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RECI Thematic Day 2021: Education Beyond the Pandemic

Event information

Great success for the 2021 Thematic Day!

Report on the panel discussion & workshops

The event began with a panel discussion with four experts. First, Zamira Gijini, Director-General for Policies and Development of Education and Sports at Albanian Ministry of Education and Sports, Andreas Walter, Co-President of the Swiss Conference of Compulsory Education Authorities, Sobhi Tawil, Director of the Future of Learning and Innovation Team at UNESCO, and Sabina Handschin, Head of Education and Senior Education Policy Advisor, Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC.

Zamira Gijini and Andreas Walter emphasized the importance of supporting parents and teachers for effective distance learning, especially in a pandemic situation. They also spoke about the challenges and the need to include the most disadvantaged and marginalized children in Switzerland and in other countries, as well as the centrality of school in the mental health of young people. Sobhi Tawil shared the results and main recommendations of the UNESCO initiative „Futures in Education“. Sabina Handschin concluded the panel by stressing the importance of strengthening local governments in building more resilient education systems in order to improve coordination in education to ensure continuous learning for all and to decrease the risk of exclusion of the most disadvantaged populations.

Workshop 1 "Promote parents and other caregiver’s engagement and wellbeing"

In this workshop, Save the Children introduced its project „Geflüchtete Eltern stärken (Strengthening Refugee Parents)“ and Vivamos Mejor its project „Safe Spaces and Children’s Books“ in Nicaragua. The proposed methodologies were developed in the context of the pandemic, but are also relevant for the years to come. They aim to support parents in their changing role and commitment to the education and well-being of their children.

Workshop 2 "Support teacher professional development and wellbeing"

During this workshop, the Center of Learning in Practice presented on the topic of professional development for teachers in displacement contexts for quality holistic learning. Afterwards, Enfants du Monde presented the strategy „I learn at home and in the classroom“ (Aprendo en casa y en clase) of the Guatemalan Ministry of Education.

Workshop 3 "Linking child Protection and psychosocial support services with education provision"

Participants discussed how organizations have been able to address child protection issues resulting from measures to contain COVID-19. Two experts from Mali and Lebanon/Palestine, from World Vision and Right to Play, brought a field perspective and spoke about the great risk of child labor increasing with the closure of schools.

Workshop 4 "Ensure access and continuity of learning for the most marginalized children and youth"

Terre des Hommes Switzerland and the PATRIZIA Foundation contributed to the theme of access and continuity of learning during the COVID-19 pandemic by presenting their projects in India and Cameroon. The examples covered different learning methods, ranging from peer education, one-to-one teaching to digitalization and digitalization readiness.

Workshop 5 "Recognize the role of education in the prevention of health diseases and support WASH activities in schools"

Helvetas, Swiss Water and Sanitation Consortium and Caritas presented the Blue Schools approach in which students are ensured the availability of clean water, functional latrines and adequate nutrition, with two examples in Cambodia and Niger. Participants shared learning points to strengthen health, hygiene prevention and WASH activities in schools.

Workshop "Promoting more resilient education systems: research-based evidence and recommendations"

PHZug presented research findings on the situation of children in Ghana whose schools were closed for ten months, both in terms of learning and how school closures affected children in general. PHZug introduced the transnational „School Barometer“ project, which is studying the impact of the pandemic on different groups – from students, teachers and principals to parents and education authorities.

Report of the panel discussion & workshops RECI in hybrid mode!

For the first time in RECI’s history, the annual Thematic Day was held in a hybrid format! Thanks to this format, participants in Bern, as well as those from around the world, had the opportunity to enjoy live presentations and testimonies from speakers and other participants from 18 countries and to take part in discussions. In total, about 100 people participated in the event.

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