Along with the connection of engagement with the academic adjustment indicators, it stands out because of its protective role against problematic adolescent behaviors, such as criminal acts and violence, substance use and depressive symptoms.1,2 Thus, as student engagement has been shown to be enabled through school intervention, its study is of special interest, especially in secondary education.3

Academic commitment, or engagement, refers to a psychological state characterized by the student’s sense of belonging, attributing value to education, and participating in school, learning, studying and in curricular activities.4,5 Academic engagement is particularly characterized by vigor (referring to energy, willingness and persistence in making an effort to perform school activities), dedication (with regard to the sense of enthusiasm, inspiration, pride and importance attributed to it, that is, psychological identification with studies and academic activities) and absorption (related to full concentration, without effort and intrinsic enjoyment, in academic demands, so that time seems to pass quickly and it is hard to detach oneself from activities).5 read more

As the pandemic abruptly turned life upside down around the world, roughly a million public school kids in NYC were thrust into a wildly inconsistent learning environment, with repeated openings and closings of school buildings and systemwide shifts to online learning as COVID-19 rates surge.,While education officials promise to reopen schools this fall for full-time learning again, many New York City parents and students are calling for more than academic recovery, but a reckoning with the disrupted school system’s mental health toll on kids.,A Year Of Anxiety And Turmoil In the short term after Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that public school buildings were closing on March 16th, 2020 and students were shifting to remote learning, some kids said they initially celebrated a break from school.,Disparate Impacts For New York City’s public school system, whose enrollment is 41% Latino, 26% Black, 16% Asian and 15% white, the deadly toll of the pandemic has been acutely felt: “During the first five months of the pandemic, an estimated 4,200 of 4 million children in the state lost a parent or caregiver to coronavirus, a rate of more than one out of every 1,000, according to a report by the United Hospital Fund and Boston Consulting Group released at the end of September,” with more than half of those affected children residents of the Bronx, Brooklyn or Queens, according to Gotham Gazette, which reported the pandemic has disportionately taken parents away from Black and Hispanic families: 1 out of every 600 Black children, and 1 out of every 700 Hispanic children have lost a parent or caregiver, compared to 1 out of 1,400 Asian children and 1 out of 1,500 white children in New York.,The public school student population is also primarily low-income, a point which was hammered home last spring when the city Department of Education had to scramble to outfit hundreds of thousands of families with devices for remote learning.

For Michelle Janse van Rensburg, currently managing director at Pretoria-based Nimacc Business Lounge, moving out of her corporate comfort zone in South Africa saw her taking on a rather unconventional stretch assignment in Mozambique for an asset management company that was handling agricultural projects across Africa, where she was tasked with implementing new financial and operational systems.,Although this particular mission was certainly out of the ordinary and, in fact, required trips to several African countries, Janse van Rensburg said that within accounting and finance, stretch assignments are becoming the norm.,According to van den Barselaar, every year as managing director brings new stretch assignments in terms of being able to deliver the required results in a very depressed South African economy.,Moving forward

While the actual definition of a stretch assignment is highly subjective and up for debate, Janse van Rensburg asserted that management accountants have to actively take on certain roles and challenging projects to keep themselves professionally relevant.,For van den Barselaar, there is no question as to the value of stretch assignments, and she urged finance professionals to always be ready for new challenges. read more