Following the closure of schools as a result of COVID-19, teachers in Argentina are working together to create educational content that would be accessible to all students.
Argentinean education union CTERA, a member organisation of Education International (EI), has urged teachers and management teams from all schools throughout the country to visit the “Seguimos Educando” (Let’s Keep Teaching) platform. The platform provides a series of digital educational resources and materials to help teachers deal with the health situation caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which has led to the cancellation of classes.
The resources are categorised by academic level and subject area. In addition, it includes recommendations for teachers on how to structure distance education, what resources to use, and how to foster learning under these new circumstances. The collection is dynamic and will be continually updated with new materials.
Trade Unions, an Active Part of the Advisory Committee
On 18 March, Argentinean education unions met with the National Ministry of Education as part of the advisory committee for the “Seguimos Educando” project. During the meeting, the Ministry expressed its gratitude for the efforts Argentina's education workers are making to guarantee the right to education in the context of the crisis. It also emphasised the importance of schooling, of the work of teachers and of the need to ensure the best conditions for quality education not only in this particular context, but also once the crisis has been overcome.
Trade unions and government representatives discussed the status and development of this innovative programme, which had already received a large number of enquiries and visits in the first week of its implementation.
CTERA stressed the need to continue improving the program in coordination with provincial authorities, integrating new content with resources that the jurisdictions themselves have already published online in an effort to reach students affected by school closures throughout the country.
All the participants agreed on the importance of ensuring that the pedagogical strategies implemented reach all children and young people, encompassing a diverse range of situations and the complexity of Argentina's national reality. Different measures have been considered, ranging from virtual platforms, television and radio to the preparation and printing of booklets and materials, in order to make these materials available both to people who have digital means and those who do not, especially among the most vulnerable sectors, and so as not to further exacerbate social inequality.
Given the impending extension of the quarantine period, the Ministry and trade unions are already working on a “second stage” of the programme, setting new monthly or bimonthly programme deadlines as health measure continue to evolve with the spread of the pandemic.
This second stage is expected to involve greater coordination of television and radio programming in accordance with educational models and priorities, establishing specified broadcasting time slots for various topics and disciplines, organised by level and stage of schooling. The hope is to encourage greater use of available resources, in accordance with established lesson plans. During this stage, greater emphasis will also be placed on teacher training for better use of the resources available in various formats and presentations.