Supporting the education system to cope with COVID-19 in Montenegro
With the support of UN office in Montenegro, the Ministry of Education has prepared an electronic platform for enrolment in kindergartens, primary and secondary schools. This was done with a record-breaking efficiency. As stated by the Minister of Education Damir Šehović and Resident Coordinator of the UN System in Montenegro, Fiona McCluney, enrolment procedure will be much easier with this platform and it will be in line with the requirements of epidemiological situation.
“I am happy that today we can present electronic enrolment service. This is something we have been talking about for several years, and that we now managed to set it up in just a couple of weeks. We have prepared the e-platform for enrolment in kindergartens, primary and secondary schools in the same way as we prepared the #UciDoma programme – with record-breaking speed”, says the Minister.
Šehović underlines his opinion that the crisis urged us to do our best and encouraged us to be even bolder in pursuing digitalization.
He emphasizes that electronic enrolment will be very simple and available to everyone and that it is designed to reduce data input by the users to the largest possible extent.
“A significant advantage of the electronic enrolment is that everything is done from the comfort of your home and that services are available 24 hours a day. The system is designed in such a way that it makes the electronic procedure shorter, because a large amount of data are withdrawn from the existing database and parents do not have to spend time inserting them. To sum up: we tried to simplify everything that could be simplified” says Šehović.
Šehović says that every activity of the Ministry in the field of digitalization is done on two tracks: services for children and parents helping them to save precious time; and development of digital classroom, which implies new learning contents.
“In other words, when we say “digitalization”, it does not mean leaving our children in front of the screens for hours. It means using technology to save their time so that they can be with their parents more. It also means better presentation of the contents to children”, concludes Šehović.
Resident coordinator of the UN system in Montenegro Fiona McCluney stated:
"Montenegrin education system clearly showed in the last two months how technology can be used to provide education opportunities for all"
“In cooperation with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Public Administration, and with funding from the European Union, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) created a new electronic service to allow parents to enrol children in a safe and timely manner in primary school and kindergarten for the coming school year. This is a long-lasting digital solution, which will make lives easier for both parents and kids, as well as for school administrations. It takes less time, less paper and it can be done from the comfort of your home,” says McCluney, adding that the process of e-enrolment is automatized and that it relies on the National system for exchange of data among state registers established in a joint activity of UNDP and the Ministry of Public Administration, with EU financial support.
McCluney emphasized the importance of long-term support that the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) has been providing the education sector with, underlining in particular, the current support to the improvement of the quality of distance learning and online enrolment in all education levels.
She reminds that the COVID-19 pandemic has led to the situation that 1.5 billion of children and youth are not in schools and adds that the UN Secretary-General António Guterres called on governments and donors to prioritize education for all children, in line with the Sustainable Development Goal 4 – Education for All.
Communication or campaign for all electronic enrolments will be conducted under the slogan Upisi.me (enrol.me) No citizen should have any concerns about having proper conditions or knowledge to meet the obligations related to the enrolment, because school services and the Ministry will be continuously available to provide support.
Produced by UN Montenegro. This article was originally published on the UN Montenegro website on 15 May 2020. To learn more about the work being done and to view the photo gallery, visit: https://montenegro.un.org/.