According to a recent study conducted by the Caribbean Policy Research Institute, (CAPRI), the impact of COVID-19 on the education system extends way beyond learning losses. The report, entitled ‘Time Out, the Impact of COVID on Education’ notes the learning deficit is significant. It also suggests concerning mental health and psychosocial impact on both students and teachers.
The CAPRI report indicates that approximately 600,000 students have been impacted, since the closure of schools due to COVID-19. And despite the Government’s intervention, many children are disconnected from learning and remain academically unstimulated. Recommendations are being made to improve remote learning.
The study suggests that teachers be deployed to assist students who may have fallen behind. For teachers, the study recommends better material support be provided regularly, as well as more psycho-social support. CAPRI’s primary conclusion is that face-to-face learning is crucial, and while acknowledging that Jamaica’s not yet there, they are proposing that COVID-19 testing regime for teachers and students should be implemented, as well as an in-depth analysis of the positivity rates in communities surrounding schools to ensure that students as well as teachers are protected and the necessary information is present to make a calculated decision.
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