The World Bank is projecting that because of the COVID-19 pandemic, current Jamaican students will essentially receive only 5.6 years of learning despite attending school for over twelve years. During a virtual town hall on Wednesday, the World Bank noted that the Caribbean region was already dealing with a learning crisis before the pandemic hit. The institution’s Human Development Program Leader for the Caribbean, Timothy Johnston, said a key indicator in the organisation’s human capital index is learning adjusted school years, where the number of years children spend in school is adjusted against what they actually learn. He said average learning adjusted school years for 18-year-olds in the Caribbean before the pandemic was 7.8, while for Jamaica that number was 7.1. But Mr. Johnston said this number is expected to drop as a result of the pandemic. «The simulations of the estimates from our team is that Caribbean countries risk losing up to 1.3 learning adjusted years of schooling on average following the pandemic. But in some countries like Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Guyana and Jamaica, the learning losses are expected to be even higher because the school closures were longer,» he reported.
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