Movie helps heighten professional discourse among educators

Although many international donors support Kosovo’s education system offering teacher training and capacity building programs, these tend to focus on the purely technical. USAID’s Basic Education Program organized its first Educational Film Evening on March 24th, 2011, in Gjakovë/Đakovica. The purpose of this event was to move professional discourse towards issues of educational philosophy and engage the vocational spirit of many educators.

Arberie Nagavci, director of primary school “Yll Morina” in Gjakovë/Đakovica, enjoys working with teachers and students at her school. She also works as a trainer for the protection of children’s rights and is a dedicated mother of two. She said, “I was thrilled to find out about this event… It’s happening for the first time here. We all work hard, however it is communication and cooperation between colleagues and parents, that we are lacking”.

The movie “Ahead of the Class” was shown to more than 150 educators, including over 40 school directors, teachers and parent’s council members. After the movie, a panel of four local respected personalities began a discussion of themes within the film. The event continued with the involvement of members of the audience. The evening concluded with formal discussion over refreshments.

One of the key messages of the film was the need to “work together”. Arberie summed up her thoughts:

“Who’s responsible for a n urturing, engaging, and safe school environment? The school management? The teachers? The parents? Or maybe all of us together? – As a mother , I would ‘blame’ teachers and the management if a problem occurred or if something would not go the way it is supposed to. On the other hand, as a teacher, when there would be a problem with a student I would ‘blame’ the parents for not working with their children, or the management for not getting involved enough in the school matters… However, now as a manager, a school director, I see that we, parents, teachers and managers all have the same goals – a safer and more engaging learning environment for our children and our students.”

The USAID’s Basic Education Program will continue to organize Educational Film Evenings in other cities of Kosovo. The date of the next event will be posted on the BEP website .