On Friday, April 24, the Council of Europe’s Steering Committee for Education Policy and Practice (CDPPE) held its first meeting ever online. Chaired by Maria Fassari (Greece), CDPPE delegations shared their experiences and challenges in ensuring the right to education under the COVID-19 crisis. Some 80 delegates from 49 of the 50 States parties to the European Cultural Convention as well as most CDPPE observers participated and more than 30 took the floor. Despite the variety of situations, almost all European countries face similar challenges in adjusting to online learning, organizing exams and assessment of students at all levels of education, reopening schools and universities as confinement is gradually eased, and protecting the most vulnerable students.
Three Council of Europe instruments were considered particularly important: the Reference Framework for Competences for Democratic Culture, Digital Citizenship Education, and the European Qualifications Passport for Refugees, in particular with a view to enabling refugees with health-related qualifications to assist their host communities in the COVID-19 crisis. In addition, the ENIC and NARIC Networks are working to make the recognition of qualifications possible also in times of crisis, on the basis of the Lisbon Recognition Convention.