Moving Beyond the Computer Lab: E-Schools.mk, Macedonia

E-School.mk is a project funded by the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) dot-EDU initiative, which is using the computers donated by the Government of the People's Republic of China, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Science (MoES) of the Republic of Macedonia, to introduce a new concept of information and communication technology (ICT) use in education. The goals of E-School.mk are to install computers in every primary school and high school in Macedonia and to train teachers to use technology to support innovative student- centered and project-based pedagogy. E-School.mk is advancing the Macedonia National Education Development Strategy to base “the educational process on the principles of interactive teaching, with a focus on creative learning, critical thinking, problem-solving and implementation of modern education technology.”

Professional development outcomes: teachers developed websites, publications and curriculum units an The E-School.mk project began with installation of computer labs in all 91 secondary schools in the Republic of Macedonia. The next step was to improve the quality and relevance of teaching, using ICT applications to facilitate communication, networking and interaction among the teachers and the students. Education Development Center, Inc. (EDC) conducted a series of trainings for two teachers from each of the secondary schools. The trainings focused on the use of ICT through project-based learning strategies and networking. As a result of the first round of training, each school team developed a school-based project including students and other teachers. The common thread for all projects was the use of ICT in a variety of topics, addressing different needs from the school and the community. Students with disabilities used ICT tools to do creative designs for their schoolyard; students used presentation software to raise public awareness that resulted in improved water quality for a town of 25,000 people; and math students conducted Internet research and demonstrated online learning modules to show the faculty that math learning can be fun and engaging. The cohort of 180 teachers, about to finish their second round of training in August, will serve as the core group of trained teachers that will further disseminate their skills and knowledge in the use of ICT and innovative pedagogy to teachers in their respective schools.

The MoES as well as the Bureau for the Development of Education (BDE) are closely involved in all trainings and activities. They provide direct support both to the E-School.mk project team members and to the teachers, ensuring that the quality of education in Macedonia is improved by integrating the use of ICT into the regular curriculum.

The E-School.mk project will complete installation of computers in all 360 primary schools by September 1, 2005. A series of trainings will follow for primary school teachers, enabling them to use and apply ICT in their daily work with the students. The E-School.mk project is also in the process of developing an education portal that will link the teachers and the students in a virtual working environment. The education portal will provide on-line resources for the school directors, teachers and students, and will enable them to easily share their experiences and practices.

E-School.mk marks the beginning of a new education system that is dedicated to using ICT and innovative pedagogy to teach students critical-thinking, entrepreneurial, communications, leadership, technological, and other 21st Century workforce skills that are crucial to the future of Macedonia.

For more information about the E-Schools.mk project in Macedonia, please contact:
Sonia Arias
Project Director
Education Development Center
Tel: (202) 572-3700
Email:

For more information about dot-EDU, please contact:
William Wright
Director, dot-EDU
Education Development Center
Tel: (202) 572-3700
Email:



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