A network of volunteers help pupils in their learning process, and facilitate the work of teachers, by providing direct and online learning support.
A NETWORK OF VOLUNTEERS
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, schools in Lithuania closed down at the end of 2020, and online learning was implemented. Pupils aged 11 to 15 from socially,economically, and culturally disadvantaged homes, as well as those with particular learning needs, returned to school by the end of January 2021. The Ministry of Education, Science, and Sports, in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Security and Labor and three non- governmental organisations, developed a volunteer network to assist students in ensuring suitable learning circumstances and overcoming learning obstacles.
HELPING PUPILS LEARN
The National Network of Education NGOs, Lithuanian Council of Youth Organisations and Lithuanian Scouts pooled volunteers together to help pupils, both directly and online, participate in lessons on different learning platforms and prepare their class and home assignments, as well as providing emotional support and general assistance both for pupils and their teachers. In order to make sure that the volunteers didn’t add to the burden on schools in any way, and to dispel any fears due to health concerns, training for volunteers and consultations for school teachers were organised.
IMPROVED SKILLS AND ACHIEVEMENTS
In total, almost 80 volunteers over 16 years of age worked in schools. It is estimated that between March
and June 2021 they volunteered around 3,000 hours. The initiative helped to improve pupils’ IT skills and individual achievements, overcome the loss of interpersonal connection and direct communication and ensured a smooth learning process. The volunteers’ presence facilitated the work of teachers who were able to devote their attention to the learning process and planning, while the pupils felt more self-confident as they knew someone was there to help them learn.