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Discussion: Continuing online learning and skills development in times of the COVID-19 crisis. 27 March - 17 April.

Moderators :
Ashwani Aggarwal, ILO
Paul Comyn, ILO
Pedro Moreno da Fonseca, ILO
This discussion invites government representatives, employers’ and workers’ organizations, education and training providers, NGOs, and individuals, among others, to share and discuss how to maintain continued learning and skills building for students and workers in times of crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic which we all now face. It also aims to explore relevant and timely innovative practices in distance and online education and training.

The world of work is being profoundly affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic. Not only is the health of millions of people at risk; also at stake are their long-term livelihoods and wellbeing. Over the past weeks the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has presented unique challenges to all types and levels of learning, including schooling, TVET, apprenticeships and skills development. What’s more, it has also stimulated discussion on the need for accelerated innovation in on-line learning, and the delivery of TVET and skills training. For those of you interested in the wider impact of COVID-19 on employment and jobs and possible mitigation measures, please download the ILO briefing note from the link at the bottom of the page.

In this context, we have an opportunity to explore the concept of “learning and training anywhere, anytime”, an idea central to the concept of lifelong learning. This in turn requires examination of a range of issues such as how technically prepared we are to support new ways of working in the face of disruptors like a pandemic, and how quickly we can organize digital education and training and mobilize teachers and trainers to maintain services to learners. We also need to explore innovative learning methodologies for apprentices and workers who primarily acquire or upgrade skills at the workplace.

This E-discussion seeks to glean insights into innovative practices in education and training, particularly those that are embracing technology to promote skills development. The E-discussion will also allow us to consider the new challenges emerging in the current context as we move to online forms of learning and skills development, including how we ensure that no one is excluded from new forms of learning and training.

To begin the discussion, we invite you to provide your inputs on the following:

Week one questions:
1. How has the current situation linked to COVID-19 disrupted the provision of training where you are (including apprenticeships, full time programs and short courses)?
2. What resources are being used or referred to maintain training services remotely and via e-learning platforms? Could you share some examples?
3. What technical hurdles have you observed in delivering online training and skills development?
4. What challenges do learners face in accessing / using e-learning?
5. How can individuals and learning providers ensure that the effects of the disruption are minimized and that wherever possible, apprentices and learners are not negatively impacted in the long-term?
6. How have government policies affected the operation of education and training providers?

Week two questions:
7. What new and innovative approaches to learning and skills development have you observed in your surroundings since the start of the pandemic?
8. How adaptable are learners to these new and evolving forms of training and learning?
9. What measures are being taken in order to assure that potential learners are aware of existing learning solutions and can access and use them autonomously?
10. Do you foresee the current situation having an impact on the concept of lifelong learning?
11. What new forms of partnerships, for example, public-private partnerships and collaboration are emerging during this crisis period?

This discussion feature works best when accessed from the following browsers: Chrome or Firefox.

Click below to read the ILO Briefing Note on “COVID-19 and the world of work: Impact and policy responses”

Please click here to read the full Guidance Note of this E-Discussion: English [pdf 313KB] Spanish [pdf 313KB] French [pdf 313KB]





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Access to training and skills utilization
Portability of skills and life-long learning
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youth employment

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