Professional Development of Teachers  component is managed by Kosova Education Center (KEC).

KEC is assisting schools and municipalities to build sustainable professional development capacity at local level; developing teacher courses aimed at improving students’ relevant skills, increasing the number of qualified trainers and facilitators; and providing opportunities for teacher development.

Increase the capacity of municipalities to provide high-quality professional development activities for teachers

KEC has begun to implement a training program for Professional Development Center Coordinators and MED staff from BEP partner municipalities and is supporting them in developing operational plans for teacher professional development in these municipalities. In three day workshops, participants analyze the results of a training needs assessment and use a SWOT analysis to remedy weaknesses and strengthen education in the municipality. They are introduced to good practices in planning and coordinating teacher development activities. Following the workshop, the participants develop municipal operational plans focusing on description of strategies and activities. Follow-up visits to the municipalities are carried out by KEC technical staff and consultants to support municipalities in drafting their plans.

In preparation for the teacher development courses organized in the PDCs KEC distributes educational technology and equipment to the PDCs and invites PDC Coordinators to various training events to familiarize them with the educational use of the technology.

Enable teachers to develop relevant skills in their students by implementing a comprehensive teacher development program

Technology workshop with teachers

With its new practical approaches, the Program is working to make schools attractive places of learning. Its professional development courses aim to help teachers meet new curriculum requirements by introducing ‘”project-based learning” to teachers: engaging students in practical projects which develop problem-solving competences, creative and entrepreneurial thinking, communication and ICT skills, and involve the use of modern educational technology.

KEC developed four new courses for teachers in the Program’s first year: sciences, technology, English language, environment related learning. These were piloted in 58 lead schools during 2011 and are being rolled out to other schools from December 2011. All courses will be accredited by the MEST and teachers will receive points for their licensing by satisfactorily completing the courses.

Four more courses will be developed and piloted in 2012, in the areas of mathematics, reading, student support technician clubs, and learner-centered classrooms.

It is planned that, by the end of the Program in 2015, KEC will have provided courses for over 2000 teachers aimed at more active learning by students.

The program provides teachers and schools with modern educational technology and materials that allow for practical teaching and learning to take place in schools and help build relevant skills in students. KEC focuses its efforts in turning schools into learning organizations. Course leaders (facilitators) are usually primary teachers who are selected for their ability and receive special facilitation and technical training. KEC also supports schools by establishing professional development teams as focal points for peer learning and support.

Increasing the number and quality of trainers and facilitators

Certification ceremony for School Based Learning Fascilitators

USAID’s Basic Education Program promotes facilitation of learning and peer learning over training and coaching. For this purpose it has developed its Facilitation of Learning Standards and Certification Frameworks for Master Facilitators and School Facilitators. Both master facilitators and school facilitators are expected to excel in facilitation standards and in their content / learning area, such as technology, mathematics, reading, etc.   By December 2011, 20 master learning facilitators and 73 school facilitators had completed the certification process.

Increasing the opportunities for teachers to participate in peer-support, professional networks, organizations, and research to improve their skills and performance in schools.

Green Club from Elementary School "Hilmi Rakovica" in Prishtina, collecting plastic bottles.

The Basic Education Program and KEC aims to motivate and inspire teacher by organizing exciting activities and attractive learning experiences that help to better implement the new curriculum. Below are some examples with photographs:

Bottle crusher and recycling initiative: over 600 students from 18 schools came up with original bottle crusher designs and prototypes through a design challenge approach.

Green Club activities: Green Clubs have been established to raise improve learning about environment and to increase student and community involvement in environment related learning and action.

“Junior Oscars”: By using educational technology provided by the Basic Education program, students from 20 schools produced video films with themes relevant for their peers and the society. This helped to improve their learning of technology, writing skills, team work, aesthetic appreciation, etc.

Robotics Summer Camp. 5 students and two teachers from Iliria primary and lower secondary school in Pristina attended a one week ‘Roboteka’ workshop in robotics. In 2012, Roboteka will be implemented in Kosovo.

Students during an experiment on "Girls and Technology" day

Girls and Technology Day:

In teams, 43 girls from 11 participating schools experimented with various educational technology completing curriculum related tasks.  They also participated in a design challenge that called upon their creativity, ingenuity and teamwork skills.

Other teacher professional development opportunities provided by the Program to date include educational film evenings, English language networking, and the establishment of a technology teachers’ action group.  In addition to these ongoing activities, teachers will have the chance to participate in action research projects in 2012.