G20 takes a closer look at blended learning and educational poverty – India Education | Latest Education News | Global education news

A new report from the Group of Twenty (G20) Education Working Group highlights the challenges countries face in implementing blended learning and tackling educational poverty. UNESCO has contributed its expertise, data and analysis to the research, which also calls for enhanced collaboration between G20 governments.

Released last week, the “Mixed Education and Educational Poverty Report” builds on surveys conducted by the Italian G20 Presidency and shares promising practices for co-education and accelerating progress towards sustainable development goal 4.

Transforming education models

Although policies regarding school closings have varied, many G20 countries have been able to ensure continuity of education since the start of the pandemic through distance teaching and learning. In particular, blended education which is based on a combination of teaching and learning at school and at a distance has become a common model at all levels of education.

Throughout the pandemic, a wide range of technologies have been used to deliver distance education – nearly 80% of G20 countries have provided free or subsidized devices, and the same proportion have provided free or subsidized internet access. . The survey results also show that many countries have adopted measures targeting disadvantaged children and young people, including tailor-made teaching or learning materials, improved infrastructure and flexible platforms.

Fight against education poverty

But the report calls on G20 governments to do more than improve connectivity and train teachers – the root causes of education poverty must also be addressed. Even before the pandemic, only 62% of young people in G20 countries completed high school, according to UNESCO. Large disparities are also observed within countries, depending on gender, income, location or ethnicity. The lockdowns and closures of economic activities since March 2020 have only exacerbated existing economic difficulties and some students from disadvantaged backgrounds were less likely to have the resources at home to make the most of learning in line.

The survey documented a number of policies and programs in G20 countries that can be extended to address education poverty. These focus on preventive measures to tackle the problems that lead to early school leaving, interventions to improve the quality of education and training for students, including targeted support for certain groups, and compensation measures which help those who left education and training prematurely to obtain qualifications. .

Collaboration is the key to achieving SDG4

While schools have now reopened in the majority of G20 countries, a deterioration in the health situation leading to continued school closings or new ones cannot be ruled out. To reduce the disruption of future school closures and get SDG 4 back on track, the report calls for enhanced collaboration between different levels of government to share best practices, tools and results of monitoring and reporting systems. evaluation for evidence-based decision making and policy choices. .

Increased collaboration and dialogue is also needed to reinvent educational models and ways to tackle educational poverty – by encouraging the use of blended teaching and learning, the pandemic has already provided the opportunity to rethink pedagogical approaches, assessment and curriculum. Finally, the report urges G20 governments to contribute to international cooperation and the Education 2030 agenda. The progress already made in these countries can provide a knowledge base to tackle the impact of COVID-19 and can be scaled up. to help other countries adapt their education systems to digital economies.


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Norma A. Roth