Closure of pre-primary schools for a period of six months or longer could result in losses in future salaries for children said a recent study by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).
The study is predicting that Jamaica’s youth, among hundreds of millions of other children, could face grim economic prospects due to disruptions in their education because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is in addition to the devastating impact the pandemic is expected to have on children’s mental, physical, and emotional health.
According to the results from the study, which analysed 140 countries with a combined population of 6.4 billion people, closure of pre-schools for six months means losses in future salaries equivalent to 5.3 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) in Peru, 4.1 per cent in Mexico, and 3.5 per cent in Jamaica.
The Washington-based institution is encouraging lawmakers to craft public policy that mitigate against the effects of school closures to reduce potential unprecedented losses, particularly for children from poorer backgrounds.
Some of the suggestions for policymakers includes better distribution of Internet access, computers and other electronic devices, creation of more hospitable and safer environments at home for early childhood education and more mental health resources.
The study is the first to simulate losses due to pre-primary programme closures because of the COVID-19 pandemic.