Educational institutions must work with governments, the private sector, communities and civic authorities to ensure equitable access to high-quality learning resources during the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic and beyond, according to a new book published by Asian Development Bank (ADB).
“Covid-19 has taught us that flexible learning arrangements and teaching practices are vital to developing relevant skills in a fast-changing world,” said ADB Education Sector Group Chair Sungsup Ra, co-editor of ‘Powering a Learning Society During an Age of Disruption.’
“Post-pandemic, parents, employers, and other stakeholders outside traditional education institutions are expected to play a greater role in supporting education and lifelong learning,” he said on Monday.
The book comprises 21 chapters written by policy makers, practitioners and researchers. They conclude that Covid-19 provides an opportunity to build education systems that are stronger and more equitable.
Among the ways to make learning systems more resilient and accessible, the book discusses access to technology for teaching and learning, closing the digital gap, improving learning assessment, financing technological innovations, providing students with access to hardware, and ensuring teachers and students know how to maximise the technology.
The book emphasises the need to build learning societies in which resources are dedicated to promoting life-long learning. Educators must also re-evaluate how learning is assessed and communities should play a greater role in promoting learning.
“Fifty years ago, Asia showed the world that development was possible,” writes Columbia University Professor and Nobel Laureate Joseph E Stiglitz in the foreword.
“There will have to be a structural transformation to a knowledge-based services sector and green economy. Nothing could be more important in doing so than to help the countries in the region create dynamic learning societies.”
The book is co-edited by ADB Principal Education Specialist Shanti Jagannathan and Rupert Maclean from the School of Education at RMIT University at Melbourne in Australia.
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