“There is no huge support from the governments” – about Optima School with Yuriy Balkin

“There is no huge support from the governments” – about Optima School with Yuriy Balkin

"The German Foundations helped us to support the Ukrainian students in the hard times."
34 Minuten


vor 4 Monaten
(The English interview starts at 3:10) According to current
statistics, each German high school has enrolled between 10 and 30
Ukrainian students. Many principals have done this without
additional staff and have often exceeded the maximum class sizes
allowed by law. This raises the question of how well or poorly
Ukrainian students are able to follow the lessons when they speak
little German and are forced by German school law to be present in
the German school. At the beginning of the war and the wave of
refugees, Optima School tried to offer supplementary lessons for
Ukrainian students. With live lessons and on-demand learning
content in Ukrainian. In the morning, Ukrainian children could have
learned at the German school and in the afternoon, they could have
consolidated content in their own language or learned
Ukraine-specific topics such as history, geography and social
studies. Unfortunately, there was no longer much talk about the
Optima School in Germany, which Stephan took as the occasion to
talk to Yuriy Balkin. Yuriy is Chief Strategy Officer of Optima
Education Group which operates Optima School, the first and the
largest Ukrainian K-12 distance learning school. – No state funding
in Germany – As Yuriy explains in this episode of “School must go
on” Optima has been running reliably for years and is easily
scalable. Optima School is in the same situation as many EdTechs in
the education sector: There is no state funding, because
stakeholders such as the ministry of education do not want to
support "for-profit" companies, even in times of acute crisis. This
is also how the documentation of the rejection of cooperation
between KMK and Optima can be read: No interest in cooperating with
companies with the excuse that it is not that easy to procure.
Instead, the SAP Foundation and the Bosch Foundation stepped in and
helped more than 100,000 Ukrainian students gain access to the
Optima platform at short notice. Yuri Balkin also talks about the
background and concept of Optima School and how they are currently
trying to continue to provide education to as many Ukrainian
children as possible, regardless of location, economic
circumstances, and government support.

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