Education and Training Policies in Response to COVID-19: Preparing for the Recovery – A Focus on Arab Mediterranean Countries

Rym Ayadi, Sara Ronco

Amidst the disruptive circumstances resulting from the COVID-19 global pandemic, this new study provides an overview of the socio-economic impact of COVID-19 in the Arab Mediterranean countries (AMCs), zooming in on education and training systems and policies, analysing their resilience in managing and resisting the crisis and how lessons learned can be embedded in recovery plans and long-term reform processes. It relies on data and information available as of January 2021.

The study is led and co-authored by Prof. Rym Ayadi, President of EMEA and Director of EMNES with the support of Sara Ronco, Researcher at EMEA. Contributions on the education and training systems of the AMCs are provided by EMEA and EMNES researchers, in particular Marwa Biltagy for Egypt, Mais Shaban for Jordan, Sandra Challita for Lebanon and Palestine and Yeganeh Forouheshfar for Algeria and Morocco. Acknowledgement to EMEA copy-editor Rob Atree for proof-reading and IT and AI officer Nektar Baziotis for design and formatting. Valuable comments by the European Training Foundation (ETF) team during various rounds of revision, in particular Abdelaziz Jaouani, Sabina Nari, Francesca Rosso, Elena Carrero Perez and Stefano Lasagni are acknowledged. The study is prepared in the context of a project funded by the ETF. The content complements ETF expertise in this area.

The study made use of the EMEA COVID-19 Tracker. The Tracker  automatically collects daily data from international institutions (e.g. WHO, OECD, IMF..) on the COVID-19 pandemic via a built-in algorithm; and the EMEA COVID-19 Monitor. The Monitor provides weekly assessments of the COVID-19 evolutions and EMEA analysis on the topic.

The Euro-Mediterranean Economists Association (EMEA) is a regional thinktank that serves as a leading independent and innovative policy research institution.

The European Training Foundation (ETF) is the EU agency supporting countries surrounding the European Union to reform their education, training and labour market systems.

How did Covid-19 Pandemic Impact Education in Egypt?

Marwa Biltagy

The main objective of this policy paper is to determine the effect of the pandemic on the Egyptian educational system. The COVID-19 pandemic leads us to respond to an actual challenge and to take real responsibility. Indeed, the new Coronavirus represents a shock to all countries, but economies that have relied on technology and ensured online services have been relatively less affected.

Policymakers can benefit from this crisis and use it as a good opportunity to introduce new learning methods, paying more attention to the quality of the educational system, dealing flexibly with technology and modern learning techniques, continuing to develop the digital platforms that have been created and integrating the concept of lifelong learning and sustainable education, in order to achieve sustainable development and poverty reduction.

The author of the paper, Prof. Marwa Biltagy, is Professor of Economics, Faculty of Economics and Political Science, Cairo University and member of the expert panel of Euro-Mediterranean Economists Association and researcher at the Euro-Mediterranean Network for Economic Studies. She wishes to thank Prof. Rym Ayadi, Dr. Sandra Challita, Dr. Mais Shaban and Sara Ronco for their valuable comments.

Demand and Supply Exposure Through Global Value Chains: Euro-Mediterranean Countries During Covid

Rym Ayadi, Giorgia Giovannetti, Enrico Marvasi, Guilio Vannelli, Chahir Zaki

This paper tries to examine how the COVID-19 shock affects different countries through their regional integration and their exposure to Global Value Chains (GVCs). Using input-output tables (EORA 2016), our contribution is threefold. First, building on Pahl et al. (2021), we conceptually revise the approaches to analyse input-output relationships.

In particular, we underline the difference between the bilateral flow of value-added and trade and distinguish between the producers and consumers of value-added. Second, we distinguish between the supply and demand channels through which these countries can be affected by the disruptions in GVCs. Third, we apply this empirical exercise on an understudied region, namely the Mediterranean region that is characterised by its involvement in several trade agreements that might boost their integration into GVCs.

Our main findings show that, first, most of the countries have relatively larger backward GVC linkages than forward ones. Second, on  the northern shore of the Mediterranean, Italy and France are net suppliers of value added since they produce more value-added absorbed abroad than the foreign value-added they consume. Third, on  the Southern shore, Tunisia is the most integrated in GVCs but is also a net consumer of foreign value added. Morocco participates in GVCs but mainly in upstream segments. In contrast, Jordan followed by Egypt, are less involved in GVCs. Fourth, our results also highlight  the limited integration between Southern shore partners, whose integration is almost completely driven by linkages with Southern European developed countries. This is why Jordan is much less affected by the shock than Tunisia and Morocco.

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