Within the framework of the Sida-funded project “Strengthening Democratic Citizenship Education in Albania”, school teams in 25 primary and secondary pilot schools have been given training to strengthen their democratic school culture and governance.
A series of “in person” training sessions for these School Development Teams were organised from 25 June to 6 July 2021 in the premises of the assigned schools throughout the country, reaching a total of some 300 participants including teachers, parents, students and school directors.
The training focused on Inclusive School Culture, Inclusive Policies and Inclusive Practices based on the Index for Inclusion; school self-assessment, the development of an inclusive school vision, mission and values as well as the identification of priorities and steps forward towards designing an Annual Action Plan and School Development Plan.
The training was highly valued by the participants. “A necessary training for the School Development Team and the entire school staff and community”, school director Darina Vorfi emphasised.
“Participating in your training motivates me and helps me grow professionally, strengthening my belief in the important role of teachers in the development of a school where all children feel equal, teachers cooperate with each other and parents are treated as real partners”, said Denada Zyma one of the teachers participating in the training while Ucjana Kasa added: “I am a new teacher in this school and participation in this training helped me understand the important role of teachers in creating an open and democratic school culture”.
The training was organised using various participatory methods, including group work, role plays, energisers, presentations, and free discussions, which ensured active and meaningful participation of all participants. “I really liked the session where we as students expressed our opinion about our ideal school. I also liked the game called "who is the leader” that emphasized the importance of group work…” concluded Stela Panxhi, one of the students participating in the training.
The training will be immediately followed by a School Self-Assessment based on the Index for Inclusion with special focus on the “Culture” component and identification of school priorities for the year 2021-2022 and a survey will be conducted later on.
This truly participative exercise is equally appreciated by the Ministry of Education, Sport and Youth who found it very timely and useful.
*The project “Strengthening Democratic Citizenship Education in Albania” is implemented by the Council of Europe and funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency