Meeting at “Shkolla e mesme e lartë teknike “Shaban Spahija” Pejë (Upper secondary technical school “Shaban Spahija”

The main objective of the VET for Western Balkan project is to initiate and support processes that will make the participating Western Balkan countries take important and secure steps on their way to an improvement and modernisation of the VET systems in their countries. All activities of the project carried out by the Balkan partners and the involved EU membership partners in cooperation, serve this purpose, directly or indirectly. the VET for Western Balkans project consists of 11 partners: six partners from five different EU countries (Denmark, Spain, Slovenia, The Netherlands and Cyprus), four partners from four different Western Balkans countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Kosovo) and an international NGO.

The first activity in “Shaban Spahija” on July 1st was a meeting in the morning with a group of teachers of the school together with Mr. Arben Gjikolli, the director of the school and Mr. Arben Sadiku, English teacher and interpreter. Bodil Mygind Madsen presented the project “VET for Western Balkan” to the participants and many questions were asked and answered.

Bodil also showed a PowerPoint presentation about Tradium Randers, which is the tandem partner of “Shaban Spahija”. Besides, presentations of the other EU membership partners were shown and it was discussed among the participants of the meeting which partner could be the most relevant for the school as its second partner. The only partner that is not already selected by the other Balkan partners as a second partner is the Spanish partner CDEA, but there is not so much overlap in the educations that the Spanish and the Kosovo schools are providing. However, computer science could be a field for cooperation. Some of the teachers mentioned that maybe it would be better to select the Slovenian school. The advantage of this would be that many people in Kosovo speak as their second language, Bosnian/Serbo-Croatian, which is also understood in Slovenia – so the language barrier would be less challenging. This is to be decided later.

This meeting was followed was followed by a meeting where 12 teachers participated (see attendance list for the names of the teachers).  The teachers introduced themselves and told about the topics they are teaching.  Also, two teachers from the Career Center of the school were present and told about their activities.

A guided tour at the school was the next. The department located in the center of Peje is only one part of the school but several workshops are located here and were visited.

During the tour, the director informed that the school has a friendship school in Turkey and this school has given several donations, including textiles for the sewing workshop.

There was also the opportunity to see an exhibition of products of the students in the central hall of the school.

It the afternoon, a meeting was held at the municipality with the vice-mayor of Peje and with the head of the financial department. In this meeting also the director of the school, Mr. Arben Gjikolli and English teacher and interpreter Mr. Arben Sadiku participated. The reason for the meeting was that some problems have arisen regarding the transfer of project money from the municipality to the school, which does not have its own account. Several ideas for solutions were discussed and it was agreed that the persons, who work for the project, must send the timesheets for their working days – signed by the project coordinator – to the municipality, who will then transfer money for salaries.  When it comes to travelling, the municipality will book hotel and flight tickets for the participants and will also make the financial reports for SOSU.

During the meeting on the following day, Bodil Mygind Madsen, Arben Gjikolli and Arben Sadiku together with Ms. Teuta Bilalli from the administration of the school worked with the time sheets to be sent to the municipality. Also, the dissemination plan of the project and the dissemination template were presented and discussed.

After that, a visit was paid to a new building, which is under construction in another part of the city. The workshops there will be ready for students in the autumn. (Pictures below.)

Finally, the carpentry workshop (situated in a third place of the city) was visited. After the war, the workshop was equipped from a big donation from Germany and for a longer period, a German trainer worked there to teach how to use the machinery and to make manuals in Albanian.

The machinery was modern at that time and is still working fine but since it is now about 20 years old, there is also a need for new equipment.

Another problem is to get money to buy the wood that is needed for the production in the workshop. Unfortunately, there is not much interest among young people for the carpenter education even though there is actually a need of carpenters in Kosovo.