The European Federation of Education Employers (EFFE) is an organization representing employers in the European education sector. Their membership encompasses all levels of education, which ranges from pre-school until higher education and research.
The education sector has been severely affected by the COVID-19. In many countries, primary, secondary, and tertiary education institutions have been closed at least until 30 March, and in some cases, even until the 20 April. This is certainly the case in NL, BE, IT, SK, HU, PL, CZ (and some regions of ES, DE). Only day care activities destined to small children remain open in some countries.
Consequently, the very functioning of most education institutions in Europe will be considerably affected by possible extensions of school years – even up to the end of July in certain countries. This also means that final exams in primary, lower secondary and higher secondary levels will be moved from May/June all the way to September. This obviously means a lot of uncertainty for students, teachers, as well as parents, that will have the challenge to re-adapt their working schedules accordingly for quite some time. In consequence also recruitment of new students undertaken by various education institutions will be compromised, suffering from considerable delays that will most likely, affect the coming school year’s dynamics.
One fundamental challenge that has been presented by EFEE members across Europe is regarding the fact that not every region – particularly rural areas – have the proper internet coverage, which highly compromises the ability of those educational centers to keep on providing online courses, as it has been often done in urban areas, especially within higher education institutions.
On a more positive note, the organization has highlighted that it is possible that schools and teachers will introduce more technology-based teaching in their curricula after this crisis, in order to be prepared for an increasingly digitalized future.