More in this report from Neika Lewis.

A study conducted by UNICEF and the Caribbean Policy Research Institute, CAPRI, found that 15-per cent of Jamaican parents will not be sending their children back to school during the pandemic.

There’s also strong evidence of learning loss and mental health issues affecting students.

This, while income for households with children has been cut almost in half since the first case COVID-19 was recorded in Jamaica.

Most parents are willing to send their children back to school, but the research shows 15-per cent say they won’t be sending their children back to school.

Lead Researcher, Dr. Kelly-Ann Dixon Hamil, disclosed the preliminary findings this morning during a UNICEF webinar.

The data’s corroborated by CAPRI’s Executive Director, Dr Damien King.

He says that means at least a quarter of secondary students stand to drop out of school because of this decision by some parents.

The findings also revealed that there’s been a learning loss among children without much academic guidance.

But it gets worse.

The study found the average length of time the savings of households with children lasted, since the first case of COVID-19 in Jamaica 6 months ago, was two weeks.

With barely enough funds to survive on, the study found heightened signs of depression and abuse in some households.

Meanwhile, Executive Director of CAPRI, Dr Damien King, says families will need financial and psychosocial support to help them cope during the pandemic.

Dr Damien King, Executive Director of CAPRI.

Meanwhile, Public Relations Officer for the National Secondary Students’ Council, NSSC, Rihanna Robinson, told education stakeholders at today’s webinar that young people were petrified by the pandemic.

She notes the digital divide prevents most students from accessing their classes or their teachers virtually.

Rihanna Robinson, Public Relations Officer for the NSSC.

They were addressing a CAPRI/UNICEF webinar today on the impact of the pandemic on income of households and children.