The Educational Equality Institute (TEEI) is a non-government organisation headquartered in Oslo, Norway. Their mission is to fight educational inequality. They are committed to educating disadvantaged girls from underprivileged and conflict-affected areas. TEEI’s current focus is on the Ukrainian humanitarian crisis and offering support to Ukrainian refugees.
Since the war broke out in Ukraine, more than 5 million students have been displaced and forced to flee the country. Education services have been severely impacted, and according to Ukraine’s Ministry of Education and Science, more than 900 academic institutions have been harmed or destroyed by bombing and shelling.
In response to this, TEEI started the project “Together for Ukraine” with support from partners like itslearning, Babbel and many others. The project consists of free educational programs that will help 100,000 Ukrainians shape their future through education, upskilling, and employment. It consists of:
- Free Language Courses
- Language Connect for Ukraine
- Support Program for Ukrainian Universities
- Online Ukrainian School
- Upskilling, Employment and Mentorship Programs
- Buddy Program
- Digital Academy for Veterans
Empowered by a purpose-built learning platform
TEEI uses the digital education platform itslearning to provide free online language courses to over 2,000 Ukrainian students across Europe and Ukraine. Henrik Røine, Managing Director of TEEI reports, “I reached out to itslearning because I used the platform when I was a student, and they agreed to support for ‘Together for Ukraine’.”
We’re thrilled to join forces with itslearning to empower teachers with the use of technology. Thanks to itslearning, TEEI has its own LMS platform for thousands of Ukrainians.”
LMS Manager for TEEI, Inga Baltrusaite adds, “I am very satisfied and excited about the functionality and capabilities of the itslearning LMS. I especially love the mobile app! It is so easy to navigate and provides as much information as makes sense – not overwhelming – very intuitive and well designed. I am also very impressed by its customer support. All my questions and inquiries were answered and resolved with care, patience and helpful guidance in a timely manner.”
“itslearning is especially useful for keeping track of which students are active. Our students move around a lot, and teachers need to know if they will be attending classes, or if their spots should be given to one of the 8,000 people on the waiting list.”
The classes cover major European languages – the most popular being English, German, Polish, Lithuanian, French and Spanish. Students report that they are taking the classes in case they have to move to a new country, or because they have already moved. There are limited places to study in Ukraine now, so many people use their laptops or cell phones. However, the lack of internet service and electricity makes it hard for students to attend classes.
TEEI uses both paid and volunteer instructors. Most are professional teachers and are fluent in Ukrainian. They often hear out about the program through the TEEI network and social media posts – and are eager to help people in difficult situations.
It’s really inspiring to see how thousands of Ukrainians have been able to take the TEEI language courses through itslearning. This is a true impact initiative, empowering people in need, and we are very happy to support it.”
TEEI’s Support Program for Ukrainian Universities & Schools offers critical infrastructure assistance to Ukrainian institutions that have been disrupted or displaced. One of the schools they are helping is the Kharkiv Kotlyarevsky National University of Arts, a music and drama institute renowned for producing talented generations of musicians, actors, and directors.
The conservatory has been enormously affected by the ongoing war – the university building and many musical instruments have been irreparably damaged. TEEI provides the school with crucial support to reconstruct the building, save the instruments, and digitise education in the upcoming academic year.
A cellist from Kharkiv plays outside the damaged conservatory. (Credit to Gwara Media).
Another of the schools they support is Kharkiv School of Architecture, whose students and faculty were forced to flee from their city. TEEI supplies them with lecturers, hardware, software and equipment, as well as access to itslearning.
In addition, TEEI will be offering free online university level education to Ukrainians starting university studies or continuing existing university studies. They will be able to take exams at partner universities for full accreditation. These programs will be hosted on itslearning and will be accessible to every Ukrainian with access to the internet.
(itslearning is available in Ukrainian for all platform users.)
For more information about TEEI, please visit: https://theeducationalequalityinstitute.org/
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