Recovery after the earthquake in Albania and quarantine times during the COVID-19 pandemic! The question was: How to foster youth employability in Albania and Kosovo[i] during such a difficult time.

The question was answered by two civil society organisations (CSOs) from Tirana and Prishtina with the E-Learning Platform Kursori.Org for every citizen who wants to make use of this e-learning skills platform.

Initially, the Platform was created as a part of the project supported by the EU-funded Cross – Border Project Albania and Kosovo “Open ICT education for youth employability” Its objective was to foster youth employability by providing  open access to critical ICT knowledge and skills and strengthening cross-border cooperation between the educational institutions.

However, once again the people’s humanity, generosity and flexibility in difficult times came first. People across Albania and Kosovo got access to the valuable ICT tool, which, by the way, is the first online ICT platform in the Albanian language.

“Open Data Kosovo encourages me to work hard and be creative. DIAMOND is a modification of carbon. In the beginning, without starting to use the CURSOR, I was like carbon, and now with the use of the Cursor, I am being modified into diamond. The cursor represents an excellent opportunity to provide some of the skills required by the Kosovo market. That way, I can secure a very good job. Isn’t this wonderful!?, says Ajshe Komoni, from Kosovo.

Before the explosion of COVID-19, the project, implemented by CSO’s Albanian Institute of Science and Open Data Kosovo, provided free training courses on information technology at the professional school “Kolin Gjoka” in Lezha, and at the general secondary schools “At Shtjefën Gjecovi” Laç, “At Shtjefën Kurti” Gorre, “Arif Halil Sula” Mamurras, Milot and “Ukshin Hoti”, Prizren and “Haxhi Zeka” University in Peja. What is important is that these training courses are dedicated to a highly important sector, the ICT. This sector provides access ven to well-paid remote work, without requiring someone to migrate. Young people have demonstrated a high interest in these types of jobs.

Opportunity is the greatest privilege that can be offered to someone and this privilege was provided to us by this platform. In addition, it fostered the spirit of cooperation in us, which is the foundation of the fortress of success!, said Jonida Paja about this opportunity.

In addition to three levels of training, Kursori is also assisted by a group of local tech leads, who answer online questions and provide tests and interventions useful to the training participants. The beneficiary schools in Kosovo and Albania were also provided with computers for the school labs as donations .

There has been a lack of such training programmes in Albanian for young people, and the times of emergency created by COVID-19 showed how necessary this project was. The two serious situations in the country, such as the November 2019 earthquake and the situation created by COVID-19, training and acquiring vocational certificates was at least made easy for the students through the Kursori platform.

[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.