Today among 3.9 million Ukrainian students only 4.5% use digital educational technologies. Potentially, 52% of students will be able to use e-learning while accessing content and removing market barriers. 70% of students will be able to use e-learning after providing schools with computers, Wi-Fi and the Internet. The IT Ukraine Association and BRDO jointly developed and presented to the Ministry of Education and Science the concept of the development of e-learning platform, which facilitates the access of students and teachers to modern educational technologies.
The experts identified the following major barriers to the implementation of the platform:
- Lack of established state policy and organizational capabilities;
- Insufficient qualification and motivation of teachers;
- Inaccessibility of the content.
BRDO offered MES suggestions on how to improve the situation. In particular, direct budget funds exclusively on software component and teacher training.
Centralized procurement of equipment is ineffective. For comparison, the estimated cost of an e-textbook under an open license does not exceed 4 million UAH, the number of children in one parallel - up to 400 000. Estimated cost of equipment for 1 parallel in the experiment (1480 students): UAH 3.9 million. And this is subject to the purchase of cheap tablets for $ 100Oleksander Kubrakov, Executive Director of the IT Ukraine Assocition, Head of IT&Telecom Sector in BRDO
BRDO recommends to the Ministry of Education and Science to start an experiment for all classes by which they get equipped (number of classes is not limited) and provided by computers with law characteristics. The equipment for the experiment could be is a responsibility of local communities.
Officially, participate in the educational process should only those materials, which have been examined by the MES and can be used to obtain a positive conclusion. This leads to a lack of content, which, according to experts, can be overcome by eliminating the following obstacles:
- Inability to submit open resources (only holders of exclusive rights are allowed);
- Extremely high requirements for obtaining a stamp/certificate;
- Purchasing an extremely limited content by the state;
- Complex examination procedure, designed for paper textbooks.
Complicated content availability occurs due to the following issues:
- Need for a long-term content search in the network on different topics;
- Need to enter different data at a time to use different content.
This barrier could be eliminated due to the creation of a platform which key task will be a centralized content placement from different manufacturers in different areas. The introduction of a single identification mechanism for using content from different manufacturers.
Due to BRDO's suggestion, teachers training should be conducted in two ways: online and offline sessions, depending on the teachers' readiness to use computer technology.
Today a successful organizational support is very important for the implementation of the e-learning platform. First of all, it requires a team with an appropriate qualification, capable of taking independent non-strategic decisions and developing proposals for the management of the MES on strategic issues. An ability to implement their decisions through government agencies, public organizations and other stakeholders is also important. ITU propose a creation of an E-learning Implementation Office with the further providing it with all the power over issues related to digital education as it was with ProZorro agency.