"School in a Box" has 11,000 beneficiaries since the beginning of the state of emergency • Fundația Vodafone România - e normal sa facem bine

„School in a Box” has 11,000 beneficiaries since the beginning of the state of emergency

  • “School in a Box” project is implemented in 22 schools and centres in rural areas
  • During the closure of schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic, teachers in the program created 500% more digital lessons on the platform
  • The number of digital lessons accessed by students increased by 700%

Bucharest, May 28, 2020 – The digital education project „School in a Box”, developed by World Vision Romania Foundation and Vodafone Romania Foundation, was extended in May to five other schools and seven School after School centres in rural areas, is now implemented in 22 educational centres located in 11 counties. The project registered over 11,000 beneficiaries (students, teachers, parents and volunteers), of which 6,000 are teachers and students enrolled in www.scoaladinvaliza.ro platform.

The schools and centres in which we operate are exclusively in rural areas, where the transition to digital education raises additional issues, and the seven School after School centres integrated with the project have been selected from the «Investing in Rural Areas» program, which we still run since 2015. The activities in these centres have been rethought and adapted to the exceptional situation caused by the pandemic. We provided children in the centres with tablets and data SIM cards to use at home and provided them with free access to the www.scoaladinvaliza.ro platform and, where necessary, we continued to offer social support by providing social vouchers or remote counselling for students and parents”, said Angela Galeța, Director of the Vodafone Romania Foundation.

“School in a Box” has an e-learning platform www.scoaladinvaliza.ro, accessible to teachers and students with any device with an Internet connection, but also with mobile technology kits provided with tablets, laptops, and Internet, to be used by students without resources. In the period following the closure of the schools, to continue the educational process, 250 tablets and 10 laptops were made available to the beneficiaries to be used from home. Vodafone provided 1,850 SIM cards for students and teachers who have terminals but need connectivity. Teachers teach interactive lessons in all subjects and, in turn, participate in regular training sessions organized with the support of the Vodafone Romania Foundation.

Education has been completely transferred online in recent weeks – where it was possible, where there were resources because there is still an offline Romania, where such measures remain an ideal. For us, World Vision Romania, digital education has been a priority for a very long time. We are glad that in the «School in a Box», a project that we have been carrying out for several years in schools in rural areas, the transition to online was natural and took place the day after the schools closed. We prepared for that. We have managed to create quality digital content and help others do it”, said Mihaela Nabăr, CEO of World Vision Romania Foundation.

The technology in the “School in a Box” project began to be used in eight schools in the country in April 2019. Currently, the project is carried out in 22 schools and School after School centres in rural areas, with over 11,000 direct and indirect beneficiaries.
With the closure of schools in Romania, the “School on a Box” project has become a valuable and efficient resource because it allows the continuation of education through exclusively online courses. During this period, teachers have created over 5,000 digital lessons on the www.scoaladinvaliza.ro platform, over 500% more than in the last six months. 4,000 of these lessons were accessed by students, an increase of almost 700% compared to the period before the state of emergency.

The teachers in the project have benefited from several digital training courses in the last two years so that the transition to online education did not find them unprepared. They wanted to share their experience in creating digital lessons with other teachers in Romania as well and hosted two public webinars attended by over 250 teachers from across the country.

In order to adapt more easily to exclusively online education, users of “School in a Box” platform also benefit from access to free integrated services. For example, Cisco and IBM partners offer free access to Cisco Webex, a platform-integrated video conferencing solution, and dedicated support for teachers to use the platform. My Koolio has provided free access to educational materials validated by the Ministry of Education and Research and all Vodafone customers currently have free internet to use www.scoaladinvaliza.ro, www.mykoolio.com and www.webex.com platforms.

Vodafone Romania Foundation also focuses on non-formal education and has entered into a partnership with Logiscool Romania through which, during this period, 50 of the students in rural areas participate for four months in online programming courses offered free of charge by the partner.

School in a Box means a 360-degree approach to digital education. The project supports teachers and students in rural areas to develop their digital skills through free access to the e-learning platform www.scoaladinvaliza.ro, a technology kit provided with tablets and laptops and Internet, but also through continuous professional training of teaching staff. We help teachers to be more confident in their own strengths, to create and support interactive digital lessons, and thus, together with them, we support students to be prepared for a labour market increasingly dominated by technology. In this way, teachers transform the school, and students learn with more pleasure and develop themselves to cope in the future world. School in a Box means accessible and quality digital education.

The Vodafone Romania Foundation is a Romanian non-governmental charitable organisation, established in 1998, which operates separately and independently from the company’s business. Over more than 20 years of activity, the Vodafone Romania Foundation has funded 1,168 programs run by 765 NGOs throughout the country, in the fields of healthcare, education and social services. These projects had more than 3 million beneficiaries – children, young and old people, physically, socially, or economically disadvantaged people. So far, the Vodafone Romania Foundation has invested 31 million euros in projects run by non-profit partner organisations. More details about the Foundation’s programs are available at fundatia-vodafone.ro, https://jurnaldebine.fundatiavodafone.ro/ and www.facebook.com/fundatiavodafone.

World Vision Romania is a part of the World Vision International partnership and is active in almost 100 countries worldwide. World Vision Romania is a foundation that carries out emergency humanitarian intervention, development, and advocacy programs, placing the well-being of children at the centre of its activities. The Foundation focuses on working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. Inspired by Christian values, the foundation works with the most vulnerable people in the world, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. In its almost 30 years of activity in Romania, the foundation has helped over 500,000 children and adults from 400 communities in 8 counties. More details about the foundation: www.worldvision.ro, www.facebook.com/WorldVisionRomania, blog.worldvision.ro/.

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