2 years ago

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has caused an unprecedented crisis in all areas. In the field of education, this emergency has led to the massive closure of face-to-face activities of educational institutions in more than 190 countries in order to prevent the spread of the virus and mitigate its impact.
The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) has argued that even before the pandemic hit, the social situation in the region was deteriorating, owing to rising rates of poverty and extreme poverty, the persistence of inequalities and growing social discontent. In this context, the crisis will have a profoundly negative impact on the various social sectors, particularly health and education, as well as on employment and poverty. Meanwhile, UNESCO has identified major gaps in educational outcomes, which are related to the unequal distribution of teachers in general, and of the best qualified teachers in particular, to the detriment of lower-income countries and regions and of rural areas, where indigenous and migrant populations tend to be concentrated.
In the sphere of education, many of the measures that the region’s countries have adopted in response to the crisis are related to the suspension of face-to-face classes at all levels, which has given rise to three main areas of action: the deployment of distance learning modalities through a variety of formats and platforms (with or without the use of technology); the support and mobilization of education personnel and communities; and concern for the health and overall well-being of students.
The aim of this document is to shed light on various consequences that these measures will have on educational communities in the short and medium term, and to offer key recommendations on how to manage those consequences in the best possible manner, drawing attention to opportunities for learning and innovation in the post-pandemic education system.

These measures eventually illuminate the reality of the many other roles that the school offers besides academics. Since, for some, it turns out to be an uncomfortable complication, while for others, the situation is even more worrying. In cities where 70% of students come from low-income families, bringing school home means facing not being able to offer adequate meals, much less the technology or connectivity necessary for online learning.


"This is a huge educational equity challenge that can have life-altering consequences for vulnerable students," said Ian Rosenblum, director of The Education Trust-New York. Unfortunately, there are not many schools that can offer a full virtual academic experience, with students equipped with electronic devices, teachers who know how to design functional online lessons, and a culture based on technological learning. The reality is that most schools are not prepared for this change, which allows us to recognize that unequal access to the internet is just one of the many problems that our educational system faces globally, as Tara García raises for The Hechinger Report .


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