Lessons from the covid-19 pandemic for lifelong learning

Henrique Lopes, Veronica Irene McKay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

After more than a year of living with the COVID-19 pandemic, much experience has been accumulated by countries around the world. There have been many failures, and there have been some things that have gone well. Adult learning and education in some form has played a significant role in public health since, without the ongoing continuing educational interventions mainly via the mass media, the number of doctors and hospital beds would likely have been insufficient. In this paper we focus on the role of group behaviours in relation to the risk of contagion and we argue that any attempts to define a strategy to combat the pandemic must include a strong commitment to information dissemination and to the training of the populations in order to encourage behaviour change necessary to mitigate the spread of the virus. Against the backdrop of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, this article argues for commitment by governments to use adult learning and education as a tool for health prevention and health awareness and to prepare populations for whatever pandemics and national disasters that might emerge in the twenty-first century, the “century of pandemics”. We therefore argue that populations must have at least a basic level of literacy and numeracy as foundational skills essential for enabling citizens to receive and act on vital information during a pandemic or disaster in order to engender greater resiliencei.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-149
Number of pages27
JournalAustralian Journal of Adult Learning
Volume61
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021

Keywords

  • Adult education
  • COVID-19
  • Disaster
  • Health literacy
  • Lifelong learning
  • Resilience
  • Sustainable Development Goals

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