AmCham Romania calls for a firm support of the education system, impacted by the disruption generated by the COVID-19 crisis, by focusing the Government’s efforts on cross-cutting measures to ensure the continuity of the educational process in the given context, while also addressing the needs of students in vulnerable communities.
“Education is faced today with the urgent need to ensure the continuity of the educational process at all levels through digital tools while enabling the transition to an education model relevant for a digital society and economy. We believe that the current momentum for the use of digital tools by all participants to the educational system – teachers, students, parents – sets the proper ground for the integration of technology as a permanent component of the educational process. Beyond overcoming the current crisis, on the medium and long term, the development of digital skills will allow teachers and students to adapt to the technological transformation and will mitigate the impact of future crises on the continuity and quality of education” declared Ionuț Simion, President of AmCham Romania.
AmCham Romania proposes that a joint working group is created to bring together the Ministry of Education, representatives of the business environment and ICT specialists in order to identify various technologies, internet communication solutions, terminals and digital communication systems available for use free of charge that can contribute to an adaptable and flexible education system. This cooperation could prove beneficial beyond the present crisis, as it will facilitate the creation of digital educational content and learning tools that are actually needed at present in Romania, especially in vulnerable communities.
AmCham Romania further proposes the active involvement of the Ministry of Education and Research in absorbing available EU funds for Romania as part of the support package provided by the European Commission for managing the effects of the COVID-19 crisis. Such efforts should primarily focus on students in vulnerable communities who cannot access the benefits of the “online school” due to the lack of necessary equipment and/or infrastructure, in order to avoid disconnecting children from the educational process and, in the most pessimistic scenario, school dropout. The implementation of the Euro 200 program as a response to the shortage created by the health crisis especially for students from low income families is one of the measures that could support this objective.
AmCham Romania advocates for the urgent elaboration and communication to students and teachers of a consistent and homogeneous package of solutions to ensure the continuity of the educational process and exclude the possibility of freezing the school year, that may include: the training of teachers through webinars up to high-school and higher education, for the use of online working tools with students, the relaxation of the curriculum for the last two months of the school year and the delay of the final exams.
AmCham Romania reiterates its members ‘availability to support the Ministry of Education and Research in the development of sustainable public policies in education.