Psychological and pedagogical support program for students and teachers in times of pandemic – Ministry of Education and Science

What is our goal?

We invited scientists from Cardinal Stefan Wyszyński University to cooperate with representatives of Lublin University of Economics and Innovation to carry out professional diagnosis in schools. Experts will identify issues that arise among students – with a particular focus on children and adolescents with special educational needs. Then they will develop a model of support and help for students with mental difficulties.

Scientists will prepare training and materials that will help teachers and school specialists, i.e. psychologists and educators, to help students deal with crisis situations. As part of trainings and consultations, experts will present effective methods of working with students in difficulty, and will also support teachers to overcome the negative effects of the pandemic. Students can count on prevention activities and integration activities in the classroom to rebuild relationships between peers.

Parents are also invited to the program and, as part of the consultation, they will learn, among other things, how to help a child cope with the harmful effects of remote learning, how to recognize crisis situations and how to deal with them. In addition to systemic work – diagnosis and development of a specific action model, students will also be able to count on individual and collective psychological help. We start the program in April.

This year, it will be a pilot action, but the effects developed will translate into a specific way of responding in a crisis situation, both in the context of work with an individual pupil and with the whole of the class. We are donating PLN 15 million for this purpose this year.

More than 100,000 hours helping students

As part of the start-up of activities, teams of experts will develop research tools that will be based on questionnaires containing questions on how students function at school during the pandemic. Among the issues covered will be issues related to, among others, emotional difficulties, coping with the long screen, relationships with peers and risky behaviors.

Among all the primary and secondary schools, the researchers will select 1,200 educational institutions that will be invited to participate in the program. They will carry out a school diagnosis in each of them. Its results will be used by the school to prepare a detailed educational and prophylactic program, and by experts – to develop a model for helping students.

In a given school, as part of the study, three groups of students will be selected:

  • a group with a high level of problems psychological, who will benefit from psychological support and follow-up;
  • moderate risk groupwhich will be included in early intervention psychological programs aimed at correcting adjustment and developmental difficulties as well as preventive measures;
  • group with a low intensity of problematic behaviorswhich will be covered by educational activities and universal prophylaxis, aimed at strengthening students in difficult learning conditions.

We anticipate more than 100,000 hours of psychological assistance for children and adolescents participating in the program. As a result, each student in the school studied will be able to obtain appropriate professional support.

10 thousand hours of training for teachers

Through education, training and consultation, teachers will learn to very accurately identify worrying symptoms appearing in students. They will get to know, among other things, the issues in the field of support for highly sensitive students, as well as methods: prevention and correction of threats in children and adolescents, crisis intervention, educational intervention, group work class, in the field of digital security. In addition, those who face various difficulties in conducting online courses will receive assistance.

The effects of the program – support for all schools

This year’s research will cover a limited number of schools, but the results will be shared with all schools. Thanks to the diagnosis, the experts will describe the problems, develop a ready model of support intervention and, above all, indicate the actions to be taken in a crisis situation. The results of the pilot project, in the form of ready-to-use materials, will be freely available to every teacher on the Internet platform prepared by MEiN.

The report “How to support students after the epidemic year?”

At the request of the Ministry of Education and Science, experts from the Institute for Integrated Prevention have prepared a report “How to support students after a year of the epidemic?”. This material is based on the results of research conducted with students, parents and teachers during the period from April 2020 to January 2021. The objective of this report is to present recommendations that will help the education system to meet the challenges of education, mental health and the prevention of child and adolescent problems resulting from a prolonged pandemic. The report is available on the ministry’s website.

The second of four Ministry of Education and Science programs

The psychological and pedagogical support program for students and teachers is the second of four ministry programs announced by Minister of Education and Science Przemysław Czarnek. At the beginning of March, together with specialists from the Academy of Physical Education, we showed the details of the program for the active return of students to schools after the pandemic. It has two stages, in which we will start teacher training in April and then start with additional sports activities for children and teenagers. Teachers who complete the first stage of the project will receive a certificate and can apply for money for additional sports activities with their school that wishes to apply for the program. Schools willing to apply for the program will receive funds to organize sports activities for students in groups of 20. This will create approximately 300,000 jobs. class hours. We are allocating almost PLN 42 million for this purpose in 2021.

Another of the announced activities awaits us. In March, we will present proposals for, among other things, ophthalmological assistance and support for programming catch-up.

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