UNESCO’s Global Education Coalition responds to Ukraine’s call for support

UNESCO’s Global Education Coalition pledged to support Ukraine’s efforts to offer e-learning and mental health support to students and teachers in the country at a meeting held March 15, 2022 with the Deputy Minister of Education and ministry officials.

The Global Education Coalition was formed in March 2020 to maintain education continuity during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is an alliance of 200 public and private partners active in more than 100 countries, ensuring a fast and flexible matching of expertise and needs.

Partners present at the meeting organized by UNESCO included Apple, Blackboard, Carey Institute for Global Good, Code.org, Curious Learning, EdX, Google, GSMA, IBM, ISTE, Khan Academy, KPMG, LabXchange, Learning Equality, Microsoft, Orange, Qualcomm, Raccoon Gang, Study Portals, Teach For All, Teacher Task Force, University of People and WeSchool.

Partner support includes scholarships for learners, free access to certified courses, translation of educational content, teacher training adapted to crisis situations and support for teachers’ professional development.

Global Education Coalition member commitments include:

  • Blackboard: Support for learning management systems and teacher training to facilitate the transition to digital learning
  • Carey Institute for Global Good: Access to several online courses, including self-paced courses on trauma-informed teaching and fundamentals of practice for refugee educators
  • EdX: Free access for all Ukrainian higher education students to EdX’s online campus and over 1,600 courses and programs from leading institutions and companies
  • International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE): Free registration for educators for the organization’s new micro-course promoting student well-being.
  • University of People: 1,000 scholarships for Ukrainian university students

The ministry called on the international community to support the development and implementation of a plan to protect and restore education in Ukraine.

More than a million school-age children have been forced to flee violence in neighboring countries, and the entire school- and university-age population has been affected.

“We have worked hard since the first day of the war. We cannot lose this whole generation of children,” said Arthur Seletskiy, Deputy Minister of Education and Science. “We are reintroducing distance learning where safety and security allow. Our Learning Without Borders project enables students to take video lessons. Resources for education are currently being diverted to our advocacy, so we urgently need your financial support for education, learning materials and educational infrastructure. »

Dmytro Zavgorodnii, head of the ministry’s digital department, stated that Ukraine strengthened its distance education system during the COVID-19 pandemic thanks to the All-Ukrainian online platform, the Laptop for Every Teacher initiative and online university registration. He asked for support to expand these efforts to create additional content for the elementary school; offer further training and additional laptops for teachers as well as an examination platform for electronic media for applicants.

“Education must be part of humanitarian response – providing psychosocial support, protection, community and opportunities to continue learning in these dramatic times,” said Stefania Giannini, UNESCO Deputy Director-General for Education. “Ukraine’s impressive range of distance learning platforms is a foundation for building resilience. UNESCO’s Global Education Coalition can be used to develop e-learning platforms in Ukraine and refugee host countries; support for teachers; Delivering learning content and providing social-emotional support online to help students and teachers. »

According to the UNESCO Institute of Statistics, the total population of Ukraine of school age, from preschool to higher education, is more than 6.84 million. This corresponds to 1.05 million in pre-primary education, 1.72 million and 2.54 million respectively in primary and secondary education and 1.53 million in tertiary education.

At the higher education level, Ukraine has become a hub for foreign students, the number of which has increased fivefold between 2001 and 2020, reaching 61,000 foreign students. The top five countries sending students to Ukraine are India, Morocco, Azerbaijan, Turkmenistan and Nigeria.

The country has 15,500 preschool institutions; 14,000 primary and secondary schools; 695 vocational training institutions and 336 universities.

According to the Ukrainian Ministry of Education and Science, as of March 13, 379 educational institutions in Ukraine have been damaged or destroyed.

At a March 13 meeting with Serhiy Shkarlet, Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine, Stefania Giannini pledged to support Ukraine in meeting the needs of all learners, both within the country and in neighboring countries and those who Accept refugees.

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