Voluntarily, free of charge, providing help, assisting…It seems that after the first shock of the COVID-19 pandemic these words became increasingly used and actually amplified the desire to be on hand to others. The action taken by the Institute for Studies and Politics from Kosovo is one such example. With their own funds and with the voluntary contribution of “Universum” College academic staff, they conducted free on-line trainings on using technological tools for teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic for 1400 high school teachers from all over Kosovo.
“These trainings were an extraordinary experience, says high school teacher Miranda Lushaj. “Despite prior knowledge about different platforms that offer remote communication and complementary work opportunities, this training has enabled us to understand more deeply how great the benefits of these platforms are. Trainings that help our professional development are always welcome, especially when they are taught by such competent people”, adds Lushaj.
Similarly, Ardiana Husaj-Berisha, a teacher, says that her main benefit from these trainings has been learning how to create exams in Google Classroom that enable her to electronically assess her students’ knowledge and skills in more practical areas, which otherwise would not be impossible.
“Many aspects of our life have been slowed down and paralyzed as a result of the spread of COVID -19. While some industries and aspects of our life can be put on hold for certain periods of time, education is not one of them. We must ensure educational process continuity under any circumstances, in order to enable the enrichment of young generations with new knowledge and perspectives, and also to show them that no disease, catastrophe, or tragedy can stop the flow of life and the process of personal and national growth and development”, says a representative of the Institute for Studies and Politics.
Trainings were held through free on-line platforms like Google Meets and Google Scholar. Trainings included learning about various digital teaching tools, creating and organizing virtual classes in Google Classroom, recording on-line lectures, planning on-line learning, on-line assessment of students, creating Zoom accounts, etc. These trainings have provided teachers with on-line teaching skills that will be very useful in facing similar and unforeseen situations in the future.
The Institute for Studies and Politics is a CSO established to provide assistance and counseling to ministries and other public institutions in increasing educational potential and in improving the quality of education policies in Kosovo, through institutional capacity building. Its activities in this regard typically include research, trainings, workshops, etc. ISEPS is accredited at the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology for offering such trainings and certifications of teachers.
[i] This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244/1999 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.