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Partnering with the Bureau for Development of Education in Macedonia

Posted in Blogs on April 18, 2017

Cecile Doyen
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Partnering with the Bureau for Development of Education in Macedonia for the improvement of students learning

Last month, I visited the Bureau for Development of Education in Macedonia to work on a project under the national Erasmus+ plan. The initiative is addressing pedagogical innovations in the area of assessment for learning in Maths and Sciences. Aflatoun is providing support in the monitoring and evaluation of the activities conducted in partnership with Cambridge International Examinations in the UK.

While in Skopje, I took the opportunity to visit the Kuzman Jozifoski-Pitu school where workshops on financial education have been organised. The initial collaboration between the Macedonian Bureau for Development of Education and Aflatoun International started in 2015 through the development of a module for primary education with the design of clear guidance on how to implement and promote social and financial education for children. Aflatoun concepts of social and financial education were integrated into the national Life Skills manual for students in primary schools. The local Aflatoun partner (Centre for Human Rights and Conflict resolution) was active at the onset of this process.

 

Following the contextualization process, the Bureau for Development of Education piloted the content in over ten schools through the delivery of workshops with children using the manual and related activities. The module is actually a relevant experience that reinforces/stimulates the learning of social responsibility and financial competence. The experience encourages students to explore their rights and responsibilities, to participate in activities, to save and apply their entrepreneurial skills in tasks that are important for them. Students who will learn through this module are expected to be responsible consumers, both in terms of financial matters, as well as in terms of appreciating natural resources; to run a project or enterprises  and knowing how to save; to actively participate in the community through civic projects and to connect with young people; to understand what the financial literacy includes and how it can help them make reasonable decisions; to enhance the skills they will need when applying for jobs (such as cooperation/teamwork), as well as to develop their entrepreneurial skills.

The highlight of my school visit was to conduct a meeting where students themselves could share the impact of the financial education workshops on their lives. They also had the opportunity to share their project portfolios to evidence their learning. I was so impressed by their testimony that I asked them if they could create a video documentary of their impressions. The school community has been innovating in the area of arts and technology as well and students have been provided with a design studio where they can create music, record themselves, as well produce and edit videos.

Although I could write many things about the benefits of these financial education workshops in Macedonia, I thought the results are best expressed by the students themselves. Note that this video is entirely designed, edited and produced by the students.

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