Symposium to focus on ‘learning loss’ during coronavirus pandemic

Oman Saturday 22/May/2021 19:51 PM
By: Times News Service
Symposium to focus on  ‘learning loss’ during coronavirus pandemic

Muscat: A virtual symposium titled ‘Learning Loss during the Coronavirus Pandemic: Effects and Solutions’ will be hosted by the Ministry of Education on Monday.
The event will be held under the auspices of Dr Madiha bint Ahmed Al Shaibaniyah, Minister of Education.

Prof. Dr Abdullah bin Khamis Ambosaidi, Under-Secretary of the Ministry for Education, and a number of experts from UNICEF, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and the International Association for Educational Achievement Assessment (IEA) are attending the two-day symposium.

The organisers expect 700 participants that include teachers, administrators, supervisors, social and psychological specialists, students, and their parents in different governorates, as well as those concerned from the Ministry, and a number of government and private agencies.

Explaining about the term learning loss and the importance of this symposium, Dr Ambosaidi said: “UNESCO refers to the concept of learning loss as the loss of learning opportunities, stagnation of learning during a specific period, loss of what has been learned or not achieving the expected academic progress.”

“This means that the focus on addressing this loss is on students as they are the focus of the educational system, without neglecting the roles of educational bodies, especially teachers and partners from the local community,” he added.

“The coronavirus (COVID-19) has caused many challenges to education systems in various countries of the world, and Oman was not immune to these challenges, the Under-Secretary of the Ministry for Education, said.

Therefore, the Sultanate, represented by the Ministry of Education, sought to reduce the educational effects of the pandemic through a number of procedures and measures.

One of the most important challenges that have been caused by this pandemic is the learning loss which is a challenge that we must diagnose and address with multiple and varied methodologies,” he said.

Thus, this symposium comes as one of the important means to monitor and solve all areas concerning this challenge.

The Omani education system must work in the next phase to find answers to the many questions raised by educators, specialists and those interested in relation to education after (COVID-19).

It also must develop clear and applicable plans and procedures in cooperation with partners in order to address this loss, provided that it first begins with a diagnosis of the size of this loss - whether it is in knowledge, skills, or even values - and then determine appropriate methods and mechanisms to follow according to time and available capabilities as well as priorities.”

The Ministry seeks through this symposium to achieve several objectives, including reducing the learning loss, identifying educational, psychological, and social priorities and needs, treatment methods, and the course of policies related in the next phase.

The symposium also aims to study learning loss in the Sultanate during the coronavirus pandemic in terms of its causes, educational, social, and psychological effects, and this includes learning loss for people with special needs, diagnosing the size of this loss among school students.

It also aims to find innovative and effective solutions, and to limit its short-term and long-term effects, as well as to highlight the roles of stakeholders from the educational field and the partners from the public and private sectors in addressing it. In addition, the symposium seeks to make use of the best local and international experiences and practices in evaluating and addressing learning loss, and to identify national priorities for the learning process in the next academic year 2021/2022.

This symposium is covering three main topics as follows; ‘the causes and magnitude of learning loss, and its effects due to the COVID-19 pandemic,’ ‘local and international experiences and initiatives in assessing and following up on learning loss’, and ‘appropriate solutions and plans to address learning loss in the Sultanate.’