One year of Eduino digital learning web portal

17 March 2021
Graphic design
SmartUp Innovation Lab

Skopje, 17 March 2021: UNICEF and partners marked one year of Eduino web portal for digital education, coordination and professional development launched in March 2020 to provide digital education resources and keep children learning during the pandemic.

Following the closure of schools for most students in North Macedonia, Eduino offered wealth of resources it has crowd-sourced from educators across the country including digital content for teachers and students, education tools and over 400 games for parents to stimulate their child development at home.

“Today, thanks to thousands of teachers who selflessly invested time and knowledge, Eduino has developed a digital library with over 3,700 video lessons. All video lessons contain contents that is in line with the curricula for preschool, primary and secondary education and are verified and approved by the Bureau for Development of Education. This library is of lasting value for our educational system and the use of these resources can continue in the context of regular education,” said Mila Carovska, Minister of Education and Science.

“The Eduino portal has offered space for pre-school teachers and parents to apply their creative ideas, develop educational materials and create games that can be practiced in the playroom and at home. The goal was achieved. Quality education and the stimulation of child development through play has been made available. In just one year, over 300 video lessons for preschool education have been posted. Additionally, 220 educational activities have been developed for use at home, and 440 new ones will be published by April this year,“ said Jagoda Shahpaska, Minister of Labour and Social Policy.

 “All materials that are created go through a system of verification and approval, which ensures the quality of the content that Eduino offers, as well as their compatibility with the curriculum,” said Zekirija Hasipi, acting Director of the Bureau for Education Development.

At the meeting participants acknowledged the collective results of the Eduino community and discussed the findings of the two-phases comprehensive research about the experiences with the distance learning, a research conducted with UNICEF and British Embassy support in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Science and Reactor.

According to over 16,000 respondents, school principals, teachers, parents and students, the Eduino portal has been widely used and provided digital education resources to more than half of the entire teaching force.

“The honours for the success of Eduino must go to the people we are celebrating as Eduino Ambassadors today. We can clearly see the great results of enthusiastic, creative, committed, determined professionals who did not let the pandemic stop them educating our children,“ said H.E. Rachel Galloway, UK Ambassador. 

When comparing the research findings from the first phase covering 2019/2020 school year with the findings from 2020/2021 school year it is evident that both teachers and students are better adjusted in using digital tools for distance learning and communication. However, the research also shows that the shift to virtual learning introduced new difficulties and challenges for schools, students and teachers.

“I am happy to acknowledge the remarkably fast shift of the education system to distance learning and the massive effort to set up both the National distance learning platform and the Eduino portal,” said Patrizia Di Giovanni, UNICEF Representative. “Eduino came at a time when it was most needed. While we acknowledge the great results achieved in a year, we also need to be reminded that schools continued to be closed for most children. We need to keep working to ensure all children can go back safely to learning in schools. We must provide more than just a place to learn subjects, we must provide a place to play, socialize and develop 21-century skills”.

Even before COVID-19, a learning crisis persisted in the country and school closures have exacerbated the problem. The most vulnerable children are falling far behind their peers and many are at risk of dropping out altogether. Research shows that the digital divide is perpetuating inequalities and education for those with no internet access is out of reach.

The current country education reform proposes solutions and promotes increased school stay/hours, more school autonomy, higher level learning and more elective courses and extracurricular activities.

These intended outcomes stem from the OECD review findings and can support improved learning outcomes for all children and create differentiated learning paths based on their interests and competencies.

“Creating professional communities and fostering a spirit of sharing and exchanging ideas, opinions and resources is one of the key approaches needed to improve education. We are really proud of our Eduino community that jointly creates new resources that are of immense importance to future generations,” said Aleksandar Lazovski, Programme Manager of SmartUp - Social Innovation Lab.

The Eduino portal now engages a community of 22,700 subscribed users who receive weekly news about webinars and open resources. Over 6,000 parents, educators, teachers and other education professionals contribute to the growth of wealth of resources and dynamic community.

As part of the Social Cohesion and Cultural Dialogue, Foundations for the Future Programme financially supported by the UK Government through the British Embassy Skopje British Embassy in Skopje, Eduino initiative is implemented by UNICEF in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Science and Ministry of Labour and Social Policy and is managed by Bureau for Development of Education with support from SmartUp - Social Innovation Lab.

 

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