This edition of Education at Glance provides an overview of education during the Covid-19 crisis. It touches on the health aspects of the crisis as well as the economic crisis and the impacts for education, such as the impact of lockdown on disadvantaged people. The lockdowns have interrupted conventional schooling with nationwide school closures in most OECD and partner countries, lasting at least 10 weeks in the majority of them. Lockdown has exacerbated inequality among workers. While teleworking is often an option for the most qualified, it is seldom possible for those with lower levels of education, many of whom have been on the front lines in the response to the pandemic, providing essential services to society.
This year’s Education at a Glance places the spotlight on vocational education and training (VET). It highlights how vocational education has been particularly hard hit by the crisis. Often neglected in favour of more prestigious academic routes, VET has often been disregarded in educational policy debates. Indeed, on average across OECD countries, young adults today are less likely to pursue a vocational path and more likely to pursue an academic university degree than their parents were. This may partly reflect long-term labour-market prospects: although young adults with an upper secondary vocational education as their highest attainment are more likely to be employed than those with a general upper secondary one, their employment rate remains more or less stable with age while that of adults with a general upper secondary education increases.
The report offers suggestions for how to improve VET, including enhancing work-based learning and strengthen ties with the private sector, and improving the progression from VET into higher levels of education.
See details of a launch event hosted with Education and Employers here, including a recording of the session.