Today, Brian Fahey, USAID Kosovo Acting Economic Growth Director and Arsim Bajrami, Minister, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology opened the “Education Technology in schools and Design Challenge 2016” event in Pristina organized by USAID Basic Education Program and IPKO Foundation. The event took place at the “Zahir Pajaziti” square, where school students demonstrated the use of modern technology introduced by USAID and their acquired 21st century skills.
USAID’s Basic Education Program, which is jointly funded by the Kosovo Government, has provided educational equipment to schools whose teachers are trained within the Program. These equipment are prioritized for practical subjects such as Science and Technology.
“We are continuing the tradition of the ‘Design Challenge’ competition, a very good project that enables us to see the skills of students and their opportunities through practical work, which leads to increased education quality. Obviously, this is a result of the excellent cooperation we have with Kosovo Basic Education Program and IPKO Foundation. ‘Design Challenge’ is a great opportunity for our students to practice use of information technology in schools, demonstrate practical teaching, demonstrate skills and competencies, and more importantly break the monotony of theoretical learning”, said Mr. Bajrami during his speech on this event.
Whereas, Brain Fahey, acting director of Economic Growth in USAID Kosovo, said
“When I saw the children performing and students’ works, it reminded me that the most valuable treasure of Kosovo is its youth. This is why USAID in Kosovo is collaborating with Basic Education Program and IPKO Foundation in implementing these projects aimed at investing in young people in terms of technology”.
In previous years the USAID Basic Education Program together with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST) have held technology exhibitions with the aim of enabling the MEST, municipalities and schools to identify cost-effective items they could procure for classrooms. Every year, they organized a competition called “Design Challenge”, to award schools and students that have utilized the educational technology in preparing student works that meet the competition criteria. Each year more than 40 projects are submitted for the competitions from schools around Kosovo.
This year, due to the fact that the Program is in its final stage, the Design Challenge competition is organized by the local organization IPKO Foundation, with technical support of the Program.
“We have worked as a group about a month and a half and all gave their input, as a results we won the first place in Lego category” said Erblin Gashi, student at school “Avni Rrustemi”, Pristina.
This is the sixth Design Challenge competition for lower secondary school students. This year’s design challenges were tasks which groups of students have to complete using modern technology. The technology was provided to schools as part of teacher training courses organized by the Program. The design challenges are intended to develop skills relevant to the 21st Century workplace and to allow students to demonstrate these skills.
“Getting prepared for this challenge was very important since it helped students a lot to get developed in research and programing. Student have integrated science in animation and presented their work through Alice” – said Zana Kurtishi Rudi, technology teacher of school “Zekria Rexha” in Gjakova.
Winners of the Design Challenge competition are:
First place – “Vëllezërit Frashëri”, Lipjan
Second place – “Bajram Curri”, Glogovac
Third place – “Zekeria Rexha”, Gjakova
First place – “Naim Frashëri”, Malishevo
Second Place – “Vëllezërit Frasheri”, Lipjan
Third place – “Isa Boletini”, Rahovec
Third place – “Ahmet Delija”, Skenderaj
First place – “Vëllezërit Frasheri”, Lipjan
Second place – “Halil Bajraktari”, Glogovac
USAID’s Basic Education Program in Kosovo is designed to benefit all public primary and lower secondary schools in Kosovo (serving grades 1-9). The motto of the program is developing students’ 21st Century Skills with Schools and Communities.