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Every child in kindergarten, Present! Through technology

Initiator: OvidiuRo Association

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Project description

“Every child in kindergarten, Present through technology” from OvidiuRo Association – is a pilot project of electronic monitoring in real time of the children presence in kindergarten, by equiping a few kindergartens from 11 counties with electronic tablets. The system has an application for monitoring the presence of children in kindergarten, especially designed for this project. The program “Every child in kindergarten” brings to kindergarten the poor children from 43 rural communities from Romania and changes the future of these communities. The cruel truth is that in Romania many parents do not afford to send their children to kindergarten, no matter how much they wish that. A pair of shoes, a coat, a school bag or a lunch – their lack is a real impediment for families living at the subsistence limit. Through this program, the children benefit of classroom supplies, clothing and footwear received from local authorities, Day Fruit, consultations, vitamins and medical tests, hygiene products. The lives of these children and their families are changing for the better. Social tickets conditioned by the daily presence in kindergarten (worth 50 ron/month for a child) are a stimulant that has proved its efficiency - motivates parents from extremely poor areas to bring their children to kindergarten and is accustoming the little ones with studying. Poor children who go to kindergarten enrol then to school and attend classes even if they no longer receive food coupons. For the program to be truly effective, it is essential to properly monitor the presence, difficult process in the Romanian educational system marked by material and staff limitations. OvidiuRo developed in 2014 a pilot project for electronically monitoring in real time the presence of children, by providing several kindergartens in the 11 counties where the program operates with electronic tablets specifically designed for pre-schoolers. The system is based on an application for monitoring the presence developed specifically for this program, which is still in the testing period. In 2015, OvidiuRo Association aims to implement the project nationally, in all communities, respectively kindergartens in which the program currently operates. For starters, OvR will purchase 90 tablets specifically designed for kindergarteners. The tablets will be distributed in the communities included in the program in the counties of Brasov, Sibiu and Dambovita and from them will benefit approximately 1,000 children in the program(2,400, who are currently in the program).

How does the online attendance list work? Each preschooler from the program it will have his/her own page with photo, name and personal details. Every morning (in communities where there is/there will be no access to the Internet network, reporting will be done at the latest weekly, period during which teachers must get to an area connected to the internet - e.g. cityhall ) the teacher checks the presence of the children, by accessing each child’s page from its group. The data is transmitted in real time to a common data base in the program, which will be carefully ed by a dedicated team. 

What did the pilot project reveal?

  • Accuracy in monitoring the presence! (through a greater reliability of the accuracy of presencereports and a database constantly updated);
  • Efficiency undisputed as time invested! (in the version with printed lists of presence, the time for  monthly lists centralization is considerably higher);
  • Easy, interesting, motivating for teachers;
  • Added value to the educational process, by the access of children to technology! (The children have access to the packages of electronic educative games, especially created for pre-school children).

Initiator: OvidiuRo Association

WEBSITE:

http://www.ovid.ro/

 

FACEBOOK:

https://www.facebook.com/AsociatiaOvidiuRo

Arguments

International researchers agree that the lack of appropriate intellectual experiences during the first five years of life has lasting negative consequences on the future development of the human brain and early childhood education has the highest success rate in reducing school dropout and crime. “Each child in kindergarten” programfacilitates access of poor children to kindergarten, and advocates for the transformation of preschool eductaion in public policy, on the assumption that an educated workforce is vital for the economic and social future of Romania. Daily presence in kindergarten of the children enrolled in the program is essential to the project’s success. In this regard, monitoring the presence (making lists submitted by teachers and their reporting) in a manner most rigorous and fair, is a key element of the program’s methodology.

 

Activities

With the purchase and distribution of tablets to kindergartens agreed, OvidiuRo Association will conduct a series of concrete actions to implement and maximize project results, namely:

  • Training sessions for teachers who will benefit from the tablets;
  • Testing the application (with the participation of teachers);
  • Identification of feasible solutions for the introduction of Internet services in all the communities concerned and their implementation (possible cooperation with Telekom Romania)
  • Conducting unannounced field visits (spot checks) in the communities, by OvR community managers (checking the presence, compared to that noted by the teacher in the application that day);
  • Monitoring the database generated by the application
  • Continuous guidance and assistance for the teachers for using the tablets and the application;
  • Continuous maintenance both for the application and for the tablets, ensured by OvR dedicated personnel;
  • The extension of the project at national level, in all the communities in which the program activates.

Calendar

  • Establishing details about the acquisition of the tablets;
  • Identifying internet access solutions; implementation;
  • Tablets acquisition;
  • Organising trainings with the teachers;
  • Sending tablets in the communities;
  • Testing: follow-up with the teachers for using the tablets and application;
  • Project implementation;
  • Assistance and maintenance of tablets;
  • Monitoring the data base;
  • Spot-checks;
  • Reports to Telekom Romania;
  • Extension of the project at national level.

Beneficiaries

  • 90 teachers from the preschool system, who already implement the program;
  • Approximately 1,000 children with ages between 3 and 5 years, eligible to benefit from the program

Impact

The program “Each child in Kindergarten” facilitates the access of poor children to kindergarten and militates for transforming the preschool education in public policy.



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