Recent research has surfaced stating that there have been cases of instability in the “Mental and Physical” health of children across the Caribbean, due to the home restrictions implemented during the pandemic.
According to the reports, there has been a surge in illnesses such as hypertension, Obesity and diabetes along with feelings of being lonely. The study was conducted by the Caribbean Policy Research Institute (CAPRI) who also stated that “The Impact of COVID-19 on Education” is of major concern.
Lead researcher of (CAPRI) Stephanie Sewell explained that there was evidence of much weight gain among children due to school closures which also contributed to the earlier mentioned illnesses such as hypertension and diabetes.
Sewell also mentioned that the students have been subject to other abnormal behaviours such as indiscipline, sadness, loneliness, anxiety and frustration.
In addition to the statements given by the (CAPRI), various Caribbean paediatricians have stated that the lack of access to guidance counsellors have impacted the coping mechanism of students.
The reports about the situation affecting students in the pandemic were also spoken about in the light of online classes, as it was realized that they showed less focus and according to Sewell contributed to eye problems as well as emotional instability.
As it relates to statistics, 43 per cent of the students were studied to have issues with focusing.
Further information from (CAPRI), revealed that there it was more likely for students to show deviant behaviour as well as for the girls to be more exposed to sexual exploitation.
For the boys, the pandemic facilitates more of them dropping out of school and engaging in gang-like activities which usually lead them to take up things like smoking, gambling and even carry weapons.
In addition to the many issues picked out to have stemmed from the Covid-19 pandemic, are high levels of teenage pregnancies which lead to girls dropping out before grade 11.
Other factors seen affecting young girls who have become pregnant during school is that the Women Centre of Jamaica, where they are usually recruited and guided, noticed a decline which says much about the accessibility that is available within the pandemic.
The Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health and Wellness has so far teamed up to have students between the ages of 12-18 vaccinated to get face to face classes up and running however, according to what the Ministries agreed on, the resuming of physical classes will not be permitted until the majority of the population is vaccinated.