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EDUCATION CHALLENGES DUE TO COVID-19: ADVOCATING THE STUDENTS’ VIEWS FROM PORTUGAL, ANGOLA, TIMOR-LESTE, AND BRAZIL

I. Monteiro1, B. Sabino 2, C. Baptista3, H. Oliveira4, L. Almeida5, T.S. Dias 6

1University of Porto (PORTUGAL)
2Polytechnic Institute õf Beja (PORTUGAL)
3Universidade Timor Lorosa'e (TIMOR-LESTE)
4Centro Universitário Salgado de Oliveira, UNIVERSO (BRAZIL)
5University of Porto, Faculty of Sports (PORTUGAL)
6University of Porto, Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences (PORTUGAL)
In terms of a pandemic scenario that has affected and challenged education and education systems worldwide, it has become urgent to rapidly define efficient purposes and strategies, to respond to students and teachers deprived of the traditional classroom space. At the different levels of education, teachers and students observed a rapid and obligatory adaptation to platforms and systems of distance learning. According to the United Nations [8], several telematics tools have been streamlined, with an adaptation to the level of education and the socio-financial reality of each country - in areas without internet or limited IT resources, more traditional methods of distance learning have been used, such as programming via television and radio or distribution of printed materials.

In this scenario, questions are raised regarding teaching methods, support for the teaching-learning processes of students and teachers, and even a call for reforms in training plans, capable of combating less equitable situations and catalysing social injustices [6]. Projections are being made about the impact on students' learning in the different disciplines and levels of education [7] but questions remain about the impact of the changes and how they were perceived by the main receivers of the educational message: the students.

Education, as part of the priorities of the current political agenda, challenges us to explore distinct socio-political contexts, through a brief foray into the different education systems - Portuguese, Brazilian, Angolan, and East Timorese - from a cross-cutting perspective to students at the end of each cycle of teaching, particularly in eminently practical subjects such as physical education.

In this qualitative-based study, focus group discussions on different levels of education were conducted in the 4 countries, emphasizing the proximity to the characteristics of the social reality of students in the school context [4, 5]. The script that structured the discussion was organized around 4 pillars:
(i) the functioning of distance learning;
(ii) the specificities of the functioning of physical education classes;
(iii) the course of extracurricular activities;
(iv) continuity of future strategies/ lessons learned.

The sessions took place in the 4 countries by video call with the collaboration of facilitators from the local school communities. Data were analyzed inductively, based on the assumptions of thematic analysis [2; 1].

The data analysis allows us to observe a great disparity in the experiences reported, with opposite directions, between countries, and even within the same country, between levels of education. The results mirror several difficulties in accessing different online tools. The adoption of a wide variety of methodologies within schools by teachers, compromised the organization of students, the perception of the learned and the motivation for the stay in the task.

From a social perspective, the lack of peers of the same age group and informal learning that is generated in the school context is a weakness that compromises spontaneity. Nevertheless, students reported some positive factors such as independence, active search for information, and the use of more motivating tools.

In the Physical Education classes, the one that is the characteristic practical component of the discipline was compromised, having been replaced by the elaboration of theoretical works or online classes focused on exercises of physical condition