The paper addresses the impact of Covid-19 on vocational education and training, seeking to discern the outline of possible directions for its future development within the debates about VET responses to the pandemic.
As the pandemic has moved to different countries, the response of education and VET systems has progressed on broadly similar lines. The severity of the lockdown has varied. In much of Europe, hit early in the pandemic, the lockdowns were rigidly enforced. Australian borders closed in March 2020 and will remain so until at least December (Australian Government Department of Health 2020). Many African countries, recognising that poverty and weak health systems meant early preventive action if a major public health crises was to be avoided, saw strong and pre-emptive lockdowns noticeably strongly enforced (e.g. military deployments in South Africa, prison sentences for failure to wear a mask in Zimbabwe). A more liberal approach with a commensurate death toll was adopted in the US, UK and several Latin American countries, most notably Brazil. The spread and partial ebbing of the pandemic across different regions has successively raised different questions of educational and economic disruption and continuity.
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