Fundația EOS – Educating for an Open Society (EOS Romania – www.eos.ro) is a private, non-profit organization. Its main goal is to bridge the digital divide in Romania by helping people realize their full potential through the use of technology. The organization operates projects in two main areas: pre-university education system (training teachers in the use of ICT) and the wider community (working with IT and knowledge disadvantaged communities to bring them on board of the information society).
EOS Romania was set up in 1999 and has implemented many IT related projects. EOS is a founding member of the European digital inclusion network Telecentre-Europe (www.telecentre-europe.org and www.unite-it.eu). As part of the wider European e-inclusion strategy EOS is coordinating the National Coalition for Digital jobs, a local response to the European Commission Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs. It was also the initiator of the Digital Agenda for Romania – a PPP multi-stakeholder partnership. As such EOS has been part of the consultative committee of the Ministry of Information Society on the EU programming for 2014-2020.
In the mainstream education sector, EOS has been involved in the development of the first ever optional information technology curriculum for primary, secondary and high-schools and has been part of shaping the IT agenda in education in Romania. The organizational experience goes beyond this, with EOS having developed curriculum, resources and cloud-based technology assets for schools within two major European Social Fund programs – under the coordination of the Ministry of Education and Scientific Research. More recent activities include the development of 21st century learning design tools and teaching with Cloud technology projects.
Over the past 9 years EOS has coordinated the EU-wide Get Online Week digital inclusion campaign in Romania, working with over 70,000 digitally excluded people and helping them to practically start using the internet and digital devices. This campaign is extremely relevant due to the fact that Romanian population has the lowest digital skills of all the EU28 member countries.
As a result of increasing needs to acquire ICT skills and the need to adapt to society's demands, EOS developed a network of e-centres, in order to help all those interested facing new challenges professionally and personally. The network is intended primarily for local communities especially from rural areas or small towns. The e-centres network is a national alliance of community technological centres united by the desire to offer access to technology and educational opportunities to the members of the community in which they operate. The network is opened to any non-governmental organization, the business sector and to the State institutions that wish to contribute to the decrease of digital division and to the Romanian society development based on knowledge. An e-centre is a place with public internet access where individuals can receive support concerning to access to computers, the Internet and other digital technologies which allow them to find out information, to create, learn and communicate with other people.
EOS has participated in two of the most important Romanian basic digital literacy inclusion projects. Biblionet, funded by the Melinda and Bill Gates Foundation (through IREX),was a 26 million USD project which equipped over 2,200 libraries across Romania with computer equipment and trained over 4,000 librarians so that they can in turn work with members of the community. EOS designed and delivered the training program across Romania. Secondly, EOS provided consultancy to the World Bank funded Knowledge Economy Project implemented by the Ministry of Communications and Information Society.
The digital inclusion programs operated by EOS in Romania are also supported by technology companies like Microsoft, Autodesk, Adobe or Certiport and resources are often channeled towards programs supporting people who are not yet on board on the digital society and economy.
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