Within the Project PEACOCK – Peace through co-operation, competences and knowledge, in the period September 26-30, 2022, a final conference was held in Zürich, Switzerland for representatives from North Macedonia and Kosovo, organized by the Zürich University of Teacher Education. Among the attendees from our country were representatives from the Macedonian Civic Education Center, the Bureau for Education Development and the Institute of Pedagogy at the Faculty of Philosophy in Skopje.
During the conference, the results of the Research on the Development of Life Skills were presented, as well as the good practices from the implementation of the project. Namely, the findings show a significant improvement in the students’ life skills as a result of their involvement in the Project. It can be noted that the students have improved in terms of interaction, problem solving, initiative taking and conflict resolution. On the other hand, the teachers also improved their life skills and rated the materials (i.e. manuals) for the FACE and “Personal Development of Students” programs as very useful. The largest number of teachers stated that they would recommend them to their colleagues.
During the visit to Zürich, experiences were exchanged at a professional level and the attendees had the opportunity to gain insight into the Swiss culture of teaching and learning and to transfer the acquired information to a local context. They visited a school and a kindergarten and discussed future joint collaborations.
The cooperation between North Macedonia and the Zürich University of Teacher Education started in 2017 with the FACE (Families and Children in Education) project. FACE was an educational program for life skills for children aged 4 to 12 years and had a special significance in supporting children from socially disadvantaged families, especially Roma children, in order for them to become aware of their competences and skills.
The Project PEACOCK – Peace through co-operation, competences and knowledge is based on the experiences gained with FACE and aims to contribute to the peaceful co-existence of different ethnic groups through the development of life skills in the classroom.
To achieve this, the Zürich University of Teacher Education in cooperation with the non-governmental organizations Macedonian Civic Education Center and Kosovo Education Center developed materials for personal development from the 5th to the 9th grade. Also, various trainings were organized for teachers and students, who will be teachers, and support was provided for the implementation of FACE and Personal Development programs in the project schools.