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Evaluation report

2004 KVO: Child Friendly School Initiative Project, Kosovo: Evaluation Report



Author: Ans Smulders

Executive summary

Background:

The initiative for introducing the Child Friendly School approach throughout Kosovo started in 2000 through implementing NGO partners of UNICEF. The Child Friendly School Initiative was designed for the purpose of introducing innovation, transition and reform in the education system in Kosovo. During the initial project phase (2000–2002), 35 pilot schools were selected and the following interventions were undertaken:

  • Schools were provided with equipment (computers, science laboratories, photocopy machines, TV/Video sets, sports equipment)
  • Water/ Sanitation upgrading
  • Training of school directors, teachers, children and community
  • Inclusion of special needs children

In 2003, 48 additional peer schools were added, with the objective to expand the child-friendly concept throughout Kosovo, and the overall 83 pilot schools were exposed to the following components:

  • School-based Management and Planning
  • Training for Teachers and School Directors
  • Inclusive education approaches 
  • Education for children from minority communities
  • Community participation

Purpose/Objective:

  • To provide a comprehensive overview of UNICEF-supported CFS project and its activities in Kosovo in order to better define the CFS concept in operational terms, and also yield evidence on the impact of CFS on increasing access, improving quality, and achieving learning.

Methodology:

Findings and Conclusions:

  • The strength of the CFS initiative lies in its recognition that the performance of the education system is determined by the performance of individual schools 
  • Progress has been made in introducing CFS characteristics in 83 out of 800 schools (10%) in Kosovo. School and community level stakeholders have piloted participatory ways to plan and manage the school, ways to include children of different abilities and of different socio-economic and ethnic background in school, ways to make schools more protective and healthy, and ways to engage students actively in the teaching and learning process. 
  • Pilot project interventions were relevant. Through training programmes, school principals, teachers, parents and students learned to identify and deal with traumatic experiences, build self-esteem and self-confidence, and improve communication skills. Training in peace education, psycho-social skills and tolerance building has contributed to address post-war problems that children, parents, schools and communities were facing after the war. Addressing these issues was necessary to create favourable conditions for children to learn.
  • The efficiency of project implementation (use of available resources in achieving expected results) may have suffered because of the time-span of support provided. Creation of CFS requires a long-term commitment of all stakeholders involved (in terms of policy-making and policy-support, provision of financial and human resources, professional development). It is difficult to build such commitment if stakeholders are uncertain about the continuation of activities due to short-term instead of long-term support. 
  • Resources might also have been more efficiently used if a single, agreed set of operational definitions of key components had been developed and monitoring indicators defined. Without these, harmonization of interventions could not be ensured. Each implementing partner and technical advisor has given their own interpretation to key components of the CFS concept, such as, 'community involvement', 'strategic planning', 'leadership', 'interactive learning' and 'integration of children with special needs'. Interpretations determined type and focus of interventions, and content and method of training seminars and programmes.

Recommendations:

  • Strengthen and further develop horizontal and vertical partnerships for educational development
  • Clarify roles, responsibilities and tasks of school, municipal, regional, and national level administrative officers. Clarification of tasks may best be done in a participatory way, with all stakeholders actively involved in the process
  • Clarify roles, responsibilities and tasks of students and student councils, parents and PTC, PTA, communities, other local partners, NGOs and regional and national task forces
  • Clarify the type and degree of collaboration, participation, involvement and partnerships that exist between 'the school' and the larger community (horizontal and vertical partnerships, use of media)
  • Assess effectiveness of current mechanisms for educational finance and to address issues of ineffectiveness
  • Transfer decision-making authority to the administrative level that is closest to the source of information
  • Strengthen communication and information exchange to ensure that decision-makers at one level do have information about the effects of their actions on the level immediately below
  • Strengthen and further develop participatory educational planning and management capacity at school-community and municipal / regional levels
  • Decide to what educational level decision-making authority should be devolved
  • Further train school and community actors in developing school improvement plans within the context of their community
  • Train CFS Regional Task Forces' members (RTF), Municipal Education Officers (MEO) and Regional Education Officers (REO) in diagnosing educational conditions, needs, priorities and resources in their municipality or region and the role of education in the development process
  • Train RTF members, MED and REO in developing education policy and strategies that are cost-effective and affordable.


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Report information

Date:
2004

Region:
CEE/CIS

Country:
Kosovo

Type:
Evaluation

Theme:
Education

Partners:
MEST, Central Child Friendly Task Force, Regional Child Friendly Task Forces, NGO implementing partners (CRS, CI, WV, KEC, KWF, FoC, EducAid)

PIDB:

Follow Up:

Language:
English

Sequence Number:
2004/003

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