In order to counter the Covid-19 emergency, the Government of Cyprus decided to suspend the in-school operation of all public and private schools at all levels on 11 March 2020. The decisions are valid for both general and VET: no VET-specific measures have been taken. Within a few days after school closure, teachers (except those in vulnerable groups) were recalled to schools to create their school specific action plan for distance synchronous and asynchronous learning options. Teachers worked mainly from home using online tools; they were present at the school only when necessary and according to government instructions for the safe operation of all public and private organisations.
The state of emergency in Bulgaria, declared by a decision of the National Assembly, started on 13 March, 2020. All schools in the country, including all VET schools, were closed and on 16 March switched to distance learning. This quick change was made possible by the efforts of teachers, the support of parents and the enthusiasm and curiosity of learners. The education ministry supported schools depending on their needs and monitored training provision. In just a few days, more than 90% of schools successfully applied digital technologies. Learners with no internet access or adequate equipment were provided with printed material and supported by education mediators.
The post-2020 European policy framework on vocational education and training (VET) was discussed at the high-level joint Cedefop/ETF virtual conference ‘Enhancing European cooperation in VET: looking back – planning ahead’, on 30 June and 1 July.
The Covid-19 pandemic touched Luxembourg on multiple levels. The measures taken to reduce the risk of infection by the virus include a temporary suspension of educational activities in school premises. As from 16 March, all educational activities were interrupted
With the development of the coronavirus situation, the Government of the Republic of Lithuania held an extraordinary sitting on 15 March 2020 and decided to declare quarantine for the entire country between 16 March and 16 June 2020. The capacity for the quarantine period to be extended according to the overall epidemiological situation was also stated.
From the first weeks of 2020, France was heavily hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. On March 16, the government decided to confine the country; a so-called emergency law prescribes the general measures necessary to deal with the epidemic. Strict containment lasted until 11 May.
With the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, the Swedish Government has decided to implement various actions to reduce the spread of the virus and to mitigate the Covid-19 effects on education. Sweden has followed a different path compared to other European countries, leaving many education institutions open.
Various actions have been launched in Germany to keep the vocational education and training system stable. Securing the remuneration of apprentices, organising learning and examinations according to safety regulations, and supporting companies that offer apprenticeship places are at the core of the activities.
The Spanish vocational education and training (VET) system has undergone an important process of digitalisation and innovation during recent years; however, the health crisis has highlighted the importance of face-to-face teaching and the challenges of a comprehensive online system.