ETUCE participates in Finnish Educa online event on education and COVID-19

01 February 2021

The COVID 19 outbreak is a public health crisis quite different than anything Europe has faced for many years. As education personnel and their trade unions grapple with the outbreak, we are supporting and informing member organisations in any way we can.

On January 29, Susan Flocken, ETUCE European Director joined EDUCA, the largest event for the education and training sector in Finland, hosted  by ETUCE Finnish Member Organisation AOJ. She discussed the question: “How has Covid-19 affected education around the world?”

Of all the areas impacted by the COVID-19 crisis in Europe, the education sector has shown great adaptability and resilience, often without the appropriate support from the national authorities. ETUCE, representing Education Trade Unions across Europe is best placed to share experiences and analyses of the impact of the pandemic on schools, teachers and other education personnel.

Susan Flocken highlighted that the approach towards the pandemic in education was characterised by different education systems in Europe, different health systems and the national approaches often taken. She then reminded the audience that some challenges needed to be addresses: the need for more inclusionary teaching, the need for more public investment in digital education and to overcome the existing shortcomings of trainings for teachers, more attractivity for the teaching profession, the shortage of teachers, the professional autonomy, and the need for social partners to be involved in setting up measures in education, digital and sustainability policies.

Answering the question “What will the future education look like?”, she said: “We will see more in-class teaching again because the social aspect of teaching is crucial, but we will also see more blended learning. This means that there will be a need for more teachers’ training and more involvement of social partners”.

Since the beginning of the crisis, ETUCE has never stopped supporting its member organisations, creating spaces to discuss openly challenges at national level and to start elaborating possible solutions and recommendations. From these discussions, emerged the ETUCE statement for a recovery plan for the education sector in response to the EU recovery plan.

This has been an unprecedented time for the teaching profession who has risen above the challenges tenfold, and has rapidly adapted to work in an emergency context.

Read the latest news on the impact of COVID-19 on education in Europe