WHAT DO WE DO TO RESPOND TO COVID EDUCATION EMERGENCY? 17# – WhatsApp groups of Parent Councils established by Children are the Future
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 Albanian member, Children are the Future (CAF).
CAF has been working closely with schools, communities and other stakeholders for many years toward better quality and more inclusive education and is also trying to provide its support to effectively addressing various challenges related to the COVID-19 situation.
More specifically, in the framework of the project “Strengthening Regional Parents Network” (supported by OSFA), which ended in May, CAF orginised on-line, awareness-raising and consultation meetings with the Parents Network representatives, Parent Councils, and school leaders. A joint initiative of the network to support the most vulnerable families of each related school community was successfully finalized strengthening cooperation among all the stakeholders and also the role of parents, specifically of Parent Councils and Parents Network. WhatsApp groups of Parent Councils and a joint Parents Network group were established, joined by CAF representatives, and were active in sharing challenges, helpful information and recommendations. In addition, along with frequent contacts with school leaders, parents, teachers and even students, joint Skype meetings have been organized, serving as an effective platform for sharing information, challenges faced, lessons learned and as peer learning opportunities.
Moreover, as a CAF initiative, which has already been embraced by several schools in Albania during the last years, there are current school efforts to organize “Parents’ Day” even this year through on-line means of communication and other eligible and effective forms in order to convey strong messages of support and solidarity, as well as appreciation and gratitude for school-family-community cooperation and partnership.
Student Governments, Parents Councils and Regional Parents Network along school leaders and teachers are important structures that will continue to receive our support through open discussions, awareness-raising, guidelines, workshops and exchange opportunities.
In addition, CAF will pay a high attention to providing its support to a situation analysis and priority setting and planning for the next academic year through on-line questionnaires and focus group discussions with different stakeholders.