The key question for the new government is how to intelligently and effectively utilise existing resources in each sector. In the field of education, it is possible to implement a number of short- and long-term measures that would make teaching much better and more efficient.
Considering that the government has separate ministries for each sector, that each ministry has a significant number of people and that budget funds are not small, I think the new government should dedicate itself to each of these sectors. That’s why the question of how to use existing resources wisely and effectively in each sector is more important than which sector to prioritise. Alongside this, considering the current pandemic crisis and its consequences, it is necessary to identify short- and long-term measures in each sector, in order to alleviate the negative impact of the crisis and lay the groundwork for lasting development.
Given that I deal with the early development of children and youth, as well as education, here I will focus on measures emerging from those domains.
In the sector of early development, viewed in the short term, it is necessary to secure adequate support for parents during the next year, in which nursery schools will operate under restricted conditions. It is necessary to provide support to parents in combining work from home and raising their children (such as through the development of media content that will be engaging and adapted to development). Viewed over the long term, the focus should be on expanding the coverage of nurseries, especially for children from vulnerable groups, and on raising the quality of preschool education.
The ongoing crisis provides an opportunity for the considered digitalisation of education, which would imply digital technologies becoming part of all learning and teaching activities
When it comes to the youth, the short-term focus should be on providing incentives for young people to develop entrepreneurship. The existing crisis has led to young people having an excess of free time and a number of opportunities to develop new initiatives exist. It is thus necessary to engage NGOs in the activation of young people and to support entrepreneurial youth initiatives. In the long view, experience with short-term measures would prove to be an excellent laboratory for creating long-term policies for the youth, given that previous policies in this sector were insufficiently relevant and ineffective.
When it comes to formal education, viewed over the short term, the existing crisis demands an intelligent combination of remote learning and school-based learning.
This implies reducing existing programmes to those constituent parts that have the greatest educational potential and providing support to schools and teachers to find a model of combining remote learning and school-based learning that best suits their conditions. The crisis would thereby contribute to substantially increasing the autonomy of schools and teachers, as well as reducing centralisation in education. Furthermore, the existing crisis provides an opportunity to implement the digitalisation of education in a meaningful way. The crisis has shown that the existing model for the digitalisation of education, which boiled down to providing equipment that was poorly and/or inadequately used and introducing a special subject, did not pass the test of time. Meaningful digitalisation implies digital technologies becoming part of all learning and teaching activities in the way in which digital technologies permeate all aspects of everyday life.