KYOTO -- A group of university professors have launched a project to upload educational math videos in Ukrainian to support children who have been deprived of learning opportunities amid the Russian invasion.
The Association for the Education of International Children, consisting of eight researchers at Kyoto University of Education, Ritsumeikan University, Osaka University, and other institutions, has released nearly 50 free videos, with a focus on elementary school-level arithmetic. The group aims to deliver a total of 580 videos, including high school-level mathematics over the coming year.
Since 2016, the association has created around three-minute videos that explain the main points of each study unit for children who cannot go to school or attend classes at a hospital. The group eventually widened its target audience to foreign children living in Japan, and has been translating the videos into five languages, including Chinese, Vietnamese and Portuguese.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has had grave consequences on children. According to UNICEF, about 4.3 million children, or about 60% of the estimated 7.5 million children in Ukraine, fled the country in the month following the start of the war. Association members who learned that many kids lost opportunities to study at school or were falling behind in their learning after escaping Ukraine planned the math video project.
The existing collection of 580 Japanese videos will be translated into Ukrainian. The group has asked Ukrainian students studying at Japanese universities to help with translations. Private companies and Ukrainians in Ukraine who know Japanese have also joined the project.
Ukrainian translations have been completed for videos including those on counting, division and how to draw circles.
The association has also set up a website that contains a list of videos by study unit, and visitors can select the appropriate level and watch them for free. It also took care to group the Japanese, English and Ukrainian versions together to make them easy to compare.
Yasufumi Kuroda, a professor at the Kyoto University of Education, commented, "I planned the project hoping that I can be some help to Ukrainian children who have evacuated to places around the world. As it's expected that there will be more children fleeing to Japan, I want them to compare the videos in their native language and in Japanese and make use of them to learn the language."
The videos can be watched at the website https://www.math-suport-ukraine.jp/
The association is seeking donations to speed up translation work. For donation inquiries, please contact Yasufumi Kuroda via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Japanese original by Norikazu Chiba, Kyoto Bureau)