It was always thus. Children at school will do with enthusiasm the things they enjoy, and will seek every available excuse for not doing the things they do not like.
The lockdown has meant attempting to teach lessons remotely. In our school community, there was never going to be the option of livestreaming lessons, only a small minority of students would have been able to access such lessons. The best way to try to facilitate learning seemed to be to use platforms they could easily access. Lessons have been made on PowerPoint, voiced over, converted to video and uploaded to YouTube.
Some students are able to access the PowerPoint on the platform the school uses and complete their work on desktop or laptop computers and submit it via the platform. Other students, without access to such hardware, can watch the lesson video on their phones, complete the work on whatever piece of paper comes to hand, take a photograph with their phones, and email the pictures of the work.
For some students the system seems to have worked well. Some have used the PowerPoint, with its narration, and have completed tasks on Word documents that they have then uploaded. Other students have used the YouTube video, handwritten their work (in some cases quite beautifully), and have had no problem sending in the completed tasks.
Some students have simply not engaged with the work.
Educational spokespeople have suggested that the explanation lays in economics. To a large extent they are probably right, the overall balance is probably in favour of those with access to sophisticated technology living in comfortable homes. The answer, however, is not simply one of wealth versus deprivation. Some students from affluent families have not done the work, some students from much less prosperous backgrounds have been industrious and systematic in attempting to use profitably the weeks of the lockdown.
Excused offered for less affluent students not completing work may be true, but they are not helpful. The world is not going to change because there are complaints of unfairness. The continuing dominance of Britain by those educated at public school and Oxbridge demonstrates the enduring capacity of the traditional elite. If students from less affluent families are going to break through it demands a strong sense of personal motivation. To explain away failure to complete work is to endorse a lack of effort, it is to succumb to counsels if despair.