KlasseContact: off sick… but still in the classroom
The KlasseContact project was initiated by KPN Mooiste Contact Fonds, EDventure and Ziezon, the Dutch network for sickness and education. Since 2008, this project has enabled children with a chronic or severe illness who cannot attend school for a prolonged period to take lessons in their own classroom with their own teacher.
The implementation of KlasseContact is handled by KPN, EDventure and Ziezon.
Why is KlasseContact so important?
KlasseContact helps prevent chronically ill schoolchildren from becoming socially isolated. Isolation can occur when pupils are unable to attend school for a prolonged period of time, and therefore miss out on contact with their classmates. KlasseContact allows them to keep up with lessons as much as possible, making it easier to resume a normal school life when they are better. Research jointly conducted by KPN Mooiste Contact Fonds/EDventure and Erasmus University Rotterdam in 2011 showed that the use of KlasseContact has a positive effect on social contacts experienced by chronically ill children and on future school performance.
How does KlasseContact work?
Whether at home or in hospital, the sick child can actively take part in lessons using a webcam and a KlasseContact laptop. The pupil uses a mouse to activate the camera in the classroom and read from the blackboard or zoom in on classmates.
A mobile ‘classmate’ is placed in the classroom. This is a video/audio unit that uses internet to make an audio-visual connection between the school and the pupil, whether at home or in hospital. As a result, the chronically ill child is effectively in the classroom. At the start of each new lesson, the pupil’s ‘buddies’ take the classmate to the next classroom.
How many chronically ill children has KlasseContact helped?
Since 2008, as many as 2,400 chronically and severely ill school children have been given a KlasseContact connection (statistics from July 2017). On average, 550 children a year are hooked up to a KlasseContact connection in the Netherlands.
What does KlasseContact wish to achieve?
The parties cooperating in KlasseContact would like to scale-up the project in the near future to eventually reach the entire group of chronically ill pupils who can be given access to a KlasseContact connection.