“Junior Oscars” Ceremony

 

The main aim of USAID’s Basic Education Program is to enable schools to develop skills in students that are relevant to the 21st Century workforce and society.  As part of this work, the Program has trained teachers to use small video cameras and distributed these to 30 schools. The training courses included sessions on: how to write a story board; how to prepare for filming and use the cameras effectively; as well as the use of different software to be used in editing filmed materials.

 

 

 

 

 

In November, the Program announced a “Junior Oscar” competition in which schools were given the opportunity to enter short movies, of up to 10 minute duration and below are the winning movies in their respective categories (click on the film title to watch):

Best Film in English

Tittle: “Safety on the Internet
School: Green School, Pristina

Best Film in Albanian

Tittle: “Look Before You Leap
School: Zekeria Rexha, Gjakova

Best Documentary

Tittle: “Recycling Technology
School: Meto Bajraktari, Mitrovica

Best Story

Tittle: “Modern Day Slavery
School: Yll Morina, Gjakova

Best Film by students from Grades 1 – 5

Tittle: “The autumn”
School: Zekeria Rexha, Gjakova

 

The schools were free to select topics of their own choice, with the aim of developing students’ communications skills, creativity, innovation and team work. The topics addressed a number of relevant social topics from the perspective of students. These included internet safety, human trafficking, environmental protection and violence in schools.

Twenty one schools participated in the competition, entering a total of 33 movies. On 7th December, the winning films in the first four categories were presented to a gathering of students, teachers and guests in the ABC Cinema, Pristina, as part of the “Skena Up” International Students Film & Theatre Festival.

 

The event raised a lot of media attention, with the young ‘stars’ of the films finding themselves being interviewed by two TV stations at the reception which followed the “Film Premiere”. They were also invited to participate in TV and radio programs on following days. A student from the primary school “Zekeria Rexha” in Gjakova, winner from the category Best Film in Albanian, said, when interviewed by a local TV station:

“There were many problems happening in schools. Therefore, we wanted to convey a message against violence in schools”.

The Basic Education Program will train additional teachers in movie making, as part of its wider professional development program and anticipates wider participation in next year’s competition.