Community development, Social inclusion, The project is going to be implemented with the help of national tech stakeholders.The distribution of the devices will be made with their help (in forms of donations, acquisition, crowdfundings etc.). This is why we had chosen the topics above.

Connecting Romania

ACCESS TO EDUCATION THROUGH DIGITALIZATION

Creators

Who is behind this?

Ruxandra Popescu

Centrul Român pentru Politici Europene

http://www.crpe.ro

Romania

Idea

Idea pitch

During the pandemic a gap has been created: a gap between the ones that have access to the internet and proper devices and the ones that do not. We want to decrease the gap by ensuring the basic necessities in terms of devices, technology and knowledge to access the education platforms and the internet. How? By creating an app for schools in order to review the needs of our target group, distributing the devices and sustaining three digitalization classes.

Where will your project idea take place?

The regions were selected using the poverty index:
Southern Romania
North-Eastern Romania

What is the local challenge?

Mappings made by INSE and the World Bank show us that the most poor people in Romania are located in the north-eastern and southern parts of the country. Romania ranks second in the EU in terms of risk of poverty or social exclusion, 41.7% of the population being affected. In 2019, an estimate from the Ministry of Energy said that more than 52.000 families have no access to electrical current.
More specifically, we want to really pursue the goal of free and universal education and offer a chance for the children that are at risk and cannot continue the classes online next semester, in case the state of emergency will be extended. But it is not only the pandemic. The fact that they do not know how to use internet platforms or they are below the poverty risk is a systemic problem.

How does your idea strengthen democracy and active citizenship at a local and community level?

The ones that are most affected by this are the ones already vulnerable in the system. And it is not only the access to education: Romania is on the penultimate place in the EU regarding the DESI Index that covers connectivity, digital skills, digital public services etc.. More than 25% of romanian people have never used the internet. And this translates into inefficient public services and businesses, knowledge gap and increased inequality.
We will engage the citizens to donate used devices, money or other form of help for these communities. We are increasing solidarity while maintaining social distance and a goal. The schools we helped will be found on a virtual map, so that the dontators can see the impact of their donation and the impact on their community as the project unfolds.

Who are you doing it for?

Our target group consists first of all in general school and high school students, and second of all, in teachers and education institutions themselves.
The target group’s background is a vulnerable one, chosen on the basis of the poverty index - the project’s aim is to connect Romania and offer a chance to basic education to all its children. A part of the participants will be institutionalized children - a particularly vulnerable category.
The children will receive the devices and the digitalization classes, while teachers’ will only be a part of the digitalization teaching process. Schools and the orphanages are an institutional target group
We are expecting to help at least 1 000 children and 200 teachers, nationwide.

How do you plan to get there?

The CRPE team will have meetings with principals, teachers, and mayors in order to have a clear picture about the community’s needs. They will be advised by us to send a list of needs in terms of digitalization: what platforms are they using, number of children and educators in need. The platform will be daily updated and free of charge, and will provide real time information about the children’s needs by region/ school. Interested persons can donate and our team will ensure a direct lien between the school and donor.
The digitalization classes will contain informations about web browsers, offline and online learning programs: Microsoft Word, Excel; Educational Platforms, Social Media Basics, Internet basics.

What are the expected results?

The project will reduce the vulnerability of children and will increase their capacity to apply good practices in their community. The results of this project advances social change and improves social development and the empowerment of vulnerable groups, which helps to reduce poverty. The expected results are: 1 online platform for schools to be used as an interactive tool where teachers can voluntarily write the digitalization needs in their classes
1 online app (the online platform will also work as an app)
1 social media campaign to promote the platform and the app and the project objectives
8.000 users will use the platform/app
3 digitalization classes for teachers in 10 schools ( 20 teachers per school)
1000 children will have access to education and will receive devices

How does your initiative contribute to strengthening democracy in Europe?

Children and adolescents are excluded from education for many reasons and the most powerful tool is education: it is essential to have early childhood education mostly in vulnerable areas. The objective of this project is to reduce their vulnerability by offering tools in order to have access to education. The education is a priority for strengthening the democracy in Europe. The access to education is extremely important especially for young people because they represent our future and should be able to shape this future. Therefore, this ability is to be achieved through education. This project will contribute to strengthening democracy in Europe by offering children and adolescents the tools to be more connected to the european values, to be able to learn and share knowledge.

What is your story?

For schools setting coursework online the internet is the answer to many coronavirus lockdown problems. But what about the children who can't get online? During the coronavirus pandemic many children do not have access to internet services or the technology at home. Among the many inequalities exposed by COVID-19, the digital divide is not only one of the most stark, but also among the most surprising. Even in developed countries, internet access is lower. This project addresses this problem and proposes solutions.To this end, it is essential to have many actors involved and an inclusive response: NGOs, civil society, authorities and decision makers.We believe that the access to education is the answer: we protect the vulnerable group, train them and empower them.

€ 43600,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

€ 43600,-

Total budget

Major expenses

5 000 EUR website and application
25000 EUR management and implementation (project manager, project assistant, communication expert, financial manager)
3 000 EUR travel expenses and accommodation
3 000 EUR dissemination and online campaign
5 000 EUR digitalization expert that will sustain the classes
2 600 EUR office expenses (office supplies, postal expenses, energy expenses)

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

We would like to better understand how to reach out the donors and how to disseminate the outputs and results.

Team

ruxandra.popescu

Idea created on May 27, 2020
Last edit on May 27, 2020

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