility of good or bad change (El Ansari, and Stock, 2010). The social repercussions of enrolling in university might be upsetting to students’ former support networks. Moving away from pre-existing support networks, which include both family and friends, may be particularly difficult. Prospective students may find it challenging to make new social relationships, which can contribute to feelings of loneliness or disconnectedness. Loneliness has been related to increased stress, anxiety, and depression in university students (Lee, 2020). In sum, the university experience provides a variety of difficulties to prospective students and has the potential to severely impair student well-being.
The discovery and subsequent spread of COVID-19 altered the processes of daily living substantially. COVID-19 (or Sars-Cov-2) is a new coronavirus found in late December 2019 in Wuhan, China. Initially reported as a case of “unknown pneumonia,” the global response has swiftly escalated (Lee, 2020). COVID-19 infection can induce a variety of respiratory symptoms, however the most typically reported symptoms are a new persistent cough, fever, and a loss of taste and/or smell (NHS, 2020). The World Health Organization proclaimed a Public Health Emergency of International Concern in January 2020 as COVID-19 spread over the world (World Health Organisation [WHO], 2020). Community transmission has resulted in an unexpected increase in infections both nationally and internationally, necessitating severe new measures to mitigate the virus’s impact. Each country has handled the COVID-19 problem with varied degrees of enthusiasm and a variety of specific solutions, most of which have been oriented on social distancing. Quarantine, or “lockdown” as it is informally known in most countries of the world, has been the most commonly used strategy (El Ansari, and Stock, 2010).
Tertiary institutions in Nigeria and throughout the world have closed their doors to safeguard their student and staff. As a result, tertiary students have had to adjust to an entirely new learning environment. COVID-19 provides both direct and indirect dangers to student well-being; both as a direct contributor to poor psychological results and as the underlying cause of the drastic decline in social contact that kids now have to deal with. Understanding how student welfare may function throughout the worldwide pandemic and post-COVID-19 is critical for introducing new and revised approaches to better support students in their academic journey (El Ansari, and Stock, 2010).
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
For students, tertiary institutions signifies a community in which they may grow and, presumably, prosper both socially and intellectually (Lee, 2020). Given the unique potential that the environment provides to encourage healthier behavioral choices, including health and wellbeing enhancing characteristics within the university setting should be a focus. Due to the pandemic which started in Wuhan in 2019, all aspects of lives has been affected. For students, this was a time where they were affected socially, morally, financially and otherwise.
Students are primarily known to be social animals before being considered as anything else. To most students, the coming of the COVID 19 hampered or brought a stop to their social lives as most countries introduced strict measures to curb the spread of the virus. Lockdowns was enforced, and as a result, schools had to go on compulsory break thus making students put a temporary hold on their social lives. Students’ gatherings, meetings, hangouts, and all relaxing moments were suspended. This event played on the psyche of several students leading to the inability for some to recover from it (Wells, Moreno, Butler, and Glassman, 2015).
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The primary objective of this study is to an Assessment Of Covid-19 Pandemic And Its Effect On Social Relationship Among Students Of Abia State Polytechnic. Other objectives of this study is to:
i. To assess the awareness level of students about covid 19
ii. To determine if the covid 19 pandenic affected the interpersonal relationship of students
iii. To determine the effect of covid 19 on the social gathering of students
iv. To determine the the extent covid 19 impacted on the social life of students of Abia state polytechnic.
v. To assess the challenges faced by students socially in the aftermath of the covid 19 lockdowns.
The following research questions will guide this study.
i. What is the awareness level of students about covid 19?
ii. Has the covid 19 pandenic affected the interpersonal relationship of students?
iii. What are the effect of covid 19 on the social gathering of students?
iv. To what extent has covid 19 impacted on the social life of students of Abia state polytechnic?
v. What are the challenges faced by students socially in the aftermath of the covid 19 lockdowns?
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will be of great benefit to students as the findings will show the extent covid 19 has affected their interpersonal relationships, social gatherings, social life and they challenges they face after the lockdown. This study will also be of great benefit University administrators as the findings will show them what to do and how to revamp the social life of students.
Finally, this study will serve as an exixting material for further research and future reference.
SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study will be focused on the Assessment Of Covid-19 Pandemic And Its Effect On Social Relationship Among Students Of Abia State Polytechnic. It will also look at the effects covid 19 has on interpersonal relationships, social gatherings, social life and they challenges students face after the lockdown. This study will be using students of Abia State Polytechnic, Uturu as its enrolled participants.
LIMITS OF THE STUDY
This study will be limited to the Assessment Of Covid-19 Pandemic And Its Effect On Social Relationship Among Students Of Abia State Polytechnic. It will also be limited to the effects covid 19 has on interpersonal relationships, social gatherings, social life and they challenges students face after the lockdown.
The findings of this study will be limited to Abia State polytechnic, Uturu and as such the results of this research cannot be used any where else except further research is carried out.
DEFINITION OF TERMS
Assessment: the action of assessing someone or something.
Effects: a change which is a result or consequence of an action or other cause
Social relationship: relationship between two or more individuals