Learning from home in Montenegro

By Cecilia Calatrava

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EU and SBIF support leading digital innovator to help teachers and students keep up with school

Empty desks, clean chalkboards, quiet playgrounds… and working parents endeavouring to turn their kitchen tables into classrooms.

In Montenegro, like in many other countries, schools have been closed as the country tries to stem the coronavirus outbreak. It will now be down to parents to keep their children’s education going as best they can, while simultaneously juggling work and household responsibilities.

To accomplish this lofty goal, digital technologies are becoming parents’ best allies.

Amplitudo is a leading digital innovator in Montenegro with rich marketing and software development experience.

The EBRD has continuously helped the company with business advice since its very early days in 2006, with support from donors such as the European Union Enterprise Development and Innovation Facility and later on with support from the Small Business Impact Fund (Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Taipei China and the United States of America).

As part of its Covid-19 response, the company has partnered up with the Montenegrin Ministry of Education to develop a free-of-charge online platform, #Učidoma (#LearnAtHome), to help teachers and students keep up with the school schedule.

An education revolution?

In 2019, the company developed its own free-of-charge academy, an intensive six-month course that equipped its trainees to find jobs as developers, designers or marketers.  In just one year the company trained more than 200 people.

“The knowledge and experience acquired through this project was a great way of preparing for the current situation,” says Mr Nenad Novovic, owner and director of Amplitudo.

Immediately after the government introduced provisional measures to prevent the emergence and spread of the virus, it became clear for Amplitudo that school desks would be empty for a while.

“We did not wait for the call, but on the same day, we made all our resources available to the Ministry of Education, as well as to all other state institutions that would help digitisation overcome the new situation,” he explains.

Amplitudo created a platform consisting of a website, a YouTube channel and an app, accessible for all. 

This project enabled both teachers and students (and their parents!) to keep up with the schedule while staying safe at home.

Since the project was implemented a few weeks ago, more than 3,000 recorded lessons have found their way to every primary and high-school student in Montenegro.

Besides developing practical solutions and a new digital tool that has enriched its innovative ecosystem, Amplitudo has sent a message to society about the importance of corporate social responsibility, which is more crucial than ever these days. 

As Mr Novovic says: “Together and in solidarity, we responsibly and courageously stay and learn at home.”

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