Basic IT Skills Development Trainings to Primary School Teachers

232

Program Timeframe:
March 9 – September 30, 2005

Funding: United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in the framework of the Participant Training Program implemented by World Learning / Macedonia

http://www.usaid.org.mk and http://www.worldlearning.org.mk/

Implementing partners:
Ministry of Education and Science and Bureau for Development of Education

Program Overview
This training program was a part of the United States Agency for International Development continuous effort to help educational reform in Macedonia. One of the weaknesses identified among teachers in Macedonia, in both secondary and primary schools, was their lack of capacity to use Information Technology (IT) as an effective tool to develop and teach curriculum. In order to strengthen the capacities and skills of the primary school teachers, and to enable them to use the 3,000 computers donated by the Government of the People’s Republic of China, which were distributed throughout the primary schools in Macedonia beginning of the 2005/06 academic year, USAID decided to sponsor nation-wide IT training program for primary school teachers.

The overall goal of this program was to create an even-playing field in the area of IT skills among primary school teachers. There were three main objectives of the program: 1) teachers acquire basic IT skills; 2) teachers use computers in the classrooms with their students, and 3) teachers use IT as tool to improve teaching.

This program was funded/organized via the Participant Training Program managed by World Learning in Macedonia, and implemented by the Macedonian Civic Education Center (MCEC). MCEC managed to fully meet the goals and objectives of this program.

Accomplished Results
As a result of this program:
1) 230 trainers comprised of secondary school IT teachers and Non-IT teachers were hired.

2) IT textbook was designed, printed out and distributed to all trained teachers. The total number of 4300 copies of the training textbooks on Macedonian (3150 copies) and Albanian language (1350 copies) were printed and distributed to all training participants and trainers throughout Macedonia. (Please follow this links for Textbooks on Macedonian and Albanian language);

3) 3,920 primary school teachers gained knowledge and skills in using IT in their classrooms. Please see the following link for information about training participants’ gender, ethnicity, position in the school, age and location of the school.

MCEC has successfully implemented this program by managing and coordinating the work of 230 IT trainers, plus 20 Bureau for Development of Education Regional Coordinators (please see the following link for the list of Regional Coordinators), as well as logistical organization of 200 trainings.

During the period May – September 2005, a total number of 200 groups completed the IT training for primary schools teachers in Macedonia. The IT training program was implemented in the total amount of 40 hours. The training courses were implemented in the Secondary schools’ computer labs that were made available for this purpose by approval from the Ministry of Education and Science. From all teachers trained (4,000), 98% passed the test and received certificates for successful completion of the training.

Through questionnaires, the training participants evaluated organization of the training, implementation of training program and the level of their confidence for practical application of gained knowledge and skills. The analysis of results is made on a base of the processed data from 3645 questionnaires submitted by the participants from all 200 groups, which indicates that 93% of participants provided their feed back on above mentioned training aspects. Please see the evaluation analysis.

MCEC, as a training provider, responded to all World Learning’s requirements. Although this was a challenging program, due to the large number of participants and the existing time constrains, MCEC still managed to implement all program activities successfully and within the given time frame.

Follow-on activities
The number of teachers trained per school was based on the size of the school, i.e., the total number of teachers and students. Therefore, in average, there were 10 to 15 teachers representing each primary school. Considering that a large number of teachers still need to benefit from similar training, MCEC recommends that a second round should be offered to the remaining number of teachers. In addition, MCEC recommends that more advanced trainings should be implemented for those teachers who already possess basic IT skills and knowledge.

HIGHLIGHTS: Some of participants’ training feedbacks:

  • “I express my personal gratitude to the training provider and to the trainers as well. This should be a motivation for future IT trainings.” – Psychologist from school in Strumica
  • “The trainers had detailed approach and great patience towards us and they gave us not only knowledge, but also nurtured our love to work with computers.” – Lower elementary teacher from school in Strumica
  • “The trainings was very good and productive for us as teachers; we would like to have more opportunities for future IT trainings.” – Upper elementary teacher from school in village Prosenikovo
  • “Such trainings are very valuable and will help us to keep the pace with the modern information technology.” – Upper elementary teacher from school from Prilep.
  • “There should be more classes and topics on IT integration in the teaching process. I suggest that interactive teaching tools on CD-ROMs should be developed for individual teaching subjects”. – Upper elementary teacher from school in Gevgelija
  • “Time spent together and cooperation during training classes was on a very high level. Thanks to the training providers, and hope to have similar courses in the future. Trainers were very patient and responsible to support each one of us.” – Upper elementary teacher from school in village Kanatlarci.
  • “We welcome this training initiative that should be continued in order to include all school staff from primary education.” – Lower elementary teacher from school in Kocani