On 8th of March, USAID’s Basic Education Program joined thousands of celebrations, events and rallies around the world to mark International Women’s Day. Sixty girls from 16 primary schools came together for a girls and technology day. The girls eagerly engaged in experimenting with different forms of educational technology coupled with conducting online research of their career interests and the connections to technology. These students were assisted by peers from other primary schools that have Program-supplied educational technology equipment in their own classrooms.
The event was honored by a visit from USAID’s Kosovo Director, Maureen Shauket as well as other USAID officials. The girls demonstrated their animated stories created by the use of the Alice software program; they explained how they programmed robots, and what they learnt about the function of a control box in traffic light operation. In an address to the assembled group, Ms. Shauket complimented the girls on their activities and emphasized the importance of pursuing one’s ambition:
“I had lots of meetings today but the meeting here with you has been the best. I am impressed with the work that has been done. Since I was a little girl I liked Math and Science. So I continued to like it also in secondary school. Therefore I continued to study it and to realize my dream. Likewise, it is very important to follow your dreams and ambitions. I talked with some of the girls and I was very happy when they told me their wishes for their future careers. Today I also had meetings with lots of women’s groups which informed me for their entrepreneurship efforts. So I would like to say again if you like something, you have to follow your dream, in order to realize it and become successful in your life”.
Students were delighted that they had the opportunity to present their new skills in educational technology to Ms Shauket. During the day’s closing session, the girls shared their career research findings ranging from fashion design, to dentistry, to education.
Student Kaltrina Murturi from “Hilmi Rakovica” Primary School said;
“I really liked the event today. We met with lots of friends and we created new friendships. The most important was the work using educational technology. We practiced using robots, researched a career on the internet, worked with a design challenge and created a story using the Alice program. We learned something for the future we didn’t know, and especially by using Alice program we learned how creative we can be, and that we can create different videos, birthday cards, etc. We are very motivated to work with technology and we really liked it, but these initiatives miss in our schools since we don’t have equipment or budget to do these activities. We would like to thank USAID’s Basic Education Program for this great event”
Teacher Gezime Bajrami from primary school “Green School” said;
“Today at this activity for 8th of March we had a great time, since the organization for today’s event was very good, with lots of activities which made the day special”.
International Women’s Day is a tribute to the economic, political and social accomplishments of women around the world and an opportunity to raise awareness about women’s rights, women’s empowerment and to promote gender equality. Although impressive life changing advances have been made since the first March 8th events in 1911, there is still a substantial way to go—especially for women and girls in developing countries. Equal rights and access to education are of great relevance to achieving gender equality in Kosovo as well as growing its economy.
To find out more about USAID’s Basic Education Program and its activities please visit us at bep-ks.org or www.facebook.com/bepkosovo .