Students from different ethnic backgrounds developed skills, increased their intercultural competencies and had opportunity to get to know other students learning in different language of instruction through active involvement in mixed classes within the Strengthening multi-ethnic cooperation in municipalities Project. These classes are held on regular basis throughout the school year where students that learn in different language of instruction jointly learn and participate in various activities which are facilitated by their teachers. More than 3000 students and 240 teachers were involved in these types of classes which showed to be of benefit for the students and teachers equally. Here is a statement from one of the students involved in these classes:
“As the end of school year was approaching, the teacher told us that we will have more Society classes together with our friends from the Albanian class. I had no idea how we will do that because they speak and learn in Albanian and we speak and learn in Macedonian language. However, one day, at the Society class we learned about the “Differences and similarities between us”. I thought that we have nothing in common with our friends from the Albanian class, but I was wrong.
They divided us in mixed groups and our first task was to introduce each other. Everything went well, but I felt lonely at the beginning. It was strange. As the class went by, I learned about their traditional meals, folk costumes, musical instruments, how to introduce myself and how to write “good afternoon” in Albanian. The class became interesting.
Later on I lost the feeling that I am sitting in a group which until that moment I considered to be different than me. When they were explaining to me how delicious their meal “ljaknur” is, I wanted to try it so they invited me to their home, but soon the teacher told us that a parent activity is organized with various traditional meals. Here, for the first time I tried the delicious “ljaknur” and my friends were right about its taste. Meanwhile, they also tried “mantii” prepared by my mother and they liked them very much.
I’m very happy that I was a part of this project and I would like to have more similar classes because I learned a lot about the Albanians, Roma, and Macedonians, but they also learned a lot from me about my Bosnian culture.“
This activity is part of the Strengthening multi-ethnic cooperation in municipalities Project, funded by the Pestalozzi Children’s Foundation (PCF).