Education in coronavirus times: trial and error

Sallie Anderson

The coronavirus break out has actually interfered with the academic year of millions of trainees in the bloc, consisting of international trainees.

For numerous weeks, the majority of member states have – totally or partly – closed its education centres as part of their national methods to eliminate the spread of thecoronavirus


Nevertheless, the absence of coordination amongst member states was evidenced as soon as again throughout the casual videoconference of EU education ministers on Tuesday (14 April).

While some countries are set to resume schools in the upcoming weeks, Portugal and Malta revealed that schools will be closed till completion of the academic year.

Denmark are anticipated to start resuming some kindergartens and schools from today, although children ought to be at home if they were in contact with somebody who was ill.

Furthermore, Finland just recently extended the limitations on in person mentor till 13 May, while the nation is getting ready for school closure till completion of the term (30 May 2020).

On the other hand, main and lower secondary schools stay open in Sweden considering that the start of the coronavirus crisis.

Nevertheless, according to the commissioner for education and culture, Mariya Gabriel, “we need common standards in order to proceed with the next steps”.

Distinctions in e-learning

While lots of member states dealt with issues to perform e-learning at the start of the crisis, now most European countries are arranging range direction.

Nevertheless, commissioner Gabriel, cautioned that “not all instructors in the EU have the abilities to provide e-learning, [while] lots of schools in disadvantaged locations do not have the needed facilities to enable children to be successful in digital education”.

According to the director for education and abilities at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Advancement (OECD), Andreas Schleicher, the coronavirus likewise bring a special chance for brand-new designs of education, in spite of the lots of inequalities that the crisis exposes.

” We can work together worldwide to mutualise open online academic resources and digital discovering platforms and motivate technology business to join this effort and we can utilize the momentum to reshape curricula and learning environments to the needs of the 21st century,” he stated.

Estonia, the leading nation in Europe on education, chose previously this year to share several tools to support other countries’ education systems.

Nevertheless, Blaženka Divjak, the minister for education of Croatia – whose nation holds the EU’s presidency – thinks that “the biggest concern is the social issue: how to safeguard equality”.

The commissioner Gabriel likewise worried that the existing experience will be “vital” input for the upcoming Digital Education Action Strategy, which the commission is anticipated to reveal in June.

‘ Safeguard internationalisation’

On the other hand, a brand-new report based upon the experience of 22,000 international trainees exposed that 65 percent will have the ability to continue their movement program – half of them have completely online classes and 34 percent have partly online courses.

“Several problems were reported with the technical implementation of online courses, and while these can probably be worked around somehow, the real ‘Erasmus experience’ is unlikely to be the same,” checks outthe report published by the Erasmus Student Network (ESN)


For those who were participating in an EU’s movement program, the commission gotten in touch with college organizations to be “as flexible and pragmatic a possible” to assist trainees to accomplish their knowing contracts.

Nevertheless, according to ESN research study, most of trainees do not understand what will occur to their grants and just 24 percent of the participant reported that they will keep, partly or completely, their Erasmus scholarship.

On the other hand, professionals caution about the unfavorable effect that the coronavirus break out can have on the Erasmus design as worries and issues may continue as soon as the crisis is over.

“One of the biggest concerns in the long-term is how to protect the idea of internationalisation to continue offering students international and intercultural skills,” Renilde Knevels, policy consultant for internationalisation of universities of used sciences in Flanders (Belgium), informed EUobserver.

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