Founder of Sofatutor: Ukrainian online educational offer is a good example

The German education system could take inspiration from the digitization of Ukrainian educational provision, says Stephan Bayer, founder of Sofatutor. During the pandemic, Ukraine has developed a large number of “great digital offers” that allow distance learning. This offer is now also available in wartime. It is “bitter” to assert that in Germany “many families are still” in a comparable situation would be left to their own devices. Sofatutor is an online tutoring provider.

As Bayer explained to heise online, private training providers have indeed made some of their offers freely accessible during the pandemic, but the interweaving of “political, administrative and digital offers” is “not yet as developed in Germany as it is now in Ukraine”.

Among other things, Ukraine has created video tutorials and tests as well as materials for independent work in 18 core subjects with the country’s own online school for students in grades five to eleven. People who have hosted Ukrainian refugees in Germany often tell heise online that families with children quickly request Internet access so that the children can continue their lessons online.

Bayer considers it important that Ukrainian children and young people continue to be connected to the Ukrainian education system and can also obtain their qualifications in Germany. The stay of most Ukrainian families is probably only temporary, although the duration of this situation is currently not foreseeable. It is therefore important to “find common ground between the German and Ukrainian curriculum”.

Stephan Bayer, founder of Sofatutor

(Image: Sofatutor/Gina Walkowiak)

Participants of the Barcamp “Ukrainian Refugees in Education” recently made similar statements. It would be desirable for Ukrainian schoolchildren to be able to live “as well as”: on the one hand, integration into existing classes, on the other hand, the continuation of the teaching of the mother tongue and the obtaining of Ukrainian diplomas graduation.

For its part, Sofatutor does not provide specialized offers for Ukrainian school children, but is working on a collection of links to learning offers that now make their content available for free so that children can continue to learn despite the war. In addition, teachers, for example, have received free access to Sofatutor, where they can also share learning content with school children for free.

How to implement digitization in our schools? How is the coronavirus pandemic affecting what’s going on? What was achieved during the 2020/2021 school year? This is what our series of articles aims to illuminate.

The company is currently unable to use its offerings to determine whether Ukrainian children are now using the one-to-one online German lessons, as only full access is possible, with subscribers having access to all classes and all the subjects. Greater demand for German material, for example, would not be so easy to identify. However, Bayer also recommends the use of special language learning apps for language acquisition.

It is clear to Bayer that every child has the right to an education. That’s why Sofatutor has made it its mission to do everything possible to allow children to receive an education even in difficult times. In addition, efforts are being made to collect in-kind and cash donations and to contact schools to determine additional needs. We notice “an immense solidarity” in contact with German education experts.


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