1200 teachers pioneering new schooling methods

Thursday 9 January 2014

Beginning of the training for all 1200 pre-school and primary school literacy teachers in Zenica-Doboj Canton (ZDC) based on the pilot project "Introduction and Integration of Student Learning Outcomes for Literacy in Zenica-Doboj Canton" was marked at the conference held on January 8 in Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina (B-H).

Conference was organized by Pedagogic Institute Zenica in cooperation with Save the Children for about 170 kindergarten, primary and high school directors from ZDC in order to inform participants on achieved results and future activities within the project.

First phase of this three-year project was implemented during 2013 based on „training of trainers“ module, where 50 teachers and education professionals had continuous education throughout the year, including four five-day workshops in order to transfer. In 2014 this initial group will work as trainers and later as mentors, transferring their knowledge and experiences in implementation of teaching practices based on student learning outcomes in literacy using targeted literacy teaching strategies, basic knowledge assessment concepts and lessons preparation. Training was led by US experts from agency Miske Witt & Associates International who also led process of defining of the student learning outcomes for literacy, in organization of the B-H Agency for Pre-School, Primary and Secondary Education.

In the forthcoming period, newly educated trainers will dedicate their time and energy to transfer knowledge to their colleagues in all pre-school institutions and primary schools in ZDC in order to increase quality of the teaching process, announced Pedagogic Institute Director Munevera Selmanovic. “The greatest and most significant change is change in teaching practice – teachers are open to new ideas and ready for changes and implementation of student learning outcomes that are relevant for life and future career of students in 21st century.“

This project is continuation of several years long cooperation that Save the Children has with Ministry of education and Pedagogic Institute of Zenica-Doboj Canton and represents significant step forward in improving quality of education for ALL children from pre-school to primary school level in ZDC.

Prime Minister of Zenica-Doboj Canton Munib Husejnagic also attended conference, wishing successful work and learning to all participants in the project. “This today is not only a meeting of school directors, it is earnestly prepared talk about essential subject in education of our youngest. The aim is to implement student learning outcomes in pre-school institutions and primary schools, where success of the teaching practices and student knowledge adoption is measured by the outcomes.”

 Premijer Zeničko-dobojskog kantona Munib Husejnagići direktor programa, Save the Children za sjeverozapadni Balkan Ahmed Pjano

Implementation of this project will contribute to overall reform processes in education sector in B-H, while ZDC will serve as example in implementation of student learning outcomes for literacy, with lessons learned as good basis for full implementation of defined learning outcomes in other cantons, Federation of B-H, Republika Srpska and Brcko District.

The overall aim of the project is to ensure equal access to good-quality, comprehensive and sustainable pre-school and primary school education for all children in ZDC.

“We expect that some 1200 education professionals will participate in trainings, while though implementation of the project every literacy teacher, at any education level, will have the opportunity to evaluate their work though practical assessment of learning outcomes for literacy thus achieving better student results on pre-school and primary education in Zenica-Doboj Canton,” stressed Save the Children in North-West Balkans Programme Director Ahmed Pjano.

Defining Student Learning Outcomes at the state level was led by B-H Agency for Pre-School, Primary and Secondary Education. Nevertheless, sole existence of the outcomes without ensuring implementation in schools and without possibility to monitor this implementation, will not bring improvements expected by students and teachers as well. On this occasion, representative of the Agency Jasminka Nalo presented activities of the Agency with regard to development of Common Core Curriculum defined on basis of student learning outcomes for the period 2012-2014, expressing satisfaction with achieved results within this project: “With this process we develop new curriculum philosophy that will gain us quality of teaching in a way to have students ready for 21st century, where they will have necessary competencies and skills, and let’s not forget teachers who also, in order to achieve this, need to follow the latest trends.”