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Education and crisis. Echoes of Ukraine

On Thursday 17 March 2022, from 10 am to 16 pm CET, EPALE will be hosting an online discussion, where we will discuss crisis education and the role adult learning can have to cope with the effects of conflicts and emergency situations.

The war in Ukraine has shaken the world. We can see the disastrous effects of the invasion and armed conflict through the eyes of the refugees now seeking shelter in EU countries.

War, with its brutality and its giant consequences, can make us feel powerless. Even so, we cannot stay still. And, actually, European citizens, and European educators, are not staying still. We are mobilising our civil efforts, solidarity, skills and competences to tackle this aggression.

EPALE wants to add a tile more to this collective response. We want to encourage our community to reflect on the role of adult learning and education in this challenging time. We want to share ideas and practices, to see how education can get ready to react to crises, and help tackle them.

On Thursday 17 March 2022, from 10 am to 16 pm CET, we will be hosting here an online discussion, where we will discuss crisis education and the role adult learning can have to cope with the effects of conflicts and emergency situations.

The written discussion will be introduced by a live stream (10-10.40 am CET), with three hosts sharing their perspectives and experiences:

Gudrun Van Pottelbergh (Prepared International), analyst of Emergency Preparedness & Crisis Management. For the last fifteen years, Gudrun has been providing both research, training and evaluation to a broad range of crisis management actors, such as the UN or OSCE, governmental agencies, civil societies and academic institutions.

Elena Pacetti (University of Bologna), Associate Professor in Educational strategies for communication in the perspective of lifelong and lifewide learning and Citizenship education and active participation in the Science Of Lifelong Educational Processes Degree programme. Elena is the Scientific responsible of the Research Centre on Education, Media and Technologies, member of the Scientific Committee of the Centre for Educational Research on Teachers as Professionals, and member of the Study Centre on Gender and Education.  

Boba Markovič Baluchová (DocUnion NGO and AMBRELA PLATFORM), expert and researcher on media literacy and disinformation, solution journalism, hope-based communication and responsible media coverage of global challenges. She is the communications manager at the Platform for Development organisations – Ambrela in Bratislava, Slovakia. Boba also founded the DocUnion NGO, focusing on Media and literacy trainings for adult learners and the blogging platform, Media about Development. 

The live stream will be followed by a moderated written discussion, hosting the contributions of our EPALE community members.

Among the key issues we will be discussing:

  • Training the trainers in situations of emergencies;
  • Social inclusion and vulnerable persons in emergencies;
  • Peacebuilding and peace education;
  • Crisis management and crisis education;
  • Building citizens’ resilience (before, during and after a conflict)
  • Misinformation and propaganda
  • Media literacy for critical consumption of information

You are warmly invited to share your experience and initiatives.

Comments are already open, so you can start sharing your thoughts, resources and suggestions.

 

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Comments

A több mint egy hónapja dúló ukrajnai háború megrázta a világot. Az egyes országok igyekeznek minél több segítséget nyújtani a menekülteknek, akik már milliós nagyságrendben érkeznek a szomszédos és más országokba, hogy új életet kezdjenek. Az egzisztenciális bizonytalansággal küzdő egyénre hatalmas teherként nehezedik saját és szerettei életéről való súlyos döntések meghozatala. Mihez kezdjen? Mihez ért? Hova, kihez forduljon segítségért? Nem nehéz elképzelni, hogy a háborús területről sokkosan életét mentőnek, nem a szakmai végzettséget vagy diplomát igazoló oklevél lesz az első dolog, ami eszébe jut bőröndje összecsomagolásakor. Ennek hiánya azonban komoly gondot jelenthet a választott új országban való boldogulás első lépései során. Utólag beszerezni a dokumentumokat a háború sújtotta ország intézményeiből szinte lehetetlen, így a menekült és családja abban bízhat, hogy a választott ország el tudja majd fogadni kompetenciáit, iskolai végzettségét e papírok nélkül is. Az UNESCO egy korábbi tanulmánya szerint 2018-előtt a magasan képzett bevándorlók 30%-a dolgozott alacsony képzettséget igénylő állásban, az el nem ismert tudásuk miatt. Az Európai Unió Tanácsának 2012-es ajánlására azonban 2018-ra minden egyes államnak létre kellett hoznia a saját érvényesítési rendszerét, amely révén az egyén formális képzés keretein belül és azon kívül szerzett ismereteit azonosítják, dokumentálják, értékelik és tanúsítják. (Magyarországon 2020 óta érvényes a jogszabály a felnőttképzésben és a szakképzésben.) Vajon az egyes országokban néhány éve működő  rendszerek hogyan vizsgáznak majd, amikor tömegével -jóval nagyobb számban mint korábban- jelennek majd meg a végzettségüket igazolni nem képes menekültek a felnőtt és felsőoktatási intézményekben illetve a munkahelyeken? Mennyire lesznek hatékonyak az országok a VINCE projekt által (2018) vizsgált -a menekültek és migránsok integrációját nehezítő- akadályok leküzdésében? Megannyi nyitott kérdés... Rostgslavra és Ulianara gondolok Mariupolból, akik elsőként töltöttek családomnál néhány órát pihenéssel, hogy másnap tovább utazzanak Budapestről Barcelonába. A háború okozta traumák miatt sokkos állapotban, nyelvismeret és végzettséget igazoló dokumentumok nélkül... 

