Almost 38% of the students of vocational schools, colleges and centers of excellence reported two and more signs of illness more frequently than once a week. At the same time, 11% of the respondents reported they have a long-term disease, a disability or a medical problem, such as diabetes, arthritis or cerebral palsy. Also, 26% of the students weekly reported states of apathy, 23% – nervousness, 20% – a state of anxiety, while 21% – increased levels of stress. In times of the pandemic, one fourth of all the students felt much more stressed, while girls report this state almost twice more often than boys, shows a study carried out by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Moldova with financial support from the Austrian Development Agency, IPN reports.
During practical training at the workplace, the young people said they face health problems, such as high levels of stress owing to the lack of professional experience, vision disorders, tiredness and obesity. According to teachers, the young people complained about pain in the back, arms or legs, intellectual fatigue and lack of physical resistance.
Only 11% of the interviewed young people have well-developed employment skills, 43% do not have the ability to efficiently work independently, 47% do not have the ability to work as part of a team, while 55% are unable to work with people with different skills and in different environment. The study shows only 21% of the respondents have well-developed interpersonal communication skills. Also, 35% of the girls and 45% of the boys appreciate themselves positively.
At the same time, almost 16% of the students of vocational schools, colleges and centers of excellence used tobacco cigarettes one-two or more days, 13% were at least once in a pronounced state of inebriation, 2% used cannabis, 1.1% used synthetic drugs, while 1.4% injected drugs.
The data provided by the 20 vocational schools involved in the study show that 184 students got pregnant in 2017-2020 and one third of them dropped out of school due to the pregnancy.
The study also reveals that only one in ten young people knows correct basic information about HIV. 37% of the students of vocational schools consider HIV is passed on by mosquito bites, 53% that HIV can be transmitted by having a meal together with an infected person, while 1/3 of the respondents have discriminatory attitudes to HIV-infected persons.
Galina Leshko, the leader of the team that carried out the study and head of the National Resource Center on Youth-Friendly Health Services “Neovita”, said the st. Investments should be made in developing a safe and friendly environment for the healthy development of students during the education process and during internships and later at the workplace. A normative framework to motivate the students in vocational schools to implement the approach of the school that promotes health according to international standards is needed.
The study covered 20 vocational schools, colleges and centers of excellence and a sample of 923 students aged between 15 and 19.