Bucharest, 11 August 2020 – The digital education program “School in a suitcase” expands to another 35 schools in rural Romania in the school year 2020/2021, thus reaching a total number of 50 educational units. The new schools were selected following a public call for applications launched by the World Vision Romania Foundation and the Vodafone Romania Foundation, which have been carrying out this project together since 2018. The budget allocated to the new school year is EUR 500,000.
The 35 schools in which the project will expand starting in the fall are:
- Jacques M. Elias Sascut Technological High School, Bacău
- Tărlungeni Secondary School, Brașov
- Secondary School no. 1 in Gălbinași, Călărași
- Golaiești Secondary School, Iași
- Crizbav Secondary School, Brașov
- “Nicolae Iorga” Secondary School in Buhalnița, Iași
- Secondary School no. 1 in Ardeoani, Bacău
- “Mihai Eminescu” Secondary School in Zapodeni, Vaslui
- Secondary School no. 1 in Bălteni, Bacău
- Secondary School no. 1 in Domnița, Iași
- Gropnița Vocational School, Iași
- “Prof. Ioan Dănilă” Secondary School in Ghermănești, Vaslui
- “Ștefan Cel Mare” Secondary School in Dancu, Iași
- Bonțida Secondary School, Cluj
- Glodenii-Gândului Secondary School, Iași
- Poieni Secondary School, Cluj
- School No. 1 in Poienarii De Muscel, Argeș
- Mănești Secondary School, Dâmbovița
- Dăești Secondary School, Vâlcea
- Secondary School no. 1 in Sănduleni, Bacău
- Mironeasa Secondary School, Iași
- Peciu Nou Commune Theoretical High School, Timiș
- “Gheorghe Șincai” Secondary School in Raciu, Mureș
- Augustin Secondary School, Brașov
- “Gheorghe Popovici” Secondary School in Apateu, Arad
- “Nicodim Ganea” Secondary School in Bistra, Alba
- Secondary School No. 1, Ibănești Village, Vaslui
- “Gheorghe Șincai” Secondary School in Șinca Veche, Brașov
- “Victor Ion Popa” Secondary School in Ivești, Galați
- “Vasile Mitru” Secondary School, Neamț
- Mologești Secondary School, Vâlcea
- “Valea Stanciului” Vocational School, Dolj
- Comandor Alexandru Cătuneanu Secondary School
- Vocational School, Fântânele, Iași
- “Țara Bârsei” Agriculture and Food Industry College, Prejmer, Brașov
Within the “School in a Suitcase” program, we launched at the beginning of June 2020 a public call for applications for rural schools whose teachers can teach at least two digital lessons per week. We received a total of 203 applications, 47 of which were selected for the final judging stage, which included interviews in which the selected schools provided additional information on their activity and potential involvement in the program.
Starting this fall, the 35 selected schools will be equipped with a suitcase with technology: laptop dedicated to the teacher and tablets for students, along with internet access, a digital learning platform and the continuous professional training of teachers.
In the current context, generated by the new coronavirus, all schools enrolled in the “School in a Suitcase” program will be able to open their doors for the new school year in September, regardless of the regime chosen by the local authorities at that time, according to the three scenarios announced, respectively: green – all students attend school, yellow – some students will study in the classrooms, and the rest will study online or red – all teaching activities will be in the online environment only.
The “School in a Suitcase” program is currently operational in 22 educational units from 11 counties, with over 11,000 beneficiaries, of whom 6,000 are direct beneficiaries (teachers and students).
The project has three main components. The first is to equip schools with mobile hardware infrastructure, offered free of charge where it is either absent or deficient. The equipment is developed based on the “Instant Classroom” concept and consists of a kit, in the form of a suitcase, which contains a laptop for the teacher and 30 tablets for the students. In addition, where needed, schools will benefit from free internet from Vodafone Romania.
The second component is to allow teachers to develop digital skills, to be directly applied in their classrooms. #SchoolInASuitcase thus responds to a systemic problem of secondary education in Romania, namely the lack of skills in terms of using technology for educational purposes.
The third component is represented by the platform www.scoaladinvaliza.ro and the educational resources available through it, i.e. digital lessons created by teachers, accessible to students both in class and at home. The e-learning platform has been developed according to the requirements of teachers and will continue to be permanently improved, depending on the needs of users.
School in a Suitcase means a 360-degrees approach to digital education. The project supports teachers and students in rural areas to develop their digital skills through free access to the e-learning platform www.scoaladinvaliza.ro, a technology kit provided with tablets and a laptop with Internet access, but also through continuous professional training of teaching staff. We help teachers to be more confident in their own strengths, to create and support interactive digital lessons, and thus, together with them, we support students to be prepared for a labor market increasingly dominated by technology. In this way, teachers transform the school, and students learn with more pleasure and develop themselves to cope in the future world. School in a Suitcase means accessible and quality digital education.
World Vision Romania is a part of the World Vision International partnership and is active in almost 100 countries worldwide. World Vision Romania is a foundation that carries out emergency humanitarian intervention, development and advocacy programs, placing the welfare of the child at the center of its activity. The foundation focuses on working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. The foundation works with the most vulnerable people in the world, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. In its almost 30 years of activity in Romania, the foundation has helped over 500,000 children and adults from 400 communities in 8 counties. More details about the foundation: www.worldvision.ro, www.facebook.com/WorldVisionRomania, blog.worldvision.ro/.
Vodafone Romania Foundation is a Romanian non-governmental organization, with charitable status, distinct and independent of the company’s commercial operations, founded in 1998. Over more than 20 years of activity, the Vodafone Romania Foundation has funded 1,168 programs run by 765 NGOs throughout the country, in the fields of healthcare, education and social services. These projects had more than 3 million beneficiaries – children, young and elderly people, physically, socially, or economically disadvantaged people. So far, the Vodafone Romania Foundation has invested 31 million euros in projects run by non-profit partner organizations. More details about the Foundation’s programs are available at www.fundatia-vodafone.ro, http://jurnaldebine.fundatiavodafone.ro/ and www.facebook.com/fundatiavodafone.