Official opening of the Training Center for integrated education within NDC Skopje

On June 28th, 2012, Nansen Dialogue Centre Skopje in partnership with the Ministry for Education and Science marked the opening of the first “Training Center for Integrated Education” in Macedonia. The event was attended by the Minister for Education and Science – Pance Kralev, the Minister without portfolio – Hadi Nezir, Deputy Minister for Education and Science – Safet Neziri, the mayor of Vasilevo Municipality – Vanco Stojanov, the mayor of Petrovec Municipality – Borce Mitevski, the director of the Nansen Dilaogue Network – Steinar Bryn, the directors of the education depatrment within the local municipalities of Cair and Strumica, the directors of the scools that implement the Nansen model for integrated eduxcation as well as many teachers and professors.

The Minister for Education and Science stressed the importance and the necessity of offering institutional support to NDC Skopje during the implementation of all program activities.

[quote author_name=”Pance Kralev” author_description=”Minister for Education and Science” author_image=”/wp-content/uploads/2013/otvaranje/pance.jpg” size=”small” style=”solid”]

” The Ministry for education and science is happy to take over the responsibility to offer institutional and financial support to the Nansen Dialogue Center Skopje during their continuous efforts to build and promote integrated education as one contemporary educational trend and tendency in Macedonia. The Nansen model for integrated education developed by NDC Skopje is recognized and proved as successful model of education for all ethnic communities in multiethnic environments and represents the future of the contemporary education system in Macedonia. This model of education is a result of long years of research and field world, combination of positive examples and work methodology for implementation of integrated activities in the Kingdom of Norway and Northern Ireland, adapted according to the conditions and needs of the education system in Macedonia.”

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The Taining Center for Integrated education will offer theoretical and practical training on the Nansen model for integrated education that will enable all the implementers and promoters of the model to get acquainted with the characteristics, acquisitions and benefits of this model of education as well as gain the necessary skills for the direct implementation in the schools with multi ethnic structure of students.

[quote author_name=”Safet Neziri” author_description=”Deputy Minister for Education and Science” author_image=”/wp-content/uploads/2013/otvaranje/safet.jpg” size=”small” style=”solid”]

“ The need for this type of training center is un-questionable. The programs and the topics that will be presented within this center are the only kind in Macedonia and the region, and at the same time, are prepared by national and international experts, adapted according to the conditions and needs of our education system. This day is of great importance for all the teachers that are making the first steps to introduce the integrated activities within their schools and with this; they will serve as model for their colleagues working in schools with diverse ethnic groups of students. ”

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According to the initial plan of NDC Skopje and the Ministry for Education and Science of R. of Macedonia, during the upcoming three years the trainings will be attended by nearly 150 teachers. The structure of the trainings that will be held in this Training Center is 60% theory and 40% practical work. The theoretical part will be realized within the Training Center facilities whereas the practical part will be held in two model school that will be additionally equipped for this purpose.

[quote author_name=”Steinar Bryn” author_description=”Director of the Nansen Dialogue Network” author_image=”/wp-content/uploads/2013/otvaranje/steinar.jpg” size=”small” style=”solid”]

“ This Training Center is a model and an inspiration not only for Macedonia but for entire Europe. The main reason why this Training Center is such an inspiration for Europe is the understanding you have of what integration is. In most of the world when we talk about integration, people think is some kind of infiltration, becoming more similar. And often, minorities don’t feel attracted to that model because the model is defined by the dominant culture. The way how integration is defined here is the mutual respect for each other’s differences. Because we learn more about each other and start to understand each other better we are moving closer to each other but still different. And that is what is needed to create a stabile society for equal opportunities for all the citizens. ”

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The Executive Director of NDC Skopje – Sasho Stojkovski gave an overwiew of the efforts taken by NDC Skopje and the time and experience needed to establsih Nansen model for intergrated education in R. of Macedonia.

[quote author_name=”Sasho Stojkovski” author_description=”Executive Director of NDC Skopje” author_image=”/wp-content/uploads/2013/otvaranje/sasho.jpg” size=”small” style=”solid”]

“ The necessity for the opening of this training center is great and based on the deficiency of professional cadre qualified to work on the programs for integrated education in multiethnic schools and municipalities. For the implementation of the trainings, local and international experts for integrated education will be engaged. In the first training year, we will use part of the NDC Skopje team, distinguished university professors from Macedonia and trainers from the Training Center of the Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education (NICIE) which is one of the best training centers in Europe, and professors from the Nansen Academy. In the second year, the list of trainers will be enriched with University professors from Northern Ireland, Norway, Israel and USA. The goal of this international cooperation is to hear their experiences and at the same time to promote our model for integrated education, a model for which there is a great interest lately. ”

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The project Nansen model for integrated education including the Training Center is financially supported from the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Norway, and starting from this year, financial support will be also given by the Government of Macedonia respectively from the Ministry for Education and Science.