JICA handovers laptops to Digital Learning Centers in Ukraine to support access to distance learning

Published 26 May 2023 at 14:35

The Embassy of Japan in Ukraine made a handoff of 340 laptops. 200 devices have already been delivered to Digital Learning Centers in Chernihiv and Kyiv regions and 140 will be further distributed to DLC in Mykolaiv region that is in the south of Ukraine.

340 laptops is the pilot of the multi-year project between the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine. Project aims at providing technical equipment for 85 Digital Learning Centers in Ukraine to ensure continuity of education under conditions of war.

‘As of today, more than 1.5 million schoolchildren in Ukraine study solely in distance modality. These children do not have opportunity to study in-person because of close location to active combat zones or because their schools were destroyed. Many of them do not have technical equipment or proper connectivity to access online education. Our task is to make sure we provide such access to as many children as possible and DLC, in this case, is a great solution to study and support the well-being of war-affected children.’ - Dmytro Zavgrorodnii, deputy minister in the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine.

In order to deliver the project, JICA also cooperates with local implementing partners. Laptops are being distributed to DLCs by local charitable fund savED who launched the pilot DLC in Ukraine in October 2022.

‘DLCs concept is tailored by savED foundation to provide rapid educational aid to the war-affected communities, where access to learning is obstructed. It is a way to provide educational services quickly, before the long-term recovery of infrastructure starts. DLC is not only about access to gadgets – it restores the opportunity for children to receive full-fledged education, visit extracurricular activities, socialize and  grow comprehensively.’ - Anna Putsova, head of regional development of ICF savED.

Overall, JICA will support DLCs located in 9 regions of Ukraine, on the east, south and north of the country, where distance learning prevails. Project will focus on the provision of equipment including laptops, tablets, devices necessary for internet connection and learning materials. Moreover, the provision includes generators for emergency blackouts and heating rooms of DLCs for winterization. In total, the project aims at covering almost 50k pupils during 2023-2024.

‘The Ministry of Education has set a target of establishing 200 DLCs so that children can continue their studies even during difficult times. JICA aims to equip more than half of these DLCs with distance learning equipment. At the same time, we, Japan, plan to support to relieve the children's stress by utilizing the experience of Japanese specialists who were in charge of children's mental health care during the Great East Japan earthquake. We are hoping that such support will contribute to the provision of better learning opportunities and the alleviation of children's stress, leading to a brighter and more sustainable future in Ukraine.’ - Japanese Embassy in Ukraine.