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The Effects of COVID-19 on the Education Sector

The education sector in Jamaica experienced the earliest and most far-reaching impact due to the outbreak of COVID-19. The pandemic arrived on Jamaican shores just two weeks before the second set of PEP examinations scheduled for students in grade six, and just three weeks before students in grades 11 to 13 were expected to complete the curriculum and begin preparations to sit their various CXC exams. The government rushed to close all educational institutions and implemented an Education in Emergencies Strategy, thereby inconveniencing close to 600,000 students, over 25,000 teachers and thousands of parents and other stakeholders. To date, there has been no evidence to show the number of students that have been retained in the system, how many have been lost or the consistency and effectiveness of the remote learning strategies.

The MoEYI has indicated, however, that 50% of schools offered 3 hours of learning daily while 32% offered 1 hour of learning daily. This research seeks to expand the body of data available on the effects of pandemic-induced school closures on students and make recommendations to the GoJ on ideal responses to situations such as these.