This first day was "particularly good for sharing government experiences". Adelino Sousa says that, as a rule, "governments are a little shy when it comes to sharing experiences, bad and good", but this issue seems to be different. "I have received messages from Latin America, in which they say that they have never attended an event where governments have been so open-minded." And in the opinion of the executive director of Virtual Educa Connect "the more open governments are, the more we can learn", in the sense that there is a greater possibility of avoiding mistakes.
Teachers without preparation for what came. A reality in 16 countries
Conducted by the consultancy Aonia Nueva Educacin, based in Seville, the investigation that will be presented this Thursday at Virtual Educa Connect analyzed the solutions adopted by 375 education officials from 16 countries worldwide to adapt the traditional teaching method to distance teaching imposed by the pandemic. The study shows that the teachers' lack of technological knowledge has led to an overload of hours of work and tasks. In practical terms, this overload has affected not only teachers but also students.
In a statement, David Vidal, the research coordinator, guarantees that the lack of digital skills on the part of teachers and the lack of technical knowledge is limiting the education system of many countries to successive videoconferences and the sending and receiving of documents. By way of example, the specialist refers to the excessive work to which the students had to respond, as a result of the lack of coordination between teachers and distance learning strategies.
85% of the responses obtained in the study correspond to primary and secondary schools. In addition, the remaining 15% comes from university institutions in Portugal, Spain, Italy, Mexico, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Venezuela, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Honduras and El Salvador.
According to 50% of respondents, the hardware system of the respective schools and institutions before the COVID-19 pandemic ranged from low to medium, with only one computer and projector per classroom with regular access to equipment shared with students . Most participants, 79%, stress the need for a more coordinated response from the education system. This is done in order to reduce the inequalities between resources and to speed up the adaptation of the institutions to the new context.
For 66% of respondents, the biggest challenge was ensuring access for all students to the educational resources available online. However, the truth is that the progressive digitalization that has been registered in recent decades has not been transversal to all societies. In Spain, each household has, on average, between one and two computers, with numbers falling significantly in many countries in Latin America, where a large percentage of families do not have access to any device, guarantees the specialist.