The transition to online education as a result of the pandemic has caused a number of challenges for schools, teachers, students and their parents. In order to help deal with the crisis and implement online education, the Foundation Open Society -Macedonia offered its assistance primarily to socially disadvantaged families as well as primary schools in rural areas where the language of instruction is that of the less numerous ethnic communities that form part of the support interventions of FOSM in education.
It is obvious that children from marginalized communities have faced the biggest problem in attending classes, and regularity is practically impossible because they have neither the technical nor the software support to be present online with their classmates. The teaching in the schools where students study in the languages of the less numerous ethnic communities is difficult even in normal conditions, and with the beginning of the epidemic, the challenges have increased and have become very visible.
In order to enable regular class attendance, the Foundation Open Society – Macedonia in the past period provided a donation of tablets with internet cards for 350 children from socially disadvantaged families. At the same time, for 10 schools in which the teaching process is attended by about 5,000 students, we provided technical equipment necessary for the realization of online teaching such as laptops, desktops, printers, smartboards, LCD projectors, etc. The total donation provided by the Foundation for this purpose is $ 110,000.
The Foundation believes that investing in quality inclusive education is a prerequisite for building an open democratic society and sees education as a key promoter of social cohesion, and schools as natural environments in which ethnic, cultural and linguistic differences are understood, promoted and valued. These are places where all students should feel welcome and be given the opportunity to reach their full potential for participation, learning and advancement. Therefore, support for education is and will remain one of the most important priorities of the Foundation.
—————————————————15 October 2020