Digital transformation of education is in the spotlight of donors and partners

Published 14 June 2022 at 13:05

The team of the Ministry of Education and Science makes every effort to ensure continuity of education in Ukraine as well as provide access to knowledge and opportunities to teach.

In situation of war, distance learning, digital services and solutions are becoming crucial, so in early March the Ministry launched outreaching campaign to attract as many donors, organizations and business representatives as possible to support digital education in Ukraine.

We would like to share with you the main victories and current results of our work.

Digital Content 

Previous experience in supporting distance learning in Ukraine during the COVID-19, in particular the launch of the All-Ukrainian School Online, let us to continue creating and modernizing digital content instead of starting the process from scratch. With the support of UNICEF, we are now on the way to deploy updated courses for 5-11 grades on All-Ukrianian School Online and new content is being developed in accordance with the state-standard curiculum. UNICEF also supported the modernization of the platform including framing of additional functionality for teachers, such as the feature to design online courses through the use of the platform.

War Child Holland team supports the Ministry in covering the gaps for primary school e-content. In close cooperation with MESU and Osvitoria War Child develops an interactive curriculum-based gaming technology content and software for math and reading that meet the standards set for primary education in Ukraine. The content is developed in cooperation with Ukrainian experts and will be available via application.

In addition, the team of Klett Publishers in cooperation with the Ukrainian publishing house ‘Ranok’ began the development of the digital interactive textbooks for primary school. The content will cover all subjects of the curriculum and will be available at the beginning of the new school year.

Meanwhile, Save the Children provides support for localization of the content. Together with the team, MESU plans to promote computer science among children  through the all-Ukrainian educational campaign. In addition, at the end of May, the Ministry of Education and Science and the Ministry of Digital Transofrmation signed a joint Memorandum with EU4Digital on updating the school curriculum for computer science.

Mozaik Publishing also provides free access to mozaBook software for students and teachers in Ukraine.

It is important to highlight that together with donors the Ministry will conduct a series of trainings for teachers to get familiar with new  dgitial resources and tools. Teachers will be able to use content in the learning process as basic or additional material as well as to monitor student progress.

Donors’ attention is also focused on access to quality and free digital content for Ukrainian universities. As of today, an agreement has been reached with the leaders of the online learning market - Couresera, Udemy and edX platforms to provide free access to courses for Ukrainian students.

To help universities master digital learning and digital education services, the International Renaissance Foundation facilitated the building of team to support and promote distance learning among higher education institutions. Together with the MESU, the team works on technical support of universities to grant access to online learning platforms, conducts webinars for representatives of the HEIs responsible for the digital component of education.

Last but not least, in collaboration with Tech To The Rescue and SoftServe, the team is also developing a web portal to gather information about the possibilities of using online platforms, as well as provide successful examples of adapting content in the process of learning by Ukrainian universities. The portal is planned to be launched before the beginning of the new academic year.

Technical support and digital infrastructure

As a follow-up of the national project "Laptop for every teacher", the Ministry is currently working on the supply of computer equipment for teachers. With the support of UNICEF and the Institute of Educational Analytics MESU conducted an all-Ukrainian survey to identify  needs of internally displaced teachers and learners.

To meet these needs, the Ministry signed a partnership agreement with Google to transfer 43,000 laptops. In addition, the delivery of the first 5000k laptops from UNICEF has already arrived in Ukraine. Part of the received devices will be handed over to teachers who were evacuated from the temporarily occupied territories and teachers from educational institutions affected the most by the Russian attacks. Today, the received support covers approximately 25% of the total need, so the priority of MESU is to continue negotiations and reach out to new companies and foundations to provide equipment to every teacher who needs help. In additoon MESU toghether with partners launches a new survey on the educational needs of VET and higher education institutions.

A siginificant area of work with donors is to provide teachers and students with a set of digital tools to optimize the learning process. Among the priorities of cooperation is to provide schools with easy to adapt services for teaching and communication with students. Today, Microsoft, Google and Zoom have provided free access to its software. In particular, Microsoft granted free licenses of the Microsoft Office 365 A1 package for schools. Google provides free access to the advanced features of Google Workspace for Eudcation for colleges and universities in Ukraine.

To work effectively with a variety of digital tools, this summer teachers will be offered to have a series of trainings to increase both, the general level of digital competence and the usage of the services provided to educators.

Another important outcome is the agreement of Vodafone, Lifecell and Kyivstar – leaders of telecommunication services in Ukraine to provide unlimited non-tariffed access to distance learning services.

Digital ecosystem

In order to carry out transparent admission campaign for higher education in 2022 Permanent Mission of Ukraine to UNESCO supported the development of a prototype system for the National Multidisciplinary Test. The terms of reference for this system were developed with the support of the Swiss-Ukrainian project Decentralization for Improved Democratic Education (DECIDE).

Despite the very limited timeframe, UNICEF provides support in building a new module for e-addmision based on the Unified State Electronic Database on Education. In addition, an agreement was reached with EU4DigitalUA on the implementation of the e-documents for education.

Among the long-term priorities of cooperation between the Ministry and donors is the development of a digital education ecosystem - the aggregation of public services in the field of education into a holistic and integrated system. The implementation of such project will reduce bureaucratization in educational institutions and provide quality services to citizens.

Information and communication

In collaboration with partners, we launched several information hubs for parents, teachers, students, local communities and international partners to provide timely update on most relevant issues.

Swiss-Ukrainian project DECIDE launched the EducationUABot chat-bot to support internally displaced teachers and children. Team of DECIDE project also launched the online portal ‘Ukrainian Education in Emergency’ on the Ukrainian education system and up-to-date information for educational institutions in countries hosting large numbers of Ukrainian children.

A new online platform 'Education during wartime' launched by Osvitoria in collaboration with UNICEF and MESU provides parents, children and teachers with information about education during wartime.

In partnership with UNICEF and Ukrainian team of Google MESU developed All-Ukrainian Online Schedule for 1-11 grades.

In addition, ‘Educaition under threat’ - an interactive dashboard was launched duirng the first weeks of war in order to provide daily update on the number of damaged and destroyed educational infrastructure in each region of Ukraine.

We express enormous gratidude to our partners for continious support and efforts. Our team is constantly looking for new opportunities to address educational needs and current challenges. We will inform about new outcomes of our work shortly. In case you are interested to get additional information or would like to establish a partnership, please contact us.