COVID-19 Pandemic Vs. Digital Competences of Pupils and Teachers in Poland
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the digital competencies of pupils and teachers and analyse the education system in terms of its adaptation to turbulence caused by external factors such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Design/Methodology/Approach: The paper compares the selected research findings gathered by three independent research institutes on pupils' and teachers' levels of digital skills. The methods of desk research and comparative analysis were applied. These methods utilized the surveys' results on pupils' and teachers' digital competencies and statistical data. Findings: The research has shown that, on the one hand, the pandemic has exacerbated social inequalities in terms of digital competencies. On the other hand, it has revealed the need for pupils and teachers to quickly respond and adapt to changing conditions of operation. The pandemic has also exposed inadequacies in the education system. The conducted analysis has shown that acquiring digital competencies is essential for the whole society. Practical Implications: It is necessary to revise education systems and curricula in terms of content, technologies used, fields of study, and education levels. It is essential to monitor teachers' and pupils' digital competencies constantly. As far as access to infrastructure is concerned, monitor groups at risk of exclusion (families with many children and poor and those living outside of urban centers). Originality/Value: The pandemic phenomenon allowed for verification of the level of digital competencies in practice and the resistance of the Polish education system to the pandemic. The research has shown several aspects of problems that have arisen as schools have shifted to remote learning. These aspects include sensu stricto, the teachers', pupils', and parents' competencies, and the problems related to the infrastructure: connection speed, access to equipment, and incompatibility of curricula with the needs of the modern economy.