New digital learning platform launched to support distance learning for children temporarily out of school due to COVID-19

24 March 2020
Print screen of the web classroom platform
UNICEFMK

New digital platform with teacher video classes and play-based learning activities now available http://eduino.gov.mk/

SKOPJE, 24 March 2020 – In collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Science, Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, Bureau for Education Development and partners, UNICEF today launched an E-Classroom digital platform providing teachers with tools to support distance learning for children temporarily out of school due to COVID-19.

Initially planned to be launched later this year, following school closures on 10 March, UNICEF and partners mobilized all available resources to make the platform available immediately adding additional features including videos of teachers delivering lessons.

“Our teams have been working day and night throughout the past two weeks to find solutions to ensure children right to learn is not disrupted by the new measure introduced to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in the country,” said Patrizia Di Giovanni, UNICEF Representative. “The level of solidarity from everyone working in the education sector together with all of the teachers who volunteered to support the initiative, is proof that in times of crisis people can come together.”

In an act of solidarity, over 1000 teachers from around the country responded to a Ministry of Education and Science and UNICEF joint call for volunteers to film lessons in languages of instruction including Macedonian, Albanian, Turkish, Bosnian and Serbian. So far over 400 video lessons have been received and are being uploaded to the platform daily.

“I am pleased to inform you that we are already receiving video lessons - we have applied for over 1000 lessons, and about 400 lessons have arrived so far. We certainly expect the figure to increase dramatically in the coming days, and in the meantime we call for patience until we complete the content for all grades and for all subjects. " said Arben Ademi, Minister of Education and Science. "As I mentioned, we expect from tomorrow to have the platform available and implemented by schools and teachers for online student education, and we also expect from them to be proactive and interested in this type of teaching in these extraordinary circumstances. This way of teaching during the crisis period is becoming indeed formal education and the outcome of students completing the school year will depend on what was learned now”.

The platform was initially designed to serves as a space where teachers, educators and parents can find ideas to implementing new ways of learning through play and creative tools that foster socio-emotional development of children 3 to 10 years of age. In addition to the video lessons, the Eduino platform will soon make available all planned resources and functionalities including play-based learning activities developed by educators through multiple and continuous crowd sourcing events.

The platform will form part of the Bureau for Development of Education resources to provide curriculum support and teacher professional development beyond the temporary school closures. The material being currently uploaded focuses on material that needs to be covered during the remaining school year. Although initially intended for pre-school and the primary education students, the scope of the platform is extended to both primary and upper secondary education.

The E-Classroom complements the TV-Classroom initiative launched a week after school closures on national television and social media in Macedonian, Albanian, Turkish and Bosnian and Serbian languages. Other tools made available by UNICEF and partners including digital tools and home-based learning activities.

The E-Classroom is part of a UNICEF initiative funded by the United Kingdom Government through the British Embassy in Skopje, in cooperation with the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, Ministry of Education and Science and the Bureau for Development of Education and implemented by SmartUp - Social Innovation Lab.

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