Lockdown and school closures results in reduced road safety and mobility education for children
Children’s road safety lessons and cycling tests were significantly affected by the initial COVID lockdowns and school closures, according to a new multi-agency report.
Yet education experts who contributed to the report by the European Transport Safety Council (ETSC), the Flemish Foundation for Traffic Knowledge (VSV) and Fundación MAPFRE also found positive evidence that lockdown brought innovation in delivery methods, tools and working practices which could lead to future improvements.
The report has been published to coincide with the third UNESCO International Day of Education (24 January), and theme for 2021 is ‘Recover and Revitalize Education for the COVID-19 Generation’.
As schools switched to distance learning, a distinct focus on teaching, and catching up on, core subjects was highlighted in several countries. The result was fewer children receiving traffic safety and mobility education in 2020.
‘Road safety education must be ready to evolve’
Educational material on traffic safety and mobility became increasingly digitised, and was actively promoted to schools, teachers and parents. Some countries and organisations set up digital platforms to collect and present the digital material, while in some countries there was ‘virtual’ teacher training.
Most experts consulted for the report concluded that that the digitisation of road safety education provision would continue, though there are obviously some aspects that cannot be delivered remotely, such as bicycle training. Some experts warned that remote learning should not replace face-to-face teaching due to the difficulties of maintaining engagement with the material via a remote setting.
The report also said that road safety education must be ready to evolve to reflect changes in mobility that have been accelerated by the pandemic, such as preferences for walking and cycling to school.
Road traffic education experts in Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Greece, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Scotland (UK) and Spain, helped compile the report.
Click here to access and download it in pdf format.
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