Youth Ethnic Integration Project

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Youth Ethnic Integration Project Fact Sheet
Youth Ethnic Integration Project Fact Sheet
USAID/North Macedonia

BACKGROUND

Long-standing ethnic and linguistic divisions in North Macedonia, particularly in the education system, have prevented students from regularly communicating and interacting, thus posing a risk of misunderstanding and ethnic stereotyping. Additionally, because the old civic education curricula did not promote proactive values, such as civic engagement, responsibility, and striving for achievement, many youths have become disconnected, disillusioned, and unable to see their role in society. USAID contributes to this country’s efforts to promote inclusivity and engage youth in social and economic opportunities.
 

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

Through the Youth Ethnic Integration program, we partner with the Macedonian Civic Education Center, the Ministry of Education and Science (MoES), and municipalities to strengthen interethnic cohesion among ethnically and linguistically diverse students and teachers. We also partner with school communities to promote positive interactions among students of diverse ethnicities and languages and cultivate a whole-school civic ethos. Through this partnership, new, contemporary civic education curricula have been introduced in upper primary and vocational schools, which aim at strengthening students’ civic knowledge, skills, and behaviors.
 
Additionally, we are partnering with the U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) and the MoES to help school communities, which are practicing interethnic cohesion and civic engagement, to make necessary school renovations.
 

ACHIEVEMENTS AND IMPACT

  • The MoES included standards for intercultural competencies (in line with European Framework competencies) in the National Standards for Student Competencies in Primary Education, which were adopted on March 3, 2021.
  • Revised the Civic Education curricula for eighth and ninth grade primary education, as well as the curriculum for the first grade of secondary vocational schools.
  • Trained more than 450 primary and secondary teachers in the new civic education curricula content and in interactive teaching methodologies.
  • Promoted whole-school civic ethos through activities for more than 450 Civic Education teachers, student support staff and management personnel from 160 schools.
  • Facilitated more than 1,000 extracurricular activities, such as involvement in school clubs and school community projects, with participation of more than 5,600 ethnically diverse students.
  • In partnership with the City of Skopje, conducted more than 1,600 joint classes that brought together around 1,180 students from seven secondary schools, who otherwise have different languages of instruction, so they could interact while advancing their knowledge.
  • By the end of 2020, completed 36 school renovations with funding from USEUCOM, with additional renovations planned through the end of the project. Schools and municipalities now contribute 50% of the overall renovation costs.
  • Thirty municipalities developed policies and strategies related to interethnic integration in education and youth engagement aimed at promoting youth activism and mobilization of local resources.
  • The MoES developed a system of distance education as an alternative to classroom instruction during the pandemic, allowing more than 200,000 teachers and students to continue their education.
  • Rapidly developed guidance for effectively conducting virtual instruction, extracurricular activities, student clubs, and knowledge assessment during the pandemic. This was done in collaboration with the National Bureau for Development of Education, the Vocational Education & Training Center, the MoES, and civil society organizations with experience in implementing extracurricular and youth engagement activities.
 

Download PDF Fact Sheet 

Last updated: February 15, 2022

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