UNESCO reports that 1.5 billion students have been affected by school closures due to the Covid-19 outbreak, in 165 countries. This is more than 87 percent of all registered students. The Coronavirus crisis has become an education crisis. “Never before have we witnessed educational disruption on such a scale,” said UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay.
In Europe, most governments have temporarily closed their schools as a response to contain the spread of the Covid-19. Education has shifted online but the situation is far from being ideal. While tertiary education institutions were already largely using online platforms to deliver courses before the crisis, in secondary education and apprenticeships, distance learning platforms were not widely used or at least not to the same extent. In most countries, there is no standardisation and a lack of clear guidelines from the Ministry of Education.
At this stage, very few countries have announced financial measures to support the education sector and for those who have, the financial resources promised are really limited in comparison to the challenges faced by educational institutions and learners, especially referring to students without access to devices or to an efficient internet connection.
All the forms of teaching and training that need presential work are deeply affected by this crisis. The impossibility of accessing laboratories, workplaces and all of the practical classes, especially in VET and apprenticeships, will mean a big loss for the personal growth and skill development of the learner.
Equity should be the governments’ main concern as these unprecedented measures affect disproportionately disadvantaged learners. Nor only their learning path is interrupted but they are also losing access to social welf
are services such as meals and accommodation.
Read more on the claims of school and VET students in the OBESSU Reaction on the impact of Covid 19 in Education here: https://obessu.org/site/assets/files/2739/obessu_reaction_on_the_impact_of_covid19.pdf