Nationwide Education Operator (Ogólnopolski Operator Oświaty) is one of the biggest education foundations in Poland. It was founded by Andrzej Grzybowski, MD, PhD, MBA, professor of Ophthalmology, in 2001. It was headed in years 2001-2018 by prof. Andrzxej Grzybowski, and in years 2018-2021 by Mateusz Krajewski, who was also elected for next cadency 2021-2024.
Since 2019, the foundation has been among the 10 biggest NGOs in Poland in terms of the budget. In numbers, the Nationwide Education Operator has 1,200 employees who provide care and education to over 8,200 children in 67 centres. The foundation runs schools and kindergartens in seven provinces in Poland.
The Foundation runs a number of projects which range from strictly educational (broadening the knowledge of pupils and teachers) to training and advisory projects. The Foundation also focuses on investment in development and modernisation of new facilities for primary schools and kindergartens.
The Nationwide Education Operator runs numerous international projects for pupils and teachers. Our annual budget amounts to PLN 65m, which places us in the top ten NGOs in Poland. Our successes can be measured. For instance, in Leonardo school in Gdańsk we increased the number of pupils by over 450% in 5 years, concurrently investing in the school over PLN 3m.
Since 2004, the Foundation has finalised over 100 projects in education, training, vocational activation and legal advisory, worth over PLN 10m in total. To date, we have completed over 400 educational investment projects across Poland. Our solutions allow us to create up to 1,000 new places in schools and kindergartens every year. Investment projects (i.e. construction, adaptation and equipping of the facilities) are financed with public funds, own funds and/or bank loans.
We apply out-of-the-box solutions in our facilities. We were the first in Poland to create chess sports classes. The Foundation applies the project method in its schools – pupils spend 70% of their school time on practical exercises. The schools managed by the Foundation operate in line with the rules for public institutions. Kindergartens have a wide offer of activities developing the interests of the youngest children. A highly-skilled personnel uses innovative pedagogical methods, such as: Froebel's gifts, Dalton's pedagogy and Freinet's pedagogy. Classrooms in our facilities are bright, full of colours and well equipped with interactive boards, computers, science kits and teaching aids well-fitted to the needs and age of children.
We manage the Foundation in an innovative manner. On average, the Foundation raises PLN 10m of external funds a year. This is impressive when compared to other Polish NGOs related to education. In total the Nationwide Education Operator has raised over PLN 60m for educational purposes from external sources of financing. Since last year we have been closely cooperating with the Polish Ministry of National Education (MEN). The Nationwide Education Operator is running two unique projects commissioned by the MEN.
The first project is the so-called practice schools (szkoły ćwiczeń). At the moment, there are 14 such schools nationwide. The Foundation is the first Polish operator to run as many as four such projects.
The first practice school was opened by the Foundation in Poznań-based "Cogito" school. At present, the school trains 58 teachers who benefit from workshops, demonstration lessons, individual support and thematic networks. The school in Poznań cooperates with the Adam Mickiewicz University, In-Service Teacher Training Centre and Public Psychological and Pedagogical Centre no. 2. We have also invited pedagogy students to participate in the classes.
Our second practice school was opened in Nakonowo. The programme enables participants to share their knowledge and experience as teachers from 7 partner primary schools have taken part in the workshops. In addition to workshops or demonstration lessons, there are activities to help teachers discover their strengths and build motivation. The programme also covers students from the State Higher Vocational School in Włocławek.
Local Centres of Knowledge and Education (LOWE) is a project of innovative initiatives for local communities and a centre of non-formal education, aimed at improving the skills of adults. The purpose of the LOWE is to leverage the school potential and act for education of adults and development of skills required at the labour market, especially in the areas with difficult economic and social situation.
In an open competition for grants, the Foundation selected 20 entities running schools to launch the Local Centres of Knowledge and Education (LOWE). Every LOWE centre received a grant of max. PLN 250k for educational activity addressed to adults. The main task of the LOWE centres is to provide local communities with an opportunity to acquire new skills sought at the labour market. However, the LOWE also provides schools with an opportunity to become centres integrating the local population.
Every year, the Foundation uses the Net Promoter Score to measure the satisfaction of the parents of pupils attending the Foundation schools and their willingness to recommend the schools to other parents. Every year, our score is higher than that of the biggest world corporations. In 2020, over 62% of the parents would definitely recommend our schools to others. Other figures also confirm our dynamic development.
In 2020, the Foundation was one of the first in Poland to run qualitative research on remote learning. Thanks to such a quick response, we managed to implement optimal procedures in all our facilities and improve the quality of remote education.
The Nationwide Education Operator is an entity which has been successfully achieving goals in the area of broadly-understood education in Poland and abroad. We are ready to take on challenges at the European and global level. Together with you, we would like to improve access to high-quality education all around the world. We are open to new challenges brought by the changing world. We wish to gain new experiences and share our experience in education and project delivery. We are especially interested in projects related to: