FORAVE has traditionally been a school technologically developed, aligned with the evolution of smart industry and the training needs of companies and one of our main aims is the training of the staff, to improve their competences regarding technologies.
Specialized in the areas of Industrial Management; Automation, Mechatronics, Robotics, Electromechanics and Material Transformation, FORAVE provides technical labs and equipment that demand skilled staff to operate with them, to teach students and prepare technical profiles.
The Coronavirus pandemic sped up the process with the lockdown of the school, which forced the interruption of all the school activities and the rapidly set up of the training activities online.
It wasn´t an easy task to find a friendly platform that could support, nearly three hundred students and that could ensure, not only the teaching-learning process, but also the maintenance of the relationship between teachers and students and school tutors and parents. With this huge change, it was important to support students and minimize fears and anxieties, resulting in a new situation, that was stroking our professional, personal and social life.
FORAVE´s Covid Contingency Plan was settled in three distinct phases: implementation of personal and social protection standards at school and the development of an awareness campaign for the danger of the virus; settlement of the online learning system; and providing training on digital tools to help teachers and the staff to do their tasks from home.
The team had to carry out a new plan, considering the redefinition of the annual goals, considering the temporary and transitory situation, reset the school hours and consider priority situations related with finalists and internships.
The students reacted positively and massively to the e-learning system. For a short number of students with technical difficulties, the school provided laptops and internet connection.
What we have learnt from the first experience allowed us to be more cautious with the planning of the present school year, considering the possible scenarios that could come up with a new pandemic: face-to-face teaching, distance learning or a hybrid situation. Considering the possibility of a new lockdown, the priority in the annual plan was given to the practical/technical school subjects and the period of training on the job was anticipated so that the students could develop their internships in the companies.
Other processes, such as vocational guidance, study visits, lectures and workshops were prepared to happen online, with the cooperation of companies and partners. One of the greatest improvements for the students was the possibility of accessing from home to school labs and test remotely the programming they were developing for their final technical projects.