Basic IT training courses and educational grants in Kosovo: The 21st century is often referred to as the digital age. Former ways of communicating ideas and communicating with each other are becoming obsolete as cyber culture takes over. Moreover, digitalisation of society and the various public and private services is becoming a normal part of our day-to-day life. While creating better access to information for some, it is also cutting off people who are already struggling to integrate and assimilate.
Knowing how to search on the internet, write an email, or apply for a job or education is easy for many people across European countries where access to education, electricity and internet is something that most people take for granted. Also in Kosovo, where IT and online procedures is the norm to the majority, and yet far from covering all. Reflecting these hidden gaps and needs, and in line with the organisational principles in the DRC Strategy 2025, DRC in Kosovo organised basic IT and digital literacy training courses for for members of the Roma Community in Roma Mahalla/Mahala.
A total of 36 participants from the Roma community took part in the course, with 29 men and 7 women from 16 to 39 years old. The course lasted for three months, offering sessions three times a week for two academic hours. At the end of the courses, participants had to take an exam to assess their skills on use of different basic digital tools and templates including on how to safely navigate the internet. Those who passed the exam successfully, were entitled to an educational grant and received each 150 Euro.
‘As simple and basic as it may seem, it has been reported to us by the beneficiaries that their lives have changed for better. Women can calculate their expenses, and some are even able to sign various documents, requests, and so on instead of using fingerprints as is often the case,’ tells Kristen Stec, Country Director of DRC in Kosovo.
DRC Kosovo has furthermore donated laptops and ineractive boards for the Directorate of Education in Mitrovicë/a Municipality. These have been set up in the schools that have students from the Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities. The interactive boards will help theachers to present faster and more effectively, instead of using the traditional old methods-writing on the blackboard with chalk.
The IT and digital literacy activities took place between June and December 2022 with financial support from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), represented by the Swedish Embassy in Pristina.
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