Monday, January 24, 2022

Multiculturalism should become value and awareness

Forum megjuetnicka integracija

In order to achieve genuine interethnic integration in education, we need radical changes, greater inclusion and support from state institutions, an upgrade of the curricula for educating future teachers, as well as enriching more subjects with contents that help overcome stereotypes, prejudices and ethnic barriers, while education and activities with teachers, parents and students should focus on more practical aspects that lead to building unity among different communities through mutual cooperation on themes that are of common interest. These are some of the conclusions drawn at the Forum on interethnic integration in education that took place at the end of the month of January, 2014 in Skopje and which was attended by representatives of all faculties of pedagogy from private and state universities from the country, representatives of state educational institutions, experts and professors, civil organizations, as well as representatives of the USAID’s Interethnic Integration in Education Project within which this meeting was organized.

The forum indentified current situations and possible solutions for improving the ethnic integration and intercultural sensibilization of the future teachers. Among other things, the content of potential Manual for interethnic integration/intercultural sensibilization within the curricula of the faculties of pedagogy was discussed which has an objective of sensitization of teachers regarding these topics and their practical application in their work. Besides the positive aspects of interethnic integration, the challenges in the realization of the objectives set in the educational process were also accentuated. Lively discussion was opened in which professors and other participants were very interested and showed great enthusiasm and inspiration for cooperation stating the problems that must be solved in this process, as well as examples of successfully implemented activities in the education. “This Forum comes as a real rejuvenation and sign that professors have the will to cooperate and to get involved in the concept of interethnic integration in education in the country. The Forum is very significant DSC09839not only because it gathered together professors form all five faculties of pedagogy in the country, but also because the professors are open to cooperate and to include different aspects in the field of interethnic integration in education. Furthermore, some of the basis set at the Forum are the readiness for modifying curricula which means that segments of multicultural sensibilization will be included and the participants were very enthusiastic regarding the manual for teachers that would cover all these interesting theoretic topics, as well as the didactical techniques that would undertake these topics in the classroom” – says Maja Muhik, PhD, moderator at the Forum.

The participants at the meeting defined precise conclusions and recommendations most of them stating that the practical application of theoretical aspects of interethnic integration should be enhanced. These practices should be embedded in the whole educational process, in teachers’ approach, in the curricula, in several subjects, but also in the extracurricular activities that can be means for building unity and overcoming ethnocentrism and ethnical parallelism in the education. A general conclusion is the fact that more joint and precise activities of teachers, professors, students, pupils, parents and other stakeholders can contribute to multiculturalism and interethnic integration in education from the concept and set of activities to turn into real value and awareness.