Friday, January 21, 2022

Cheerful atmosphere, suspense and anticipation: Festival of Innovative Practices for Interethnic Integration in Education – “Through Innovation to a Better Integration”

More than 300 guests – representatives of USAID, representatives of the key educational institutions and teachers had the opportunity to attend the Festival of Innovative Practices – Through Innovation To Better Integration, held at the end of June at the Youth Cultural Centre in Skopje and used it as a venue for celebration of the creative and innovative ideas of 430 teachers who demonstrated a sincere commitment to the promotion and strengthening of the interethnic cooperation through their participation in the competition for innovative practices.

The fact that 270 practices were submitted and it was really difficult to choose the best innovations through which the students will develop the competencies and the values for interethnic integration in education was also highlighted in the keynote addresses by Ajse Selmani, Director of the Vocational Educational and Training Centre, Zaneta Conteva, advisor in the Bureau for Development of Education, and Nebojsa Mojsoski, IIEP Chief of Party.

“They say that innovation moves the world forward. If that is the case, we should be really happy because we have 430 innovators, teachers who will contribute to the improvement of the interethnic integration and the building of a common future.” – said Nebojsa Mojsoski in his address.

The festival was also used for promotion of the Be My Friend video in which the primary school students from primary school “Kiril and Metodij” from the village of Romanovce, Kumanovo talked about friendship and sent out the message: We are friends. How about you?

Later on, recognition was given to the 20 finalists who were shortlisted with their excellent innovative practices, wherein 3 practices were given a special recognition:

  • Joint product of the teachers Daniela Dimiskovska and Maja Krstevska from the PS “Naum Ohridski” from the village of Bulacani, Skopje, and Nimet Dogani and Nedzarije Saiti from the PS “26 Juli” from Suto Orizari, Skopje – activity “String Art – mathematics in art or art in mathematics”;
  • Nikolina Gjorceska from the PS “Aleksandar Urdarevski” from Sandevo and Sulejman Iseni from the PS “Aleksandar Urdarevski” from Blace received a special recognition for their innovative practice, “I am a point on the plane”;
  • The teachers Zlata Ancevska, Keti Temelkovska, Martina Simonovska and Natasa Trajkovska from the PS “Kuzman Josifovski-Pitu” from Skopje – with their innovative practice “We are all important and equal.”

Then came the most exciting part – the announcement of the winners at the national Competition for innovative practices.

The third place for innovative practice for interethnic integration in education went to Vjolca Ademi and Sonja Krajcevska from the PS “Edinstvo – Baskimi – Birlik” from Gostivar for their “Eco-humanitarian action and mathematics”. In order to promote the reduction of the use of plastic bags, the students designed cloth bags that they will sell at symbolic price, and the raised funds were donated to the Centre for children with special needs. They also designed a leaflet with which during the promotional event in the city center the citizens of Gostivar were informed about the harmful effects of the use of plastic bags.

Juliana Aleksioska, Lulzime Azizoska and Mebahat Kjoku from the PS “Bratstvo Edinstvo” from Ohrid won the second place for “Development of a system for rainwater collection”. The mixed eco club of the school developed a project for saving water in their school. The desire to successfully construct the selected model unified not only the students but also the included teachers, parents and the technical staff. The water from the system started to be used for watering the flowers and the greenery in the school.

The first prize winner for an innovative practice for interethnic integration is “We create a children’s magazine” by Julijana Taleska from the PS “Kliment Ohridski”, Prilep. The students found themselves in the role of chief editors, proofreaders, photographers and journalists and their challenge was to create a children’s magazine that includes topics related to the cultural characteristics of the ethnic communities that live in Macedonia. A special space in the magazine was saved for the interviews with representatives of the ethnic communities that were previously explored by the students. The students chose the design and established the other topics of the magazine (music, sport, quizzes, etc.). The great product of the small journalists also had its promotion during which the printed and electronic forms of the children’s magazine were presented. The discussion in the final activity showed that the students, by meeting the interviewees, learnt more about the similarities and the differences between the ethnic communities in Macedonia and reduced their prejudices and stereotypes.

Finally, the 26 best practices were presented through a poster exhibition, which can be seen here.

Watch this video in order to see the whole atmosphere of this wonderful event which everybody enjoyed:{