Responses from our member States
The spread of COVID-19 has posed serious challenges to national education systems, their schools, universities, colleges, childcare and social care providers.
How to deal with this situation, which quick solutions can be found? More than before, digital resources are becoming essential and are widely used by national authorities to cope with this situation.
In this section we publish information on the strategies adopted by national educational authorities to deal with the COVID-19 crisis. The aim is to provide a platform for education stakeholders in our member States to share examples of good practice, learn from each other and find inspiration for effective and innovative measures. This section will be updated regularly.
The Albanian Ministry of Education, Sports and Youth uses the following on-line learning platforms to ensure the continuity of the education process: Platform Akademi.al, the special MoESY channel on YouTube; Virtual University Platform (RASH); and the Elektronic u-Library (RASH).
Other measures taken by the authorities include guidelines for institutions, teachers and students, a help desk for students and parents, teacher training on ICT skills and digital education, psychological support and support on carrying out exams and assessments.
In addition, the Albanian TV Education Channel (RTSH - Shkollë) has set specific time for the school audience, under the guidance of the experts of the National Agency for Quality Assessment (NAQA) and with subject teachers from all education levels. This helped to reach pre-university pupils around the country, especially in remote areas where Internet access was not possible, and pupils who do not have access to digital devices.
Flemish Community of Belgium
All information on policies, targeted information and tools for different audiences (teachers, school management, parents, students) can be found at the Coronavirus portal of the Flemish Ministry of Education and Training.
A special task is entrusted to “KlasCement”, the portal for open educational resources that provides freely accessible support developed by and for teachers, as well as for parents and learners, partly in English.
French-speaking Community of Belgium
The Ministry of the Wallonia-Brusselles Federation has created on the website of the Ministry of Education a special webpage on COVID 19 (in French only) with all the information relating to the measures taken by the Ministry in the fight against the Covid-19 pandemic. It contains information on the organization of the courses, regulatory information and pedagogical tools for schools and teachers.
This special page (in French only) on pedagogical resourses is intended for professionals in compulsory education and incluces guidelines, tools and resources to facilitate the continuity of learning and assessment. The Ministry states that homework may be provided, but sets out the conditions for it.
Some examples of pedagogical resources (available in French only) are listed here.
The Croatian Ministry of Science and Education began preparing distance learning and teaching two weeks before closing schools. The Ministry has produced not only teaching materials, but also a number of guidelines to assist teachers in their work. Here is the link to documents in English.
The Press and Information Office of the Government the Republic of Cyprus maintains a general website on recent developments, decrees, support measures and other relevant data related to the COVID-19 crisis (in Greek and English).
The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport and Youth has taken special measures to ensure the continuation of the learning process. A special website provides guidance to teachers and students on distance learning and the use of the MS TEAMS programme, the main platform used by public schools. Asynchronous education is also supported with the inclusion of links to pedagogical material.
The Cyprus Agency of Quality Assurance and Accreditation in Higher Education (CYQAA) has proposed recommendations to Higher Education Institutions on alternative forms of teaching including e-courses and examinations in accordance with its set quality criteria.
In Estonia, supportive guidelines and information on how to organise distance learning are provided by different institutions to different target groups:
The Ministry of Education and Research is providing and regularly updating information, including guidelines to parents, teachers and school managers, on COVID-19 measures in education system on a special website, also available in English.
The Information Technology Foundation for Education HITSA provides information and advice on learning platforms, tools and learning materials that can be used in remote learning (some information is also available in English). HITSA is also organising webinars for parents, teachers and school leaders on remote learning issues.
A Facebook group “Homeschooling with technology” has been set up to support teachers. Additionally, a Facebook group for Russian speaking teachers on remote learning has been created. All teachers are welcome to join the groups to seek advice from educational technologists if needed. Read more
The Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Georgia (MESCS) devised a series of response mechanisms and tools to tackle the negative impact of Coronavirus outbreak on the education system and to ensure continuation of the teaching and learning process. The following tools and programs for distance learning are available:
Microsoft Office 365 - Microsoft Office 365 user profile was created for Georgian public schools (administration, teachers and students). Virtual classrooms were created for all school classes and subjects in online program Microsoft TEAMS;
Following the closure of schools on 11 March, the Greek Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs set up a platform to ensure access of all members of the educational community to the latest developments, material, and learning possibilities during this period.
Both synchronous distance learning programmes (that can be accessed via computers, tablets, mobile phones or even landlines) and asynchronous ones (using its online platforms such as http://ebooks.edu.gr/new/, http://photodentro.edu.gr/aggregator/, http://aesop.iep.edu.gr/) have been introduced.
Jointly with the Institute of Educational Policy (IEP) and the National Broadcasting Channel (ERT), the Ministry produced educational TV lessons for all classes of primary school, which enjoyed wide viewership.
There is also a new online education platform that the Directorate of Education in Iceland opened recently due to COVID-19, containing mostly material for compulsory education (in Icelandic only).
Luxembourg has set up a special platform in several languages, which is accessible to schools, teachers and students.
The website Schouldoheem 2020 offers learning content. Another website, Kannerdoheem.lu proposes entertainment activities during this period of confinement and is addressed to children of all ages. The activities are proposed in different languages and so the website can be also interesting to other countries.
In Malta, the following institutions help ensure the process of distance learning:
The eie Institute of Education stores all recorded lectures, discussions, and assignments on its licensed VLE platform. With everything in one place, students progress easily, and remain focused on learning the material, rather than searching for specific content.
TCTC Malta - Nitgħallmu ma' Ray Abela offer free basic computer courses to all via their YouTube channel.
In order to support and facilitate the continuity of education by means of online learning, the Ministry of Education and Research has created the online platform Digital. It centralizes resources and information for both teachers and learners on distance learning: digital education resources, instruments for online learning platforms, communication tools, links to teacher support groups, links to other useful platforms and applications, information on online training opportunities and webinars for teachers, links to the official preparations tests for national exams, open education resources developed by teachers.
In addition, the platform www.manuale.edu.ro, provides the digital version of all textbooks approved by the Ministry of Education and Research, which can be accessed and downloaded for free.
The Ministry of Education and Research in partnership with the Romanian Public Television (TVR) has launched an educational TV programme, called Teleșcoala (Tele-school), which consists of video lessons broadcasted from Monday to Friday on two of the TVR’s channels. The lessons are addressed to 8th and 12th grade pupils to help them prepare for the national exams. Besides Romanian, the lessons are also delivered in Hungarian.
In Switzerland, the website Eduport (in German, French and Italian) provides an overview of the available services and coordination centres in the Swiss digital learning and teaching environment. The website proposes teaching materials with and without screens, digital resources and guidance on applications and videoconferencing solutions that could be used in education.
Regarding higher education, the Conference of Rectors of Swiss Higher Education Institutions composed of the rectors of all institutions of higher education, has developed some thematic files to facilitate the exchange and sharing of experiences and practices.
The Conference has also published an overview document of the responses by higher education institutions to the sanitary crisis.