The “Tekwill in Every School” and EU4Moldova: Startup City Cahul projects presented the “Digital School” concept, which is to be implemented in 25 educational institutions in the Republic of Moldova, selected following a national competition. The “Digital School” initiative comes to support the vision of digitization of education in the country. The concept involves guiding institutions in the process of transformation and digitization, during one academic year.
The institutions participating in the “Digital School” program are 25 schools from the districts of Leova, Cantemir, Taraclia, Cahul, Vulcănești, Briceni, Fălești, Florești, Călărași, Hîncești, Ialoveni, from the municipalities of Chisinau and Bălți, as well as from UTA Găgăuzia.
During their digital transformation, they will implement Microsoft Office 365 for Education, which will enable teachers to communicate, collaborate and evaluate student projects more effectively.
At the same time, the licensed Windows software will be installed on all computing equipment in the schools. The institutions will be connected to the high-speed internet network provided by local providers.
Schools will implement the OECD Learning Compass model during lessons, which involves competency-based learning. Also, the institutions will be able to offer interactivity to the study of subjects such as chemistry, physics, biology, geography, by integrating the 3D models from the Corinth bookstore.
Among the institutions that will go through this process is the Theoretical High School, D. Cantemir” from the city of Cantemir, where the first transformations are already being felt. The institution was equipped with a Digital Laboratory, where 95 students can study graphic design, algorithm programming in C/C++, web design and development, entrepreneurship.
10 computers and 10 laptops, a projector with an interactive whiteboard and a high-performance printer have already been installed in the laboratory.
“The digital development of the institution involves the transformation of students into curriculum co-designers, the formation of digital competence of students, teachers and a strong, innovative, competitive and secure ICT environment. The implementation of the strategy will form a digitally developed, innovative and inclusive educational community, a collaborative environment that encourages the innovative work of all people and ensures sustainable development in all fields”, said Elena Macaria, director of the Theoretical High School “D. Cantemir”.
The 25 schools will be helped to develop STEAM projects, and teachers will be assisted in the integration of the “Flipped Classroom” methodology. An important element is also the fact that the students of the institutions will be able to study optional subjects related to the professions of the future, offered by the “Tekwill in Every School” program.
“MEC comes to support the efforts made by teachers from the 25 beneficiary schools of the “Digital School” initiative in organizing learning activities in class with students that promote skills-based learning. We would like to express our admiration for the active involvement this weekend in which more than 150 teaching staff, managers and students participated in a unique workshop to identify and develop a model for qualitative assessment of students’ skills“, said Galina Rusu, Secretary of State in the Ministry of Education and Research.
“We are with you as partners to support these efforts and we will shoulder the digital transformation in the school. The hardest part is changing certain processes and introducing a different way of doing things. The Electronic Government Agency (AGE) has set as its objective the modernization and digitization at the level of the entire society and we will be very active and involved in any initiative that refers to this objective”, said Andrei Prisăcar, deputy director of the AGE.
“This year, 6 other schools in the Southern region will be able to open a Digital Laboratory in their premises. These innovative learning spaces are perfect for those students who do not own a digital device at home, as they provide access to equal opportunities to develop and advance digital skills. I am pleased to know that six schools from the EU4Moldova: Startup City Cahul project are also part of the Digital School initiative and thus on the way to developing and adopting a digital and pedagogical transformation strategy”, said Boris Filipov, Project Manager , Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Moldova.
For one year, the institutions will be assisted by educational experts, both local and international, with the aim of developing the digital transformation strategy, improving the infrastructure, the computing technique, as well as the communication and collaboration processes between students, teachers and parents.
“Sweden is a big supporter of STEM education because it has had a big impact on our economy and has met the strong demand for a skilled STEM workforce in the country. I am glad to see that STEM education is also supported by the “Digital School” initiative in Moldova“, said Katarina Fried, Ambassador of Sweden to the Republic of Moldova.
“As we advance the digital transformation of schools in the Republic of Moldova, we need to provide more support to teachers in adapting the Strategy for Digital Transformation in Schools to each of the 25 selected schools, from Briceni to Giurgiulesti,” said Andrea Cuzyova, deputy resident representative of UNDP Moldova.
It should be noted that, this school year, 10 beneficiary schools of the “Digital Labs” initiative will be equipped with modern computers and laptops, thanks to a donation worth 80,000 euros, made in partnership with the Government of Romania through RoAid – Romanian Agency for International Development.
The “Digital School” initiative is developed by “Tekwill in Every School” and EU4Moldova: Startup City Cahul, in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Research and the Electronic Government Agency and is supported by USAID Moldova, Sweden, the European Union and UNDP Moldova.
Also, the companies Pride Systems SRL, Tablet Academy, Moldtelecom and Starnet participate in the implementation of the “Digital School” project.