The innovation project that I have chosen from the open book of innovational education is a private initiative created by a Flemish journalist and presenter named Kathy Lindekens. The project is called Bednet, it started in 2002 and allows children with chronic or long-term illnesses to take distance classes. This initiative arises when Lindekens works with cancer patients and wants all children to have the right to study, go to school and continue to belong to the group despite the disease (Licht, AH, Tasiopoulou, E., Wastiau, P ., 2017). It is not a school as such, but a service that ensures that the child is virtually in the classroom and can participate in class as normally as possible (European venture philanthropy association, 2017).
To help these children and ensure that they complete their education in the best possible way, a real-time distance education system was created. This means taking lessons through the appropriate technology and thus being able to keep in touch with the rest of the classmates, with teachers and with the school in general, and also reduce the learning gap caused by the disease and maintain contact with them. children with the outside and thus not feel isolated .. It is available for children from 5 years to 18 years. In addition, the team and advice (TICS for example) are free for both the student and the school as it is subsidized by the State of Flanders and Brussels (Licht, AH, Tasiopoulou, E., Wastiau, P., 2017).
For many years, the right to education is a right that all children have to have. Since its inception, Bednet has helped 1533 sick children in Flanders and 9 out of 10 join their friends more and manage to pass the course (Licht, AH, Tasiopoulou, E., Wastiau, P., 2017). Each child has a mentor specialized in this project as he also trains teachers in this optimal pedagogy, as well as in the use of videoconferencing (LeHo project, sf).
Bednet seems somewhat similar to a Slovak project that involves the integration and adaptation of children from the marginalized Roma community on a site in the country. I find them similar since both seek the integration of children and do not feel isolated both socially and educationally. Licht, AH, Tasiopoulou, E., Wastiau, P. (2017)
This project involves the Roma receiving transportation and escort to take children from the most remote and marginal neighborhoods to school This has facilitated the assistance of Children to an education and improvement in communication with Slovak language. Activities are also carried out with parents and children to end the prejudices and segregation of Roma and non-Roma. (Licht, AH, Tasiopoulou, E., Wastiau, P., 2017)
This project has made progress since daycare centers share that these children are more confident and more independent; and it is also an aid to improve the situation at the state level of all marginalized Roma children since the prejudices of this community are broken. (Licht, AH, Tasiopoulou, E., Wastiau, P., 2017)
I opted for this project as it seems to me one of the most beautiful and humane initiatives. I think that thanks to this project, these children isolate themselves from their illness and leave it aside for the duration of the class, something that is very important due to the bad time they are living. In addition, they do not stagnate or socially, since they are in continuous contact with their classmates, or educationally, as they can continue learning. Another advantage is that it is completely free for both the patient and the school, a point in favor since many families could not afford it. From my point of view, it is a project that should exist in all countries of the world.
Do you think that all children with these types of illness want to continue “going” to school and learning? As future teachers, would you like to work on these types of projects? Tell me what you think.
- European venture philanthropy association (2017). Bednet – King Baudouin Foundation. Retrieved from https://stories.evpa.eu.com/bednet-king-baudouin-foundation/
- Licht, AH, Tasiopoulou, E., Wastiau, P. (2017). Open Book of Educational Innovation. Belgium: European Schoolnet.
- LeHo project (no date). Bednet. Retrieved from http://www.lehoproject.eu/it/bednet