The pandemic is hitting young people particularly. It is increasing the impact of social inequalities and the digital divide and is having an increasingly negative impact on youth mental health.
The webinar will be an opportunity to hear about the CEDEFOP toolkit on early leaving, and the resources regions can use to support the continuity of VET education and support the development of hybrid formats. Regional experiences will be shared regarding this particularly challenging year.
In the context of the pandemic, it is not just learning modalities, which have been dramatically changed, it is the role itself of schools and teachers which was challenged. With lockdowns episodes across Europe, vocational education and training (VET) schools had to convert physical classrooms and work-based learning spaces into digital learning environments overnight. In this context, the virtual class became a place for the community. Keeping the attention, motivation and good spirit of students became a major focus of teachers as global events increased uncertainty especially for young people.
Since September, European countries have implemented different measures to ensure the continuation of education and training. Teachers are faced with unprecedented challenges, as the abrupt move to digital environments increased social inequalities and the digital divide and often made learning particularly difficult for students with special needs.
This is why this webinar will focus on Vocational Training in Times of Lockdown and Pandemic. Experiences from the regions will be shared, with a focus on preventing early school leaving during the pandemic.
A toolkit to tackle early school leaving
The European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop) is one of the EU’s decentralised agencies. It supports the development of European vocational education and training (VET) policies and contributes to their implementation. The agency is helping the European Commission, EU Member States and social partners to develop the right European VET policies.
Early school leaving has impacts in many aspects of life, including employment but also health, happiness, or civic participation.
In order to support stakeholders to address early school leaving adequately, Cedefop developed a VET toolkit for tackling early leaving. This toolkit is a source of support to policymakers as well as education and training providers. Irene Psifidou Expert at the Department for Learning and Employability of Cedefop will present this toolkit at the 28 January webinar. Indeed, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic the risk of early school leaving increased substantially. A recent article by Cedefop underlines the impact of the pandemic and distance learning on dropout risk for vulnerable learners. The good practices, publications, toolkits, and recommendations of the Cedefop Toolkit for tackling early school leaving are therefore all the more relevant.
The leaflet about the Cedefop toolkit is available in seven languages.
Following is the list of international experts from different backgrounds participating in the Webinar.