The world is facing a new challenge in trying to overcome the threats and consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. Swisscontact, as an international organisation with a global presence on four continents, working in 35 countries and employing around 1,300 people, also had to adapt to this new reality.
Swisscontact's work focuses on training and promoting employment through technical training and entrepreneurship with special emphasis on the empowerment of people, particularly women. Since practically all the countries implemented containment measures, closed schools and prohibited meetings, face-to-face activities and in-person training were suspended and a creative alternative was needed quickly.
A commission was formed at Swisscontact’s headquarters in Switzerland, which coordinated efforts between countries in order to transform and accelerate the digital distance training. In Guatemala, a survey among all Swisscontact partners showed that approximately 40% of instructors had no experience with distance learning and were not familiar with virtual platforms.
In a very short time, courses were organised for teachers, introducing them to this abstract world and synergies between Swisscontact projects were created.
Last year, on September 14, we discussed the advantages of digital technology and virtual training in classrooms. Though there were still many doubts at the time, today the pandemic has forced us to make use of technology and virtual training methods. While it is true that in-person teaching continues to have its importance in the education, this crisis, nevertheless, opened our eyes to the advantages of digital distance learning and helped us overcome our resistance to change.
Distance study (B-learning) is here to stay. It is an opportunity that can greatly benefit our target population in the interior of the country. Swisscontact is one of the pioneers of this path!
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