Part 1: Learning and Development
To date, most countries have confronted the COVID-19 outbreaks as the serious threat they pose and virtually all societies have been engaged in managing and controlling the disease based on best practices and effort.
Despite the negative effects of this epidemic on health and the economy – as well as other major issues of concern within human societies – it must be said that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the way we work and learn in unprecedented ways.
In particular, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected educational systems worldwide – leading to the near-total closures of schools, universities and institutions. From an educational point of view this pandemic has provided extremely instructive lessons for governments, universities, educational institutions and organizations – some of which are briefly listed below:
- The coronavirus pandemic has forced many businesses to assess their approach to training – forcing L&D professionals to rapidly adopt virtual and online solutions.
- Even before the outbreak, market research had indicated that the e-learning market would triple triple by 2025 to reach $325 billion. Now, this estimate will only increase as companies have no choice but to launch a radical transformations in corporate learning.
- Internet infrastructure and access must be improved in most of countries (especially in developing countries) as well as providing more investment in digital solutions for practical skills.
- Expanded access for learners to online digital application and platforms as well as establishing stronger systems for recognizing and validating digital learning.
- Provide support for teachers and trainers in order to operate in the new environment along with providing support, career guidance, and digital skills development for learners;
- Increase distance-learning and short-course learning options for core, entrepreneurial and employability skills to vulnerable groups and individuals.
- Continue our efforts in improving social dialogue and coordination amongst education and training institutions, employment services and local authorities.
- Despite recent advances in technology, there is huge gap between distance-learning, face-to-face teaching, and practical skills training. Consequently, in order to meet these challenges it is becoming more important to develop human-centered solutions, with collaborative social partners.
- It is also important to recognize the significant challenges that lie ahead of teachers and trainers in the field of online learning. If we want to ensure that the shift to distance and online learning meets the immediate learning needs and prepares us for more effective Vocational Training and skill systems in the future, a number of key measures need to be taken.