 

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I would like to share this blog post from Solentra with you about a helpdesk for aid workers with questions about psychological counselling: https://www.solentra.be/en/nieuwsblog/crisis-in-ukraine-helpdesk-for-professionals-and-volunteers/ The blog can be found on the website of Solentra, an organisation in Belgium specialized  in transcultural psychiatry,  psychological care and support to young refugees, their children, and their families. 

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Dear Sara, the concept of the CRISISS project is transferable to any crisis, so, yes, it can be transferred to the crisis in Ukraine as well. The assessment tools for evaluating soft skills gained in a crisis will be available in English, German, Greek, Slovenian, Spanish and Slovakian (which will be specifically important because many Slovakians are engaging as volunteers at their Ukrainan border).

In early summer everything will be available for free - thanks to the European ERASMUS+ programme.

Karin

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Thank you for the interesting discussion so far! Indeed an important point made by Boba Markovič Baluchová that critical thinking skills and media competency is very important during times of crisis today, where disinformation on social media plays such an important role in this war in Europe. The question is always: how to reach those, who have already made up their minds based on misinformation?

Kind regards from EPALE Austria,

Eva

 

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Following Boba Markovic Baluchova, here are some links worth a visit!

To explore the media image of the Ukrainian war theme and the need for media and information literacy, as well as critical thinking development: http://unesco.mil-for-teachers.unaoc.org/

Examples of pro-Kremlin propaganda:
https://blog.gerulata.com/russian-propaganda-network-in-slovakia/

Tips for propaganda’s identification [Take care before Share campaign!]
https://unis.unvienna.org/unis/en/events/2021/verified-campaign.html

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Who would have thought that our ERASMUS+ funded CRISISS project (https://crisiss.eu) would become so topical, timely, important, and relevant! CRISISS was originally conceived to capture soft skills that volunteers developed during their involvement in the COVID-19 crisis. But looking closely, we have all been in crisis mode since the beginning of 2020: through COVID-19, through floods, fires, storms, in which volunteers engaged incredibly for their fellow citizens. And now the Russian aggression against Ukraine!  You are invited to join the CRISISS event June 29th, 2022, where the assessment tools for volunteers will be presented as a contribution to the European Vocational Skills Week 2022: https://crisiss.eu/events/.

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The work of volunteers during a crisis is demanding and intense. Volunteers have to reach into their reserves and perceive and adapt to what is happening around them. This can lead to the development of their soft skills
This is what we focused on in the CRISISS project, which was originally conceived to capture the soft skills that volunteers developed during their participation in the COVID-19 crisis situation two years ago.  Now we live a major, unimaginable crisis. Volunteers are again on the front line.

It is important to give to these volunteers something back, and that is what project CRISISS - Soft Skills Assessment and Competence Validation for Volunteers in Transnational Crisis aims! The Soft Skills Assessment Tool for Volunteers will be available in few weeks online. Find out more at: www.crisiss.eu or subscribe to our newsletter by sending your request to crisiss@media-k.eu.

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Thank you for sharing with us your experience of different issues related to the current crisis, whether it is fake news or volunteering.
Our CRISISS project reflects on volunteers who have helped in the crisis. We want to give them the opportunity to assess the growth of their competences during the crisis, as we think this can help them in their job search.

