Daan Bomhof is an Arts and Media teacher at a vmbo high school in the East of the Netherlands. Together with two male vmbo students, he gives us insights in how living circumstances play a role in wellbeing during lockdown. Highlighted is the influence the living area has on the youth.
Last year, the number of students in the arts and media class increased from 10 to 26. Daan Bomhof: “The arts and gymnastic teachers give assignments that push the students to go out, walk in patterns and take pictures. Many students (and teachers) want to borrow our school cameras now.”
Daan Bomhof: “Some students are very active in class, enjoying social connection, and teachers think they are doing fine….
…But for these students, often online classes are the only real interaction and social contact they have. They feel depressed and parents and teachers see a totally different child.”
Daan Bomhof: “The use of drugs has increased among vmbo students. This is a serious problem as it can lead to long-term effects and addiction.”
“I can see a difference in class participation and well-being between students from rural and urban areas.” (Daan Bomhof)
Rick likes the daily structure on his parents’ farm. Daan Bomhof: “Having a rhythm and contacts is very important for young people.”
Rick: “My friends and I make fires, play games or build an outdoor cinema.”
Rick: Many roads here barely have traffic, I can easily go longboarding and skating with friends.
Daan Bomhof: “In general, rural youth is more proactive in class.”
Pets relieve the feeling of loneliness, often present at farms.
Lars: “What reason do I have to get up in the morning?”
Lars: “My average phone screen time is 8 hours a day. I use it for contacting people and watching YouTube.”
Lars: “When sitting inside all day on my own, what else can I do than gaming and watching videos?”
Pictures by Aniek ten Berge