As parents & teachers take on new roles, educational resources arrive to help

The swift school closures triggered by COVID-19 left students, teachers and parents around the globe reeling. How would teachers continue to educate and what role could parents play while juggling full-time jobs?

Luxembourg’s education system already included online learning and technology, but eliminating the classroom environment entirely turned teaching norms upside down. Suddenly, parents became active participants in the process.

Schools were shuttered in mid-April. Almost immediately following these closures the government launched home-learning platforms and support systems to light the way forward.

Where can I find educational support?  

  • Helpline (8002 9090): 100 educators on standby answering calls from students, teachers & parents to help them navigate this new way of learning. Professional psychological support also provided (Ministry of Education, Children & Youth)
  • Schouldoheem.lu: Platform of online learning materials, daily competitions & support resources available to teachers, students & parents (SCRIPT) More
  • Kannerdoheem.lu: Database of online activities for children aged one to 12 years (National Youth Service) More
  • Aktivdoheem.lu: Online fitness activities, challenges & exercises for kids, youth & adults (Ministry of Sports; Ministry of Education, Children & Youth; National Youth Service; & ENEPS) More
  • P2P Helpdesk: A peer support platform for secondary school teachers to connect & share best practices related to distance learning More

From providing computers to those in need to deploying Microsoft Teams, government ministries worked closely with teachers and parents to transition 90,000 students out of their physical classrooms and into virtual ones. Simultaneously, they implemented an “extraordinary” family leave program to free up parents for their new level of involvement.

“In recent years, private & public initiatives have worked alongside schools to introduce technology and digital tools into everyday learning,” explains Luc Weis, Director of SCRIPT, which coordinates Luxembourg’s educational and technological research and innovation. “Future Hub, Einfach Digital and the One2One national iPad deployment strategy are just a few of the steps that have helped prepare us for moments like these. From a digitalization standpoint, COVID-19 would have been even more disruptive 10 years ago.”

While challenging, the stay-at-home order has given parents the opportunity to experience first-hand, through digital tools and communication platforms, the digital transformation happening in classrooms.    

While schools will gradually reopen starting May 4, parents will likely remain more involved than normal, at least initially. Schools will resume on a rotating basis: classes will be divided into two groups that alternate one week in class, one week at home. So, teachers will teach the same curriculum twice back to back.  

High school students will return first since they are more likely to respect the COVID-19 distancing guidelines than small children. France, Germany, the Netherlands and other EU member states are actively exploring and announcing rollout plans of their own.

As the education system responds to the ever-changing realities brought on by COVID-19, families can find support and guidance in Luxembourg’s added educational support programs.

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