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High Speed Internet And Digital Technologies For Schools In Moldova

High-speed internet access in study classes, but also the integration of digital technologies in schools in the Republic of Moldova are essential for the continuity and efficiency of the current study process, but also for the long-term development of competitive professionals. According to the data presented in the Integrated Management System in Education, 16,575 students and 212 teachers stated that they do not have access to the internet.  

Therefore, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research, the Moldova Competitiveness Project, the TEKWILL Project, but also the “Starnet”, “Moldtelecom”, “Orange Moldova” and “Moldcell” companies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to support internet connectivity in schools and the use of digital technologies in education. 

The partnership comes in the context in which the COVID-19 pandemic reconfirmed the need for digitization to facilitate and improve the process and quality of studies. 

Lilia Pogolsa, Minister of Education, Culture and Research: “One year ago, the epidemiological situation forced us to reconceptualise the teaching process, and teachers to develop their digital skills to teach students. Together we mobilized and adopted different models to ensure quality in education. The Ministry of Education, Culture and Research is grateful to the development partners for their involvement and contribution in providing educational institutions with high-performance computing technology and access to the Internet. Moreover, this response to our needs for students to continue their studies speaks of mutual trust. The acquired skills will help us to move forward and to carry out other projects that we propose.”

Scott Hocklander, Mission Director of the USAID Moldova: “The USAID International Development Agency supports the digital transformation of education. Public-private partnerships to bring high-speed internet to schools and support the development of digital skills will reduce the connectivity barrier exacerbated by the pandemic crisis. USAID remains a strategic partner for advancing STEAM skills (science, technology, engineering, art and math) and digitizing Moldova's education through projects such as the Class of the Future and Tekwill.”

What does the Memorandum provide?

Public, private and development partners will capitalize on their own resources and ongoing initiatives through a joint and coordinated effort to support the development of Moldova’s digital education, to achieve a systemic impact, which will have sustainability and effectiveness. 

Doina Nistor, Director of the Competitiveness Project of Moldova: “Although private operators have previously supported digital education, more sporadically, through this partnership we are witnessing a convergence of efforts and a synergy to unite equipment, internet access and skills. We are glad that the Competitiveness Project facilitated the partnership between the state, donors and private operators, because each is an indispensable and interdependent component part to advance the educational system in the digital age.”

Ana Chirita, director of the TEKWILL project: “By signing this Memorandum we reconfirm the strategic objectives of the TEKWILL Project. As a platform dedicated to the progress of the IT sector, we aim to develop actions with major impact on the economic development of the country by improving the entrepreneurial and educational capacities of society members, but also the research and development potential of higher education institutions, according with the demand on the IT market.”

Internet operators support the connection of Moldovan schools to the Internet

Internet and telecommunications operators have joined the partnership to support Gigabit connectivity of Moldovan schools, providing them with secure, accessible and high-speed internet access, as well as covering internet classrooms for integrating digital technologies into classes.

Providers will connect schools to the internet for free or at reduced prices and will focus on both urban and village institutions to avoid the gap between them.

 Private partners will also be involved in individual initiatives related to providing     equipment and improving digital skills for students and teachers. 

Mariusz Gaca, Executive Director of “Orange Moldova”: “Digital education, along with digital inclusion is an important part of the “Orange” strategy, established until 2025. I am glad to share with you that from 2015 until today, “Orange Moldova” has supported learning and training initiatives for 180,000 beneficiaries. On this occasion, I want to thank all the partners with whom we have been collaborating fruitfully for so many years and congratulate the partners who have been involved in the implementation of this common goal that brings together so many talented people.”

Alexandru Machedon, Executive Director of “Starnet“: “Over the past year, in discussions with external development partners, we have come to the idea that it is necessary to have a class of the future in every educational institution in the country. I am glad that we have been supported in this project and that the best operators in the country have joined forces and supported this initiative. My dream is to implement, through technologies, more projects related to innovation and digitalization and to offer the possibility to all children in the country to have access to the internet in order to be better prepared for the professions of the future.”

Carolina Bugaian, Executive Director of "Moldcell": "I am glad that we have a common goal that we put competition aside and contribute together to a sustainable future for Moldova. We saw in the pandemic that neither teachers nor students had access to the internet in isolation, so we came up with digital packages with mobile internet and free minutes to facilitate the connection and the educational process. Through today's partnership, we aim to continue that support with mobile internet packages for at least a period of 12 months for teachers, as well as for children from needy families.”

Inna Kiriakova, Human Resources Director, Moldtelecom: "Moldtelecom is committed to further developing the process of digitization of education in the Republic of Moldova and ensuring distance communication, providing free packages to educational institutions and being responsive to requests from public authorities. Only in this way, by investing in high-performance equipment and connecting all sectors to the digital age, we will be able to enjoy the wonderful results of education in Moldova.”

According to the Memorandum, the signatories aim:

  • To support an inclusive and high-performing digital educational ecosystem by providing accessible and high-speed digital equipment, technologies and internet connectivity for schools in the Republic of Moldova, as well as high-quality digital educational content, tools and platforms;
  • To strengthen the digital skills of Moldovan teachers and students, which are crucial for the continuity of education adapted to the challenges of COVID-19, as well as for long-term investments in competitive human resources;
  • To integrate diversity, equity and inclusion, using technology as an equalizer to eliminate gender, income and living differences.

The “Memorandum of understanding to support internet connectivity in schools and the use of digital technologies in education” is a partnership between the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research, the Moldova Competitiveness Project funded by the USAID, Sweden and the United Kingdom, the TEKWILL Project funded by the USAID and Sweden, but also the “Starnet”, “Orange Moldova”, “Moldtelecom” and “Moldcell” companies”.

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