SCHOOLS IN NORTH MACEDONIA: Planning the “Start the Change” project activities in the new school year

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The new situation due to the crisis with the COVID-19 virus has imposed the need to postpone the start of school year in North Macedonia and to implement the educational process starting from 1st October. The Ministry of Education and Science announced the Protocols for the educational process for this 2020/2021 school year according to which the students from first to third grade attend classes with physical presence in the classroom. In the schools that meet required conditions according to the Protocols, the classes are held with physical presence and for students from the upper grades, as well. For students with chronic diseases, teaching takes place remotely (online). For students who do not have devices for online learning, but still need to study at a distance, 15-minute lessons are successfully broadcast on television through the National Radio Television.

At the meetings held with the five project schools’ teams they shared their preference to attend teacher training sessions, which are planned for November/December, in accordance with the official pandemic protocols set by the Government. Currently, the school project teams are forming the students’ focus groups that start from 9th October and will be finalized on 20th October.

One of the very motivating meetings held with the school project teams was on 25th September, in the yard of the primary school “Kuzman Josifovski Pitu” in Skopje. The meeting was held with the project team, teachers and the director. The purpose of these meetings was for the school project teams to get acquainted with the activities that are planned to be carried out with teachers, parents and students.

The teachers in this school showed great interest, especially for the activities related to the activities with the students. They shared that so far, they haven’t witnessed a situation in which students refused to socialize and cooperate. According to them, the students in this school are actively involved in various activities; they feel free to express their opinions on various topics and issues and want to be a part of the decision-making process. The students have a great wish to debate and participate in the activities of the school community, thus motivating entire school’s community to take active participation in various project activities.

Also, the teachers discussed the activities of the class communities, in which various surveys are often conducted in order to gather students’ opinions on individual issues. Additionally, within the teaching process in this school, teachers motivate students to participate in decision-making processes and solving current school problems.

The project activities planned with the students and parents in this school will contribute to the implementation of one of the main goals of the “Start the Change” project, which is the voice of the young people to be really heard while making decisions in schools and local communities as well.

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