Urgently start preparing the next school year

Teachers’ Association joined UNICEF’s appeal to respect #DistanceHandsMask measures and open schools as soon as possible, as well as to urgently start preparing the new school year in consultation with all stakeholders.

UNICEF Montenegro
Classroom
UNICEF Montenegro / Duško Miljanić / 2020
15 April 2021

PODGORICA, APRIL 15, 2021 – Teachers’ Association joined UNICEF’s appeal to respect #DistanceHandsMask measures and open schools as soon as possible, as well as to urgently start preparing the new school year in consultation with all stakeholders.

We appeal to all citizens to respect the epidemiological measures so that schools and preschools work less online. We need to think about children’s mental health and education. The next school year needs to be planned well taking into considerations students’ needs, the opportunities of different schools and the consequences of a long period of isolation and online learning. We need to provide students and teachers with digital equipment, as well as to ensure that there is adequate transport to schools and heating in all of them.

Olivera Lekovic, Teachers’ Association

Her colleague Nikola Latkovic emphasized the need for all stakeholders to participate actively in the development of the national educational strategy, so that the next school year is of better quality and more inclusive than this one. Also, communication between all actors of the educational process needs to be improved. Latkovic pointed out to the need to provide better support to the socio-emotional development of children during and after the pandemic by replicating the excellent program My Values and Virtues developed with UNICEF’s support.

Mladen Zivkovic from the Teachers’ Association underlined the availability of this NGO to work together with the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports, parents, students, other teacher associations, NGOs and relevant partners to better organize the next school year. Hundreds of teachers-members of the Teachers’ Association bring all together thousands of years of working experience in classrooms. This is a useful resource to any educational planning process especially during a crisis when teachers are innovative designers of educational interventions every day.

His colleague Nada Milovic pointed out that among others, talented students, especially those who are from marginalized groups, need better support.

Cooperation with parents needs to be strengthened, as talented children are not always motivated and may lack support from their parents often due to their struggling with poverty.

Nada Milovic, Teachers’ Association

To support all children’s learning and development, Teacher Association calls for a greater number of free extracurricular and school activities like debating clubs, foreign language schools, creative writing, comics, media literacy workshops, etc. to be organized in every local community.

UNICEF Montenegro Representative Juan Santander pointed out that schools exist because of children, but that they cannot exist without teachers. Therefore, it is necessary to include all stakeholders, especially teachers, students and parents, actively in the preparations of the next school year. Also, they all need to promote the respect of the #DistanceHandsMask measures so that schools and preschools can stay open.

Top performing school systems are founded on the quality of their teachers for whom they provide a safe, motivating and innovation-friendly working environment. We need to make sure that all children return safely to their schools and get all the support they need for learning and social and emotional development, as well as that teachers are well supported in the next school year.

Juan Santander, UNICEF Montenegro Representative

Teachers’ Association and UNICEF will continue supporting the national education system on identifying the best ways to improve the quality of education in Montenegro for every child.