The Project Ends - The Interethnic Integration in Education Process Continues

Studens performance at the close out event
Studens performance at the close out event
Kendra Helmer

Promoting Interethnic Integration Throughout Macedonia

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

March 15, 2017 - Today’s event at Hotel Alexander Palace in Skopje marks the achievements and joint efforts in the last five years of the USAID Interethnic Integration in Education Program (IIEP) in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Science, educational institutions, municipalities, schools and partners. The objective of this program was to integrate children of various ethnic backgrounds through education and other activities. IIEP involved schools, teachers, children and parents, local leaders, and entire communities in developing interethnic relationships and building the foundation for a better future. In his remarks, Mr. James Stein, Mission Director of the USAID Macedonia, noted that “For many years, USAID has worked closely with the Government of Macedonia, municipal leaders, and other partners to improve access to a quality education for all of Macedonia’s learners. We have made great progress in this effort. As part of these joint efforts, we launched the Inter-ethnic Integration in Education project five years ago to break down barriers and build bridges across ethnic divides in every school in Macedonia.” We are proud that every primary and secondary school in Macedonia has participated in this initiative.” “We are also proud of the contributions of the U.S. European Command, the Ministry of Education, and municipal leaders, who provided funding to renovate 63 schools throughout Macedonia, so students can have a safer learning environment. These renovations benefited over 46,000 students and 5,000 teachers across the country.” .” One of the core achievements of the project is that every primary and secondary school in Macedonia is now engaged in the process. Most of the municipalities, parent councils, and local communities supported and will continue to support community-level integration activities. Many municipalities have created school integration councils and actively promote ethnic cohesion. The Bureau for Development of Education’s advisors and education inspectors at the national and regional levels were involved in achieving sustained change and capacity strengthening activities. The project has established nearly 400 partnerships between schools through which teachers and students from schools with different languages of instruction interact. More than 5,600 students have participated in ethnically diverse creative workshops, debate clubs, and curricular and extracurricular activities. Additionally, many more students have participated in school and municipal-level sports and other joint activities. Through the Office of Defense Cooperation (ODC), EUCOM has contributed $1.5 million and the Minister of Education and municipalities close to $800,000 over five years to fund the renovations of the participating schools. To date, 63 schools have been renovated providing a modern and safe learning environment fro over 46,000 students. USAID Interethnic Integration in Education Program (IIEP), implemented by the Macedonian Civic Education Center, was a five-year, $6.2 million initiative in support of the Government of Macedonia’s efforts for ethnic integration. This program built awareness and provided diversity training, technical assistance, and incentives to school boards, principals, teachers, and administration officials in support of interethnic integration in education. For more information please visit: www.pmio.mk

Last updated: April 25, 2017

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