Dear ASPnet Community,Dear National Coordinators,Dear teachers, students and parents,
As we all enter the "new normal", I want to send a message of solidarity and "CONNECTed-ness". We are in times of great change for education, with challenges that must be addressed both from before, and as a result of, the evolving global pandemic.
This need to rethink education challenges, old and new, gives me and the International Coordination team a reason to stop and reflect on how we want to adapt our support to you, the ASPnet community. We want to take stock of our planned activities in our 'usual' thematic areas, including GCED and ESD, as well as our support to you in the face of unprecedented challenges posed by COVID-19.
In this issue, we present some of the elements of our strategic thinking, including the overall global frameworks, the United Nations Policy Brief on "Education during COVID-19 and Beyond" launched in August, as well as the "Framework for the Reopening of Schools issued jointly by UNESCO, UNICEF, the World Food Programme and the World Bank. UNESCO was substantially involved in both those collaborative initiatives with the partners of the Global Coalition for Education. In addition, we include references and links to relevant UNESCO webinars and other resources.
We will also share our thoughts on how we want to adapt our activities to this context and integrate them holistically, in order to enable you in your schools to continue the great work in our thematic areas rather than adding to the many new tasks you already face.
As all the things we expected from the future regarding learning suddenly look far from certain, we can find comfort and inspiration in old ways and remember cultural traditions of community learning. I want to share with you an example of this from my own home country, Japan (see video message below), hoping to inspire all of you to think of and remember traditional modes of learning while the 'in school' learning we are used to is disrupted, and distance and blended learning approaches are being developed.
Of course, none of this reflection and change can be brought about without you. We want to hear from you, your thoughts, experiences, ideas on the "new normal" and how we can best shape and rethink education for the future on a global and local scale. We will do this through a survey to gather and channel your voices into our work, which is described in this issue.
Let's put our minds together to "build back better", to use the current challenges as an opportunity to improve education for all in line with the SDGs, to blend our own unique resources of experience and rich cultural tradition and our imaginations to shape the "futures of education" collectively and in "CONNECTed-ness"!
Stay safe. Stay CONNECTed!
Julie Saito, ASPnet International Coordinator
"We have a unique opportunity to bring together ideas on how to find strength in our cultural and community practices"
- Video message
The webinar shared the latest evidence emerging from the process of reopening of schools around the world. The discussion addressed how governments are dealing with the learning loss resulting from school closures and how they are ensuring inclusive reopening also for the most marginalized learners. You can find more information on the webinar
here. The webinar is part of a
series of UNESCO webinars on reopening schools jointly organized with UNICEF and the World Bank.
And, as always, we want to signoff with your encouraging and inspiring messages, this time about "the next normal" and imagining the future…