Interview with Alvin Salimovski: I want the school „Brakja Ramiz-Hamid“ to be a 21st century school

In order to attend classes and be actively involved in the educational process, students should have appropriate conditions for learning. The studying conditions of thе students in the primary school „Brаkjа Ramiz-Hamid“ in thе Municipality оf Suto Orizari wеrе improved after the renovation of the school, as a result of the partnership between thе Municipality оf Suto Orizari, the USAID Youth Ethnic Integration Project and the U.S. European Command (EUCOM).
Read the interview with Alvin Salimovski, the school’s director, and find out more details about the infrastructure investments made and their impact on the overall educational process.

Alvin Salimovski, the director of PS „Brakja Ramiz-Hamid“

What was done in the school and what was the impact of the renovation on the students and the school staff?

I have been working in this school for 15 years as a German language teacher. So when I was appointed as a director I already knew what this school needed in terms of improving the conditions. We replaced the old doors that were damaged and had big holes and we managed to install a total of 36 new high-quality doors for the classrooms and offices. Also, the hallways in the school were painted and two classrooms were completely renovated. We removed the old ruined floor, we put a new one and we painted the classrooms. A music education classroom was also made where talented students will be able to practice and further develop their talent. All this is of great importance for the teachers, but above all for the students.

Students need appropriate conditions to stay focused during the classes. For instance, if a student, when he/she comes to school and sits at the table, feeling draught all around, he/she will not be able to focus on what the teacher is saying. We should provide the students with appropriate conditions so that they will be able to attend classes without thinking about whether or not they will be sitting in the class with the jackets on. Now, with the replacement of the doors and windows, the classrooms are already warm. We’re working hard on the thermal insulation of the school in order to make it energy efficient. For that purpose, the façade and the roof were renovated, giving the school both better isolation and a modern look.

Of course, this also means a lot to the parents. I am starting from myself – I also have a son who is in the second grade – and, normally I expect the school to have appropriate conditions for the conducting of the teaching process. I try my best to provide that to the students in this school. It is a good feeling when there are visible changes in the school that bring benefits to the students and the teachers.

Before and after renovation

What does education mean for the children in this municipality and for this school?

Education, specifically in our school and for the parents in the Municipality of Suto Orizari, is of utmost importance. We know that, for various reasons, the Roma population is not educated enough. Fortunately, in recent years parents’ awareness has been raised and they have taken education much more seriously and many of them send their children to school.

There is a great need for regular school attendance and much work needs to be done in this regard as one of the most important segments in the educational process. But I think we’re on the right track. This is also shown by the numerous university graduates belonging to the Roma ethnic group.

Before and after renovation

What kind of motivation this infrastructure investment gives you to develop the educational programs in the school?

Improving the conditions in the school with all of the above-mentioned activities, for me as a director is of utmost importance and at the same time gives me an even greater motivation to keep on working in the school. Of course, we are not done. We have successfully completed several priority projects, but now we are planning many more in order to provide students with even better conditions for learning. The plan is to completely paint all the classrooms, to renovate the parking area and the schoolyard, as well as to install smart boards in each classroom.

I want the school „Brakja Ramiz-Hamid“ to be a 21st century school; and, with the school budget, assistance from the municipality, but also with foreign and domestic investments, to succeed in achieving that.

Before and after renovation

As the head of the school, it is important for the principal to set an example and give an incentive for the teachers and the students. What would your message to them be?

If you want success, the only formula is commitment, work and team cooperation.