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A global outlook to the interruption of education due to COVID-19 Pandemic: Navigating in a time of uncertainty and crisis

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Uncertain times require prompt reflexes to survive and this study is a collaborative reflex to better understand uncertainty and navigate through it. The Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic hit hard and interrupted many dimensions of our lives, particularly education. As a response to interruption of education due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this study is a collaborative reaction that narrates the overall view, reflections from the K12 and higher educational landscape, lessons learned and suggestions from a total of 31 countries across the world with a representation of 62.7% of the whole world population. In addition to the value of each case by country, the synthesis of this research suggests that the current practices can be defined as emergency remote education and this practice is different from planned practices such as distance education, online learning or other derivations. Above all, this study points out how social injustice, inequity and the digital divide have been exacerbated during the pandemic and need unique and targeted measures if they are to be addressed. While there are support communities and mechanisms, parents are overburdened between regular daily/professional duties and emerging educational roles, and all parties are experiencing trauma, psychological pressure and anxiety to various degrees, which necessitates a pedagogy of care, affection and empathy. In terms of educational processes, the interruption of education signifies the importance of openness in education and highlights issues that should be taken into consideration such as using alternative assessment and evaluation methods as well as concerns about surveillance, ethics, and data privacy resulting from nearly exclusive dependency on online solutions.
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The outbreak of the Corona virus has led to unprecedented measures in education. From March 16, all schools in the Netherlands are closed, and children must keep up with their schoolwork from home. Parents are expected to take a crucial role in this “homeschooling”: they are primarily responsible for ensuring that their children follow the curriculum. In this article I report the first results of a module in the LISS Panel that was designed to map how parents school their children in primary and secondary education. Data on a nationally representative sample of 1,318 children in primary and secondary education were gathered in April. The results show marked differences between social groups. Whereas all parents find it important that their children keep up with the schoolwork, children from advantaged backgrounds receive much more parental support and have more resources (e.g., own computer) to study from home. Differences in parental support are driven by the ability to help: parents with a higher education degree feels themselves much capable to help their children with schoolwork than lower educated parents. Parents also report that schools provide more extensive distant schooling for children in the academic track in secondary education (vwo) than for children in the pre-vocational track (vmbo). Finally, there is a clear gender gap: parents feel much more capable to support their daughters than their sons.These initial findings provide clear indications that the school shutdown in the Netherlands is likely to have strong effects on the inequality in educational opportunities.