“Enhancing Digital Skills Through Peer Counseling Support to Prevent School Dropout Among Marginalized Students” (IM-PRO-MENT)
- Strategic Partnerships in Vocational Education – Erasmus+
- Duration: 01/03/2023 – 01/04/2024
Academic achievement of marginalized and low-skilled students (such as those of Roma origin) is still a major issue in Bulgaria.
The onset of the pandemic and the subsequent shift to remote and digital learning have created unique pressures that have adversely affected students and their families.
Roman students and their parents are often left to fend for themselves.
During periods of remote learning, Roman students face a high risk of learning loss that could potentially lead to dropping out of school, despite their need for extra support. In the context of the pandemic, parents are concerned that they cannot find temporary solutions for their children’s issues, which will inevitably lead to learning loss. As we know, peers can be a strong motivating force for other students.
Advanced students’ behaviors are associated with proven achievements. Less experienced and academically low-performing students, especially in remote learning, struggle with various academic tasks such as homework preparation, presentation skills, and writing due to the lack of online and physical support from teachers.
The project aims to achieve the following objectives:
- Establish peer learning mentorship programs to prevent potential school dropout, including remote learning, due to lockdowns/health pandemics, between advanced students and low-skilled Roma students.
- Develop a peer counseling model incorporating digital tools for smart objectives like research, development, and project creation.
- Establish a code of conduct for advanced students to act as peer mentors.
The idea here is to enable students from marginalized groups to move away from routine tasks that may lead to potential school dropout by fostering independent learning with the support of peer mentors (advanced peers) who focus on the course content. Our solution involves creating peer learning guidance programs between advanced students and low-skilled Roma students.
By utilizing digital tools for peer support, we aim to prevent potential school dropout. Our proposed solution will include:
- Facilitating discussions on preparatory steps for specific educational topics
- Providing continuous support during remote learning using digital tools that facilitate peer support and enhance digital and presentation skills
- Answering questions, providing homework assistance, and collaborating on joint school projects
- Developing a model for peer learning mentorship
- Establishing a code of conduct for advanced students to act as peer mentors
- Developing info cards containing digital literacy tips