Standing up for resilient education
What do we learn from the corona crisis for education policy?
The corona crisis revealed the essential role of education in society. After all, education means more than learning.
The Vlor looked at the consequences of the crisis from a unique perspective. From its diverse composition, the Council makes an assessment of the broad impact of the crisis and makes recommendations for the future.
There is no doubt that everyone is making huge efforts to compensate for the effect of the crisis and to keep all learners on board. That is described in detail in the recommendation. At the same time, the crisis has greatly magnified the structural problems education is facing. However, the right to learn must be guaranteed for everyone and always. The Vlor therefore asks the Flemish government to invest strongly in the medium term in the rights and needs of learners, educational organisation, personnel and guidance, and in infrastructure and equipment.
The recommendation zooms in on five themes and domains around which we have seen challenges appear in recent months.
The needs and rights of learners
The right of learning for everyone must always be guaranteed, in every situation. We call for digital inclusion. The existing impulses to make it possible to compensate for the home situation of learners must be maintained. Especially in a crisis situation, the needs and rights of vulnerable learners require extra attention.
The organisation of education, staff and supervision
We ask for investments in policy-making capacity, professionalisation in the domain of digital didactics, in infrastructure and equipment. We underline the valuable aspects of education and how important it is to protect the capacity of the staff, especially in a crisis situation.
The place of distance learning
Can distance learning play a role, even after the crises, combined with contact learning? We identify the advantages and disadvantages and ask them to be investigated further. We ask for guarantees for vulnerable groups when distance learning is the alternative in a crisis situation.
Cooperation between education and other policy areas and sectors
There is a need for a debate on the relief function of education, which has proved so essential in recent months. The concept of ‘holiday schools’ requires scientific foundation and consultation with all educational partners. More and better cooperation between education and welfare partners strengths equal opportunities. And in a crisis situation, consultation between Education and Work must offer guarantees for qualification, even if work placement and apprenticeships are not accessible.
Regulations must guarantee legal certainty for all concerned, but also leave room for response to a certain situation. We ask for a risk analysis to work out scenarios so that educational institutions can act with legal certainty in a crisis.