On this site you will find DVV International's statement on the role of adult education in coping with the corona pandemic in several languages. Furthermore, practical examples show how our colleagues and partners react to the current situation.
Societies around the globe have been hit hard by the coronavirus (COVID-19). People are being affected in their daily lives and are concerned about the consequences for their health, jobs and well-being. In nearly all countries across the world, providers of youth and adult education have been forced to temporarily close their doors, with dramatic consequences for the sustainability of these institutions, their employees, and, not least, the learners. At the same time, adult learning and education (ALE) can contribute to mitigate the consequences of the crisis, offer badly needed education and training and support social action.
DVV international, as the only development partner focusing on ALE, suggests concepts on how ALE can contribute to managing the crisis by offering social and educational services, especially to vulnerable groups. At the same time, we urge governments and international actors to provide ALE providers – public, private and civil society organizations – and their staff with the necessary resources to deal with this situation. It is a joint responsibility of all stakeholders to ensure that non-formal education offers will continue to be available during the crisis and after.
ALE is a sub-sector of the education system with a combination of characteristics which are of particular value in the ongoing situation. ALE provision is strictly demand-driven, flexible, mostly non-formal, action-oriented and transformative. Based on this, ALE providers and projects have the potential to support people in many ways:
All across the world, face-to-face learning activities are coming almost to a complete halt. As a consequence, participants lack the possibility to participate in essential learning opportunities. On the supply-side, ALE providers and a very high number of freelance teaching staff are facing critical economic situations. At the same time, the nature of the ALE sector with its flexibility and the strict orientation on the demand of the learners and societies makes it favorable for developing creative, quick responses:
These new formats demand an investment in the creation of an enabling environment:
For many, if not most ALE providers, this is an existential crisis. With income possibilities dropping near to zero (participants fees, at least temporary termination of project funds), many are struggling. It is the role of the public and governments worldwide to ensure the survival of the ALE sector. Direct financial support is needed! Recognizing the primary responsibility of national governments, there are still some things that development partners and international agencies can do:
Support networks in their efforts to advocate for public support in coping with the crisis.
DVV International views its role as supporting its partners to cope in the best possible way with the impact of the corona crisis and to develop formats for essential ALE services as a response to this crisis. We will regularly inform and update about innovative initiatives developed by our projects and partners on how to deal with the crisis and provide necessary support to the people. The coronavirus is a global crisis, and we should ensure that the response to it will be truly global.
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