The health and well-being of all, but especially of our members and colleagues, is of utmost importance to IEA. During these challenging and uncertain times, IEA is taking steps to try to minimize the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, while safeguarding the health of our staff and the people with whom we work.
We are doing our best to ensure that IEA remains fully operational during this exceptional period and our priority has been to equip and enable IEA staff to continue their vital work from home. Most of our staff are now working remotely with secure access to the server. To ensure business continuity as best as possible, there are a small portion of employees who will be in our Hamburg and Amsterdam offices. We have cancelled all business travel until May and are continuing to monitor the situation closely so that we can react accordingly and adhere to our respective government’s advice.
Collaboration continues to be a key part of our day-to-day operations. We are using various types of meeting tools so that our employees can work together in real time and use video conferencing and messaging to maintain personal connections.
With many schools around the world now closed and UNESCO reporting over half of the world’s student population not attending school, we are being proactive in our approaches to ensure continuity of our key studies. We expect to share more detailed updates with National Research Coordinators (NRCs) about PIRLS, which is currently in the field trial stages, in the coming days. On a positive note, we conducted our first ever virtual NRC meeting for ICILS, which went extraordinarily well and we are looking into how we can build on these solutions for future needs.
We are grateful to all our members and colleagues for their flexibility and understanding, and to our staff for working under very challenging circumstances. We would also like to express gratitude for the extraordinary work that all of the teaching and non-teaching staff in our schools and early learning and childcare settings have been doing to maintain educational continuity in these unprecedented days.
We are continuing to monitor the situation closely and will provide further information as necessary. We wish you all good health and invite you to consult our website and social media accounts regularly for updates.