As the global community marks the World Teachers’ Day, UNESCO and Google have begun distributing 50,000 computers to Ukrainian teachers to help them deliver distance learning. Training in digital tools will also be provided to them.
A new UNESCO’s expert mission deployed in Ukraine from 24 to 28 September has verified the urgent need for devices to support teaching and learning in the country.
“Education is a fundamental right for every child. As ongoing fighting damaging education facilities continues to prevent many Ukrainian students from returning to school, we must provide distance learning tools ensuring learning continuity,” called UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay on World Teachers’ Day.
The first 10,000 computers being distributed
To respond to these needs, UNESCO, Google, and the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine have established a large cooperation to supply 50,000 computers for teachers. A first batch of 10,000 computers is currently being distributed to teachers in and around the Chernihiv, Dnipro and Sumy regions. The distribution will be extended to other regions of the country in the weeks ahead.
“This is a great example of how the private sector can join forces with public institutions to build and provide sound solutions in times of crisis," said the UNESCO Director-General.
Moreover, UNESCO will support teachers in Ukraine by developing pedagogical skills for distance and hybrid learning. Google.org – the company's philanthropic arm – is supporting UNESCO to build a suite of resources and courses for teacher professional development. These resources will focus on mental health, psychosocial support, social and emotional learning, and digital pedagogical training.
As part of this agreement, Google will also provide schools in Ukraine with access to the Chrome Education Upgrade, allowing them to set-up and manage the devices remotely. And is working with local partners to deliver training in online tools to up to 200,000 teachers through a series of workshops and resources. Meanwhile UNESCO will offer full access to its many digital education resources.
Over 40% of schools giving online classes
According to the national authorities, 2,292 education institutions have been damaged and 309 have been destroyed in Ukraine since 24 February 2022 when the Russian offensive against Ukraine began. As a result, over 40% of Ukrainian schools started their new academic year online.
For seven months, UNESCO has supported the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, by providing its expertise and by mobilizing some 25 partners of its Global Education Coalition, including Google.
Many members have already implemented their commitments, including psycho-social counselling for teachers, scholarships for learners, no-cost access to accredited courses, translation of educational content, etc.
Coursera has offered its Coursera for Campus at no cost to all Ukrainian higher education institutions to facilitate online learning in fields such as business, technology and data science.
EdX has made over 1,400 online courses available.
Khan Academy has translated its math and sciences courses into Ukrainian.
University of the People is providing 1,000 Ukrainian students with scholarships to pursue their studies online.
With the support of Japan, UNESCO has also launched an initiative on mental health and psychosocial support to deliver interventions throughout the education system. /BGNES