In the frame of the regional project cooperation of the DVV International in South Eastern Europe, a bilateral expert exchange between Republic of Kosovo and Republic of Macedonia was held in Skopje, November 13 – 14, 2014, organized by Lifelong Learning Center – Skopje.
The topic of this visit was non-formal vocational adult education, as it is in the focus and is relevant for both countries.
The group from Kosovo was heterogeneous with representatives from different institutions dealing with formal and non-formal vocational education for adults. The Kosovo representatives mostly came from governmental institutions as Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Education and trainers from several VET centres from different cities in Kosovo. Therefore participants from Macedonian side were chosen to correspond with the group from Kosovo and the program was designed as to satisfy the interest of all the participants and to initiate and enable exchange on all relevant and current questions and issues.
The first day three presentations were conducted by representatives from Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Macedonia, Public Institution Adult Education Centre and Center for vocational education and Training. After each presentation the whole group showed great interest in the situation in other country concerning the topic presented. It has been a really fruitful discussion comparing the VET formal and non-formal systems in the both countries, identifying good practices and exchanging opinions.
The second day the group visited three institutions where VET education is provided as for the young also for the adults in formal and non-formal education.
The vocational secondary school Boro Petrusevski was visited in Skopje. The visit to this school was an example of a VET school providing education in automotive sector with several educational profiles but also accredited/recognized by the state to provide trainings for adults.
Next stop was the Training center of the Chamber of crafts where the hosts presented their accredited course programme in filigree which is the pride of Macedonian national heritage.
At the end of the tour the group visited the Open Civic University in Skopje with more than 60 years of tradition in educating adults.
The visit was assessed as very useful with great potential for future collaboration between the two countries and the arrangement of a return visit to Kosovo, which will take place in December this year.
This bilateral exchange among adult education experts from Macedonia and Kosovo is a form of an activity which has benefits on several levels. On professional level it aims at fostering the transfer of know-how and exchange of opinions and good practices among adult education experts, raising their individual capacities and the capacities of their respective institutions. It also gives contribution to the closer cooperation among Macedonia and Kosovo as neighbouring countries. The bilateral exchange is also a very good opportunity for intercultural learning and acquaintance of the culture and the tradition of the neighbours. This is of a great importance having in mind the past interethnic conflicts and present tension.