UNICEF AND USAID PROCURE COMPUTERS AND SOFTWARE FOR 187 MOST VULNERABLE SCHOOLS
Sarajevo/Tuzla 7.6.2022: UNICEF and USAID representatives delivered ICT sets for 25 schools of Tuzla Canton, within the Project “Strengthening Social and Health Protection in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic in Bosnia and Herzegovina”, aiming at providing immediate support to the most critical system functions, but also at creating evidence that would support institutions in further planning and funding of resources for primary and secondary education.
With participation of all education authorities of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the first overarching mapping of ICT resources of primary and secondary schools has been conducted. The mapping provides a detailed insight into the main resources needed for assuring access to education for 21st century, including internet connectivity and digital equipment rate.
Results are alarming: Nearly 20 students share one computer, compared to the OECD average where 1,2 students share one computer. Furthermore, 583 primary and secondary schools have no access to internet connectivity, whereas the average quality of connected schools is significantly below the recommended standard for BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA education institutions.
Nonetheless, these results represent a crucial basis for systemic strategizing and related funding in the education sector.
“Providing ICT resources to vulnerable children and teachers and improving Internet outreach and bandwidth for schools are part of USAID’s effort to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on education systems in BiH . When children cannot go to school, the impact is much greater than only learning loss. Many children lose their routine, their time interacting with friends, their access to health and nutrition services, and a safe environment. Virtual learning environments help mitigate some of these losses. “, said Mr. Peter Cronin, Director at Democracy Office of USAID BiH.
UNICEF has transferred interactive maps and databases for further use and continuous updating to all ministries of education. Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Tuzla Canton is the first to publish the interactive mapon their official website, thus allowing the public to access information on existing resources of primary and secondary schools in this canton, which is assessed as one of the most vulnerable in the country.
With the support of USAID, and based on the results of ICT mapping, UNICEF has identified 187 most vulnerable schools which received ICT sets for the purpose of improving access and quality of education of 21st century. The total value of this procurement exceeds USD 800,000.
„The need for continous ICT investment remains and UNICEF will continue its efforts in partnering with the government and private sector, in order to improve access to quality, inclusive education for all children of Bosnia and Herzegovina. I congratulate Minister Omerović for his readiness to quickly absorb the developed resources and I look forward to see more partnerships developed in Tuzla Canton, more children with better access to digital resources and quality education.“, said Dr. Rownak Khan, UNICEF Representative in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
UNICEF will continue further interventions in this regard, by publishing an open call for public-private partnerships which will be focused on strengthening ICT infrastructure of BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA primary and secondary schools.
UNICEF djeluje u nekim od najugroženijih područja na svijetu, kako bi obuhvatili djecu iz najranjivijih kategorija. Širom 190 država i teritorija, mi radimo za svako dijete, bilo gdje, kako bi sagradili bolji svijet za sve. Mi nikad ne odustajemo.
Za više informacija o UNICEF-u i našem radu za djecu, posjetite www.unicef.org.