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Are you curious to read Boba's Community Story?
https://epale.ec.europa.eu/en/blog/boba-markovic-baluchova-transforming-people-all-ages-and-ethnic-backgrounds-critical-media

Here you can access her organisation Ambrela - Plaform for Development Organisations:
https://ambrela.org/about-us/

...and the collective initiative: Help Ukraine (in Slovak language: Kto pomôže Ukrajine?): https://www.helpukraine.sk

Ambrela's awareness campaign, Faces of Migration (https://gcap.global/faces-of-migration/) offering stories of migrants and refugees to general Slovak public

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I embrace your thoughts, the main priority is to react to the Ukraine situation and provide the first aid. Once peace will be reached, it will take a very long time for Ukraine to recover which means that we, the society, have to embrace like Elena says, a lot of competent people from Ukraine who will be in our countries because they have no more work and a home in Ukraine. On the other hand, I share Baba's idea regarding the fact that some communities have no idea of what and how to deal with foreigners. This is why I consider important to unite our efforts and use the EU resources like ERASMUS+ for pilot projects, to create results able to be multiplied

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We are live with the experts on crisis education sharing their expertise and current activities.

Feel free to post your questions and share your own activities!

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The war in Ukraine made us aware that the world can change much faster than we could ever imagine. In addition, certain values and principles that we took for granted a long time ago, such as a peaceful life and respect for the human dignity are, after all, very fragile and can disappear from one day to the next.

Faced with these changes, it is expected that we will show new skills and attitudes for which we were never prepared. Those who have always lived in a peaceful country not only do not have the skills to face a war and fight for the defence of a country, but they may not even have the right skills to survive.

But the same can also happen with other crises, such as, for example, water shortages, large fires, natural disasters, unexpected illnesses or even the loss of a loved one.

How do we prepare to be more resilient? And what is expected of us is that we are resilient or, above all, capable of acting quickly and pragmatically?

From my point of view, crisis education has a lot to do with communication strategies in times of crisis. And maybe we can learn some lessons there. We need to create crisis management teams, to define key messages (respecting the values we stand for), to act quickly, to encourage and involve everyone and still maintain our day-to-day routines.

I really don’t know if it is possible and effective without an integrated strategy involving different dimensions and policies, besides education and training.

In an ideal situation education and training should appear before the situations, to prevent the crisis, not to solve them.

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Dear Ewa,

Thanks for your message.

Here's how the discussion will work:

  • 10.00-10.40 am CET: live-streamed session, with invited experts, who will kick-start the conversation opening up the main discussion points. You will be able to interact with the speakers trhough questions and comments here on EPALE.
  • 10.40am - 4.00 pm CET: written discussion on the comments section of this same page: the EPALE users will share reflections, ideas, projects on the discussion topics.

I hope this was clarifying!

All the best

Sara - EPALE Team

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The CRISES we face and factors such as increasing globalisation, extensive use of technology and digitalisation, constantly place new demands on the professional, methodological-didactic and intercultural competences of Adult Education Providers. The roles and responsibilities of Adult Education Providers are also subject to rapid change. We stand for equal opportunities, open societies and integration. The united Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, says Ukraine’s is the fastest growing refugee crisis he has seen in 40 years: 2.5m people fled to neighbouring countries between February 24th and March 10th. Speaking from the Italian side, we have been pioneers in welcoming immigrants but many of them have not managed to integrate. Due to the big influx of immigrants it seems like there is a gap between the measures offered to this vulnerable group in need for help and the local people, nationals who barely survive with the little income they have or do not have. For this specific reason the society is not so happy anymore to embrace these vulnerable groups into their community as they often perceive it as a threat to their personal life standard.

SO...here comes my question: what do we do, what can Adult training providers do facing the new waves of individuals who need help, and who eventually will add up to the people who previously fled but who haven’t managed to integrate in their new local communities? One possible answer is to unite forces, all stakeholders, build sustainable partnerships and create projects for vulnerable target groups, especially women, projects which create valuable results on one hand to raise awareness, sensitise the society to accept and embrace these individuals an on the other hand to offer best practice example, able to be used as multipliers at EU level

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This war showed us this emergent outcomes:

1. Budget expenses for defence raising exponentially;

2. Communication  Critical for understanding eachother (languages skills and translations or I T tech adapted);

3. Education for peace, health and wellbeing insuficiêncies;

4. Getting together of E&T&L platforms not well succeeded.

 

So, for the future budget EU scenarios how to Taíse awareness for investing in E&T&L?

 

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