Saturday, October 16, 2021

IIEP through numbers – what have we done so far?

The beginnings…

At the beginning of the USAID’s Interethnic Integration in Eduation Project we signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Education and Science (MoES), while memoranda of partnership were signed with the Bureau for Development of Education (BDE), Vocational Educational Training Centre (VETC) and the State Education Inspectorate (SEI). Furthermore, we set the cooperation principles with the municipalities and schools that enabled us to form the framework through which we are mutually going to contribute by enhancing interethnic integration in education.

The project primarily was implemented in four pilot municipalities, Bitola, Butel, Strumica and Tetovo. IIEP focused on capacity building of the members of school managements and teachers through different trainings in close cooperation and partnership with educational institutions. Advisors from BDE and VETC and state educational inspectors on national and regional level took active participation in the activities for strengthening the capacities directed towards achieving sustainable changes in the educational system.

Schools established partnerships for organizing joint activities and creating conditions for students to develop new ideas andfoto1 initiatives for strengthening interethnic cooperation.

We started the trainings with members of the professional service staff from every pilot school. These trainings produced lots of ideas on how to attract parents to get involved in the planning and implementation of interethnic activities in schools. The members of professional service staff shared the acquired knowledge with their colleagues in the schools, with the aim of actively including the parents in ameliorating the activities.

foto2Students and teachers from several schools from different parts of the country received a training, qualifications and guidelines for implementing creative workshops. These workshops utilize arts and culture, through different methods, for improving interethnic integration, and the outcomes of the workshops are presented through numerous public presentations in front of students’ peers, parents and representatives of the community.
Particular attention and support was given to the establishment of closer cooperation between media and schools. A group of prominent editors and journalists developed a workshop format that enables students and teachers to learn how to produce multimedia contents in their schools, thus to make visible the successful stories and good practices.

From the very beginning the Project has significantly invested in improving the school facilities and conditions, and by that providing schools with additional incentives for successful interethnic integration. In the year of 2012, ten schools were officially opened and made functional, while in 11other schools, which were selected through an open call for applications, the renovation process was initiated.

In 2013….

Infografic IIEP-МАК

2013 was marked by a lot of successful activities proving that the effort which was put gaveexpected results. From its beginning, schools and teachers warmly welcomed this initiative and assessed it as essential because this is the first time in Macedonia that a project is systematically working on capacity building of all of the teachers and school management teams for interethnic integration in education. Apart from the renovation processes and the capacity building of school staff and parents, this year, the focus was put on inclusion of students in the project by implementing different joint school activities.

In the course of this year, IIEP expanded its activities and worked with 38 municipalities and 190 secondary and primary schools. Directors, teachers, students, school boards and parents were all encompassed in the activities. School Integration Teams were formed in schools from the eight new regions; these teams were provided with training, qualifications and guidelines for the concept of interethnic integration, which were successfully promoted and implemented in the partner activities implemented by each one of these schools.

Schools with different languages of instruction prepared action plans for joint activities and signed partnerships with other schools. During 2013, 52 partnerships were established among 128 schools that will jointly perform their activities. These joint activities enable students and teachers from different ethnic backgrounds and from different schools to get to know each other, communicate, cooperate and function as a group having the same interests and opinions.

Forum teatar TetovoThe creative workshops and forum theaters are very valuable since they offer young people the possibility to express their creativity, to freely state their opinions and attitudes, as well as to listen to the opinions of the rest of their classmates. Several public events were conducted, within which debates were raised and the creative products of students were promoted.
In addition to the large number of activities with young people and teachers in schools, we put a particular accent on the teaching staff of the State Teacher Training Faculties. The aim of this activity is to introduce new syllabi prepared by future teachers for work in an integrated environment.

Besides this form of expressing creativity, we organized numerous sports and fun activities and events, through which students and teachers from different ethnic backgrounds and cities learned to play interesting games, and got to know each other, have fun and make new friendships.  Throughout the year, several events of this kind were DSC06999implemented in schools from Bitola and Tetovo, whereas in the Cair stadium, we organized a major final event, in which students from the primary school “Naim Frasheri” and “Kikish” from Tetovo, “Kiril Metodij” from v.Romanovce, “Braka Ribar” from v.Tabanovce; “Adem Jashari” from Cair, “Mite Bogoevski” from Resen, as well as the schools “Dame Gruev” and “Elpida Karamandi” from Bitola exhibited their sports skills. More than 360 students took part in this event.

Despite the large number of activities with youth and teachers in schools, special emphasis is also placed on the teaching staff of the national faculties for future teachers. The purpose of this activity is to introduce new curricula that will prepare future teachers to work in an integrated environment.

In the course of 2013, 11 schools were renovated. Children and employees obtained new floors, roofs, doors, windows, toilets and heating in their school facilities. We also opened the public call for renovations for schools that are to be included in the phase 3 of this project; the call attracted a lot of interest, and it became clear that schools are well aware of the benefits that can be acquired through IIEP.