|Jeannette Sanchez, Communications Manager, Employment Policy Department|
The COVID-19 pandemic caused a sudden transition to distance education, training and e-learning. The crisis has led to a massive shift towards digital platforms and tools for further education and skills development, which has revealed promising trends and worrying signals.
Among these features is evidence that while we value digital education by making it more equitable, access to digital platforms does not always allow for education of the same quality. For example, during a pandemic, women are disproportionately deprived of distance learning due to a lack of childcare or home support.
These are some of the key findings from the recent online discussion on “Continuing Continuing Online Training and Skills Development during the COVID-19 Crisis”, organized by the Skills and Employment Unit through its global skills sharing platform for employment.
The virtual discussion for more than two weeks attracted a host of practitioners, educational organizations and policy makers from around the world to share their experiences on the impact of the pandemic, highlighting the challenges that have emerged in education and training and the solutions proposed. their solution.
Challenges: poorly trained and unprepared instructors for providing online courses; difficulties in adapting TVET (technical and vocational education and training) programs and training to online formats; lack of access to the Internet or ICT (information and communication technology) equipment for education or training; learners ready for assessment, but cannot be assessed for COVID-19 issues; students could not gain access to the resources needed to continue their education because they did not know the digital platforms.
Despite these challenges, students, TVET providers and policy makers are making the major changes that are needed in terms of learning and acquiring skills in times of crisis.
For example, in UruguayINEFOP (National Institution for Employment and Vocational Training) has developed an emergency plan in which it requests proposals from institutions that want to work remotely and offer courses in part. Based on this, a table was created to study the methodology of transition from full-time courses to online formats.
about Bangladeshiproject Skills 21a joint initiative of the government and the ILO, is developing an online campus that will be the first online education management platform for the TVET sector in the country.
In EnglandyesEducation and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) is taking steps to ensure that apprentices can, whenever possible, continue and complete their apprenticeship despite the break they have had to undergo due to COVID-19.
New forms of partnership are also emerging. In Syriafor example, the partnership created with IECD, a development aid organization, is being reconfigured to integrate e-learning and produce videos on the latest training programs in construction, agriculture and manufacturing.
Skills that can be easily acquired and strengthened through distance learning during this pandemic could change the working environment for the next generation in the future.
In the short term, we need to think about the “new” skills required by industry and employers after the COVID-19 pandemic so that people can return to work quickly. These can be short courses and / or targeted skill sets. In the long run, hiring at a distance could become commonplace.
One thing seems clear: giving a more privileged place to non-formal education in the concept of lifelong learning in order to ensure better skills validation will be paramount when we get out of this crisis.
Jeannette Sanchez, Communications Manager, Employment Policy Department