The Ana and Vlade Divac Foundation and the Center for Democracy Foundation, as coordinators of the social pillar of the “SDGs for All” Platform, organized a webinar on Friday, October 30, 2020 under the title “SDG4: How do we educate ourselves during COVID-19?”, intended for the representatives of the professional and general public interested in educational issues. The panelists were Dragana Malidžan Vinkić, Coordinator for Education, The Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unti – SIPRU, Aleksandar Baucal, Professor, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade and Jelena Žunić Cicvarić, Program Director, Užice Child Rights Center.
During the discussion on the current challenges facing the education system during the COVID-19 pandemic, the panelists pointed out the advantages and disadvantages of this way of education, discussed the quality of online learning methods and examined the effects of distance learning, with particular focus on the children from disadvantageous social groups.
Dragana Malidžan Vinkić started off the discussion by pointing to the positive and negative effects of the pandemics on the education system, emphasizing that, in addition to social exclusiveness, digital exclusiveness of certain social groups is now also being created. On the positive side, she referred to the rapid adaptation of education system and raising digital competencies of teachers and students.
Professor Aleksandar Baucal pointed out the complexity of the SDG 4 highlighting the fact that it includes the entire population and not just school-age students, so that in that sense, attention must be paid to providing conditions for permanent education for as many people as possible. He also pointed out that in addition to the obvious challenges, the state has the capacity and potential to improve the education system.
Jelena Žunić Cicvarić specifically focused on the educational needs of students at the youngest age and the need to provide as many children as possible with a balanced availability of educational content.