by Ines Caloisi
Since February 2020 the activities in Italy due to #covid19 have been at a standstill in every sector, the European projects that provide for mobility have been suspended both those aimed at students, with a specific decree of the Italian government until the whole school year 2019-2020 and we do not know if they will restart in September, and the ordinary ones because flights are suspended throughout Europe unless there are urgent reasons why an authorization must be filled out, granted only in situations of extreme urgency that is not the case for ERASMUS+ projects. The European Commission has granted the possibility to the Erasmus + National Agencies to extend the contract deadline and to close the project by one year, just to take into account this suspension, considered to be a cause of force majeure. This clearly implies a suspension also of the Work based learning activities, in the VET field, both related to tourism, which is the subject of two of our projects, and in every sector, to the point that we can’t imagine when these young people will start travelling again and when the current projects can be implemented again.
The airline tickets purchased, in most cases, are converted into vouchers by the airlines, to be spent within a year, even if there are a thousand delays, you receive e-mails in which the airlines ask the courtesy to accept the voucher and not to ask for the refund to which you would be entitled, against the constant cancellation of flights. Companies are forced to redefine contracts and activities often also have to deal with colleagues who are not able to understand the current period and, for their reasons, decide to abandon even the assignments, it seems incredible but it happens. The Italian national agencies of the Erasmus + project, from which also this project was funded, continue to follow us assiduously, providing every support, in our case authorizing the second transnational meeting in smart working mode, for one of the current projects, should have been in Portugal, will be online from 18 to 20 May 2020.
The other projects, which specifically require mobility, will be postponed to a date to be allocated, although in any case within the project deadline.
The schools with which we are in partnership have shown their willingness to resolve each situation in collaboration and this is strengthening relations.
At the end of the emergency phase, which is still ongoing, we can imagine constant readjustments because the situation requires little planning and visual navigation. On our behalf, we are trying to carry out all possible activities, working online as much as possible and writing new projects, imagining a future that is not imaginable at the moment, but aware that changes will affect all of us, more or less, whether we work in one sector or another. We are certain, however, that we are in a society that requires more and more innovation, commitment and specialisation.