NDC Skopje on a working visit to Northern Ireland

In the period May 28- June 6, 2013, part of the NDC Skopje team consisted of the Executive Director- Sasho Stojkovski, Project Manager- Veton Zekolli, Project Coordinators Anica Onosimoska and Sonaj Bilal and NDC Skopje Board member- Ingunn Skurdal attended a working visit in Northern Ireland initiated by the Northern Ireland Council for Integrated Education.

The aim of the visit was to exchange the best practices and positive experience in the field of integrated education of Northern Ireland and Macedonia in order to advance the mutual cooperation.
During the working visit, the NDC Skopje tem met with the Executive Director of NICIE Noreen Campbell as well as the entire NICIE staff which presented the mission and vision of their organization and discussed the potential future activities that could be implemented in order to deepen the collaboration relations between NDC Skopje and NICIE.

NDC Skopje presented its achievements in the field of integrated education as well as the development path of the Nansen model for integrated education and the Training Centre through a one hour presentation at the Queen’s University in Belfast. The presentation was attended by distinguished guests amongst which were also some of the founders and supporters of the idea for integrated education in Northern Ireland, university professors, directors of integrated schools, representatives of the Ministry for education and science and the media.

The audience expressed tremendous interest for the NDC Skopje presentations that were followed with a huge number of questions and a constructive discussion. An overview of the current situation in the field of integrated education in Macedonia and the efforts undertaken by NDC Skopje was also given by Ms.Claire McGlynn- Professor at the Queen’s University in Belfast.

During the visit, the NDC Skopje team had the opportunity to visit three integrated schools: Rowandale Integrated Primary School- the most recent school included in the integration process, Hazelwood Integrated Primary School- the second integrated school in Northern Ireland and Crumlin Integrated Primary School- a school which recently faced the transformation process challenges and was succesfuly transformed from Protestant to integrated school.

The connecting points between NDC Skopje and NICIE will serve as a platform for future cooperation and exchange of experince. NDC Skopje team returned from Northern Ireland with great impressions and new ideas that will be incorporated in the future work of NDC Skopje in the field of integrated education.

NDC Skopje expressed a big gratitude for the NICIE representatives that provided the opportunity for the NDC Skopje team to get aquianted with their scope of work which is of great importance for the development of integrated education in Northern Ireland and in our country as well.