- Published : 24.06.2020.
Fourth videoconference of education ministers on implications of the pandemic on education and training
On Tuesday, 23 June 2020, education ministers of EU Member States met for the fourth time at a videoconference on the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on education and training.The videoconference was chaired by Prof. Blaženka Divjak, PhD, Croatian Minister of Science and Education, from the National and University Library in Zagreb.
At the three earlier videoconferences, held on 12 March, 14 April and 18 May 2020, at different stages of the crisis caused by the pandemic, ministers exchanged experiences and information on measures related to the safety of pupils, students and staff in education and training institutions, organisation of distance learning and teaching, challenges pertaining to assessment and grading, final exams and enrolments, as well as international mobility.
They also discussed issues related to the re-opening of education and training institutions.
At the fourth videoconference, the last one during the Croatian Presidency of the Council of the EU, ministers reflected on the lessons learnt from the crisis, as well as on the next steps and possibilities for further developments and innovation in education and training, including preparations for the next school and academic year.
In their discussion, ministers reported on mostly positive experiences related to the implementation of distance education, but they also pointed out that distance learning and teaching cannot fully replace the face-to-face modalities.
They pointed out the importance of social inclusiveness and providing equal opportunities for all pupils and students, adequate support for pupils, students and teachers, quality assurance of the learning content, as well as the preparedness of teachers and trainers for distance teaching.
The need for further work on innovation was pointed out, with the crisis as an incentive to enhance the quality and efficiency of education and training systems. In terms of preparations for the next school and academic year, ministers reported that, taking into account the lessons learnt from the crisis, different scenarios are being developed, including various possibilities – face-to-face, blended and distance learning and teaching – but final solutions will depend on the further development of the epidemiological situation.
They also reported that, based on the data available so far, there seems to be no indication of the negative impact of the re-opening of education and training institutions on the spread of the pandemic.
In the extraordinary circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, education and training systems in all the EU Member States have been faced with numerous challenges.
Ministers stressed that various forms of cooperation and exchange of information among the Member States has proved to be important and useful in providing responses to the crisis in education and training.
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