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Corona virus has interrupted most of the planned activities in European policy making, including the working plan of the Croatian presidency of the EU which entered its second half this month. In this light, Croatian Presidency organised the second informal video conference of ministers of education on the implications of the COVID-19 for education and training. The meeting was chaired by Blaženka Divjak, Croatian Minister of Science and Education, with the participation of Mariya Gabriel, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth. European ministers acknowledged how the COVID-19 pandemic has had an enormous impact on education and training systems throughout the world and changed the ways of learning, teaching, communicating and collaborating. All of this has an impact on students, teachers and families, as well as on the wider community.
Students currently on mobilities were specifically addressed although without any official conclusions so far: “The coronavirus pandemic has also affected learning mobility opportunities. Since many higher education institutions have closed, students on mobility might have difficulties finishing their studies and returning back to their home country. Thinking ahead, we need to join efforts in removing obstacles for learning mobility and finding solutions for those who would want to study in another Member State.”, as Divjak pointed out.
The ministers exchanged their information and plans for the end of the school and academic year, assessment, grading, exams, as well as enrolment to different levels of education.
Finally, ministers welcomed the Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative and expressed interest in funding possibilities to support education and training in response to the coronavirus crisis.
More information on the conference here.