WHAT DO WE DO TO RESPOND TO COVID EDUCATION EMERGENCY? 11# – Storytelling analysis of teachers’ perspective on distant teaching by Centre for Education Policy

The impact of the pandemic on the education systems across the globe is immense for numerous reasons. On one hand, most countries in the world have closed down schools and moved to some type of online learning which will surely impact the quality of learning but at the same time impacts the home lives of teachers, students and their parents.

The members of NEPC network promptly reacted to this situation to support and cater to the needs of their beneficiaries. In this series, we will present the activities and the practices that our members implemented, adapted or reinforced as they could serve as inspiration for other actors dealing with the implications and impact that this unexceptional circumstances had and still have on education.

In this issue, we feature the initiatives of our Serbian member, Centre for Education Policy (CEP).

“Educational support in prevention of child marriages and dropout ” project supported by UNICEF

CEP focused on supporting schools to develop measures targeting low income students with no internet access on even TV. These measures included relocating school grants for printing and distribution of materials for hard-to-reach pupils, developing schedule for contacts with families taking into account safety measures and part of school capacity building was done online. Regarding support to Roma girls, for girls that weren’t able to attend CEP training on career guidance and job finding skills, CEP developed information material that is made available online but also distributed to girls and partner Roma NGO.  CEP also continued to support UNICEF by collecting data and documenting the process of adaptation to changes and regularly provides data on vulnerable groups of students and challenges they are facing during pandemic. CEP advocates with all donor organizations to support especially children from low income families since their access to online and distance learning is very limited and schools struggle with motivation of student and families. 

“Together in transition” project supported by Pestalozzi Children Foundation

CEP addressed students and teachers in two main ways. Firstly, CEP identified the needs of schools – how many students do not have access to online/TV teaching and learning, i.e. how many students are in need of ICT devices, and how many teachers need ICT devices for implementation of distant teaching. Based on this, PCF and its partners (including CEP) approached potential donors with the aim of procuring needed devices, as well as accompanying internet packages. Secondly, CEP initiated exploration of teachers’ perspectives on distant teaching in the times of COVID-19 pandemic, through storytelling. The aim of this research is to map what constitutes teachers’ experience during the state of emergency and therefore to provide recommendations for the project and the education policies.

“Quality education for all” project supported by Council of Europe

Aim of the ongoing project activities in which CEP took part is to support selected primary and secondary schools in to implement activities directed towards development of competences for democratic culture of the Council of Europe by applying mentoring of pilot schools to new project schools with the support of CEP local coordinators. The newfound situation led project to several directions. First of all, CEP initiated the process of assessment, planning and modification of project activities according to rules imposed by the Government of Serbia related to the emergency situation (suspended regular work of schools). CEP prepared the document Assessment of the influence of the declared state of emergency in Serbia on the implementation of the project and the contingency plan, containing propositions to 1) alternate planned activity, to 2) postpone activities that assume planning, as well as to 3) include new activity. All propositions were accepted by the Council of Europe. In that way, CEP ensured continuation of the project, provided clear and structural information to mentors/schools on future activities, and supported the Council of Europe in maintaining important actions in education in Serbia.

Contact: http://www.cep.edu.rs/eng

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