This article explores social and educational responses to COVID-19 as seen through the lens of the Spanish education, in which professional capital and community is at the epicenter of the fight against the pandemic.
This is a reflective and forward-thinking piece in which educators are presented as first responders to the crisis. The article is structured in four parts. First, the opportunities and barriers that COVID-19 is encountering in 21st-century education are commented on. Second, there is recognition of the need to be connected more than ever; and the vital role of networks. Third, the article discusses the effort to realize the maxim “not to leave anyone behind.” Fourth, the last section summarizes the key points related to the aspects to which education should devote its efforts in the coming months and years in Spain.
There is a set of reasons why the Spanish education system is extremely vulnerable to the consequences caused by COVID-19, and these include, among others: the high rates of socioeconomic segregation, of school dropouts and of academic failure; poor culture of networking and collaboration; overcrowded classrooms that hinders quality education; an obsolete curriculum; the consideration of education as a political currency; the need to strengthen bimodal education; and teachers' obligation to update their digital competences.
The article questions whether another education is possible beyond the pandemic and promotes a deep reflection in this particular context for practitioners and policymakers on which topics more attention could be focused during this time of turmoil.
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