On June 23, 2020, an online discussion about the utilization of digital tools in the Civic Education distance learning curriculum took place as a part of the USAID Youth Ethnic Integration Project. More than 70 people attended the event, among which were Civic Education teachers, school directors as well as advisers from the Bureau for Development of Education.
During the event, Oliver Stanojoski from the Bureau for Development of Education talked about the Bureau’s activities in the past period that were aimed at improving the distance learning curriculum. These activities include the teachers recording classes that were published on the national educational platform EDUINO as well as the start of the TV classroom where the classes were implemented in accordance with the Bureau’s curricula. To help teachers in student assessment, Guidelines for student assessment was made, too.
Edita Dauti, Civic Education teacher in PS “Ashim Agushi” from v. Radolishta, Struga, gave a clearer image of the condition in the schools from the rural areas through sharing data from her research. She talked about the schools’ experience with distance learning and shared recommendations for improving the curriculum.
“Every beginning is hard, but it’s also a new opportunity and skill from which we can benefit. Distance learning led to the appearance of a new atmosphere in education,” says Edita.
Another speaker during the event was Hari Stojanovski, director of PS “Nevena Georgieva-Dunja” from Skopje, who focused on the ways for implementing the curriculum through different means of electronic communication. Also, he explained how the students and parents got acquainted with new ways of distance learning.
“We tried to find the right means for continuing the classes at a distance. We explored the possibilities of the students and their parents and decided how to continue implementing the classes,” he adds.
The participants actively participated in the discussion and shared their personal experience, the biggest challenges they faced as well as the platforms and tools they utilized. Among the most commonly-mentioned challenges they faced in this period were difficulties for students to follow the schedule, the lack of digital devices for following the classes and stable Internet connection and the increased volume of work for the teachers. During the discussion, the participants exchanged opinions regarding the need for creating a national unified platform for teachers through which they would be able to communicate and exchange resources, the need for training about distance learning as well as the importance of building a unified system for distance learning, which would be implemented in all primary schools.
The main topics of the discussion and the recommendations are summarized in a document and all participants contributed to it. The document will be shared with the Ministry of Education and Science and the Bureau for Development of Education as additional support in the development of effective policies connected to distance learning.
Online classes represent a challenge for the educational process and that’s why constant work is done towards finding new approaches for strengthening digital skills of students and teachers and more efficient implementation of distance learning curriculum.
This activity is part of the Youth Ethnic Integration Project, supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
This article is made possible by the generous support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The contents are the responsibility of MCEC and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) or the United States Government.