The Academy of Political Studies (APS) started on March 2017 the implementation of the programme “Awareness raising campaign for first time voters in Albania” on the framework of the parliamentary elections of 18 June 2017. The programme is carried out again in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Sport and the Central Electoral Commission to reach all the secondary schools in Albania (356 schools) addressing about 35 000 students first time voters. APS will be in charge of the overall management, day-to-day execution, monitoring, and reporting of the education programme. The Ministry of Education and Sport is expected to play a crucial role by formally involving the 13 Directorates of Educations in 12 regions in Albania, responsible for the well-functioning of the programme. In addition, APS will get support from the CEC’s professional staff in conducting the training of focal points in 12 regions as well as availing its resources to make the mock election process in schools resemble the real elections. APS will use all the experience of the past year implementation of the same programme and also its prominent reputation within the country to avoid every problem and misunderstanding which might occur in the schools.
The main objective of the programme is to make young people, and in particular first time voters, aware of the function of elections in a democratic society and the relevance of casting a vote. Up to now, the awareness programme proved to be a successful follow up to the previous initiatives launched by the Council of Europe in 2011 and 2015 local elections and 2013 parliamentary elections in Albania.