A survey conducted by the World Bank has revealed a significant fall-off in school enrollment and attendance throughout Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Following the sudden massive shutdown of school systems across LAC, the share of students getting some form of education — either in-person or remote — was 12 per cent lower on average from May to July 2021 than in February 2020, according to the survey.
In Jamaica, the percentage of children missing out on education was much higher — about 22 per cent. Guyana had the greatest attendance loss in the region, with 34 per cent of children getting no form of schooling.
St. Lucia had less than a 10 per cent fall-off in education, while Chile had the least loss in the region at only one per cent.
This was among the findings of a series of High-Frequency Phone Surveys (HFPS) done in two waves in 2021, wave one taking place between May and September, and wave two between October and December.
The surveys were conducted in collaboration with the UNDP in 24 LAC countries under the title, “Monitoring COVID-19 impacts on Households in Latin American and the Caribbean”. The survey shows where the Caribbean stands out and where countries need to focus on protecting the welfare of the population, the summary from the World Bank said.
“The pandemic has disrupted the lives of people around the world. The Caribbean is highly vulnerable to shocks, and the impacts were devastating. While the economic situation is improving, people still struggle to find jobs, there are pockets of vaccine hesitancy, and a worsening food security situation due to global events”, the World Bank said before a briefing on the survey on June 21 (Tuesday).