Education in times of pandemic

On March 11, a news item published in an electronic Portuguese newspaper “Observador” stated that, according to UNESCO, there are 290 million students without classes due to the situation of COVID-19 (Source: https://observador.pt/opiniao/o-impacto-do-covid-19-na-educacao/). In the same news, the newspaper questioned readers about whether Portuguese students and families with children studying were prepared for the prolonged closure of schools. The Portuguese government decreed the closure of schools on March 12, 2020. What has changed?

It is known that Portugal has a very traditional education, conservative and even resistant to change with regard to the use of new pedagogical models and more attractive tools. In a few days, the entire educational community had to adapt to new circumstances and what has always seemed difficult to implement in years, under the circumstances, we assisted in a few days an authentic pedagogical revolution – the use of teaching platforms such as Moodle, Zoom, Teams, Skype has become vital; it was necessary to develop new and adapted education/training action plans, often without much guidance from the competent entities. However, a “designed” model in a few days has its obvious limitations – the rhythms of online work are obviously different, the veracity of knowledge, the lack of essential resources in many families for conducting distance education/training (computer, Internet connection) that led to the return of the old “telescola”, the issue of GDPR or the lack of socialization in classrooms among students-colleagues-teachers/trainers so important.

However, as people say “the need sharpens the ingenuity” and all institutions have done their best so that all students do not suffer from this new reality caused by COVID-19.

The current situation of training in Proandi

All training will be completely online. In a first phase, Proandi had to carry out a survey with all the trainees regarding the existence of the necessary resources (computer, tablet, mobile phone with camera, internet connection) to carry out online distance training.

Proandi has a Moodle platform accessible through the website that will act as a repository for all documents necessary for the course of the training and for the evaluation. For the video sessions, the Jitsi Meet platform will be used. So far, three courses have already started online training. With regard to the courses that were conducting the internships in restaurants, cafes and pastry shops, and since all these spaces remain closed until the order of the government, we are still awaiting instructions from the Institute of Employment and Professional Training.

We held information sessions with the entire Proandi community – colaborators, trainers and trainees – and everyone was very receptive to the new situation, which will continue over the next few months.

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