Partnerships strengthen education in Macedonia
On October 17th, USAID Macedonia and the Primary Education Project hosted an event in “Jan Amos Komenski” primary school in Skopje to mark the successful private-public partnerships that have been established with three companies from the private sector – Seavus, Oracle Education Foundation and Microsoft Macedonia. USAID Mission Director, Robert Wuertz and representatives from the partnering companies outlined the collaboration aimed at improving the educational process and ensuring sustainability of project activities, while teachers and students presented activities and knowledge gained as a result from these successful partnerships.
Seavus, a leading IT company in the region, partnered with USAID/PEP to host the first summer school for 21st century employability skills. The summer school was attended by 44 students who participated in different activities aimed to develop competitive workforce skills in secondary school students in the early stage of their career planning. Additionally, SEAVUS offered an internship to one of the top performers at the summer school.
The Oracle Education Foundation (OEF) collaborated with USAID/PEP to make the Thinkquest.com portal available to Macedonian teachers. Thinkquest is an on-line learning platform that promotes project-based learning, helps students and teachers to develop critical 21st century skills such as teamwork, problem-solving and using rapidly evolving technologies and gives Macedonian students the opportunity to easily get in touch with peers from around the world. OEF continues to provide project support to teachers in Macedonia.
Microsoft Macedonia partnered with USAID/PEP to allow Macedonian teachers to participate in the Microsoft Innovative Teachers Forum, a national, European and a worldwide competition, offering the most innovative teachers the chance to showcase how they use 21st century teaching skills in their everyday work. The winner of the national competition, “Grandma’s Games”, an innovative project that used technology in the classroom to link children in five different schools while they learned about games from their grandparents’ generation, won the Grand Prix in the European Regional competition! The team is now preparing to take part in the worldwide competition in Washington DC in November this year.
USAID Mission Director, Robert Wuertz, presented the partners with Excellence Awards to honour the important role that they have played in improving the quality of education in Macedonia and to encourage public-private partnerships for a better future in Macedonia.USAID Mission Director Robert Wuertz noted that making improvements requires making changes, and that USAID has found that working with partners is the best way to ensure a change will be sustained. He added that, through the three partnerships being honored, we have together demonstrated cost‐efficiency, impact, and sustainability of the changes that lead to our goal of better education for a better future in Macedonia.
USAID Mission Director, Robert
Secondary students from the Seavus-PEP summer school
Students presenting Thinkquest web portal
Mission Director with the children engaged in the Grandma’s Games project, as well as the students from the Seavus-PEP summer