Moldova, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Uzbekistan and Kosovo learn from the Macedonian experience on Child-Friendly Schools
Skopje, 18 April 2011: Over the next three days Ministry of Education and Science representatives and professionals from pedagogical and psychological faculties and institutes, as well as UNICEF staff from Moldova, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Uzbekistan and Kosovo will join their peers in Skopje to take part in a UNICEF conference on Developing Standards for Quality Basic Education. Skopje was chosen to host the conference based on the country being a leader in implementing the “Child-Friendly Schools” approach to improve quality education.
“The successful Macedonian experience in linking curriculum development, teacher training and reforms at the individual school level positions the country as ‘learning laboratory’ on developing and implementing standards for quality basic education in the region,” said Mr. Philipe Testot-Ferri, UNICEF Regional Education Advisor for Central and Eastern Europe and Commonwealth of Independent States (CEE/CIS).
UNICEF globally, and within the region, has been supporting the “Child-Friendly School” (CFS) approach as a holistic approach to ensure that appropriate standards for the provision of basic education are in place. This country was the first to start the initiative in Eastern Europe in 2006.
“The decision to host this conference in Skopje is a testament to the commitment and success of our national counterparts in systematically rolling out CFS standards,” said Mr. Sheldon Yett, UNICEF Country Representative. “However, we also look forward to learning from our other colleagues in the region.”
Since kicking off the initiative in 2006, the Bureau for Development of Education, with UNICEF support, developed a set of multidimensional standards and has since made significant progress in implementing and monitoring their application in policy, programme and in practice at the school level.
The regional conference is being organised by the UNICEF CEE/CIS Regional Office to give other countries an opportunity to learn from this experience so that they can develop, refine, and pilot similar quality basic education standards in their own countries.
The CFS approach is a comprehensive and system wide approach that looks at all aspects of a child’s well being and involves stake-holders from the national and local levels to help ensure children receive a quality education.
In this country, Child-Friendly Schools standards have been developed in six dimensions: inclusiveness, effective, gender-responsive, healthy, safe, and protective environment for both girls and boys; offer opportunities for democratic participation by children, teachers, parents, and community members; and respect children’s rights and multiculturalism.
Life skill education, teacher and curricular development in literacy and maths, and other programmes to promote multicultural education and to reduce violence in schools are some of the programmes being implemented to help schools achieve the standards.