Enhanced capacities of the mentors for student initiatives at vocational secondary schools

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In the second half of the month of August, a workshop was held for mentors for student initiatives at vocational secondary schools, within the USAID Youth Ethnic Integration Project, in cooperation with the Vocational Education and Training Center (VETC) and the Youth Educational Forum. The workshop was attended by 15 mentors (representatives from the VETC and practitioners from the schools from around the country) who, during the academic year 2021/2022, will be supporting the school teams from 75 secondary schools in the conducting of student initiatives and Civic Education Open Days. 

The participants in the workshop discussed the importance of a comprehensive approach in the development of civic competencies in students, the process of implementing joint initiatives and the role of the school management and the school support staff in fostering a democratic climate in the school and cooperating with the local community. A key topic that was in the focus was the need to support the students and the provision of help by multiple stakeholders (the school, the parents, the municipality, the business sector, etc.) in the implementation of activities aimed at a positive change in the community.

Concurrently, during the workshop the students became acquainted also with the stages which a student initiative should go through for the purposes of a successful contribution to the development of civic competencies in the students, as well as the possibilities for conducting the activities remotely, with physical presence and with a combined approach. Several practical examples were considered from the schools which during the previous two academic years implemented student initiatives with a view to emphasizing the positive experiences and detecting any possible challenges.

During the workshop, the mentors acquired skills for successfully providing support to the school teams during the implementation of school initiatives, as well as useful materials for directing the schools towards building school policies and modern goals for the development of a democratic climate. According to the participants, the workshop enabled them to acquire new knowledge about the implementation of student initiatives and to share their previous experiences and ideas with their peers-mentors. 

After the workshop, the participants will hold workshops with the school teams that they will support during the academic year 2021/2022 for the purposes of a successful implementation of student initiatives and organizing Civic Education Open Days.

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.