- preschool children: 2,400
- preschools for training: 15, preschools for partnership: 60
- sector workers (public/private management and teachers): over 250
The Project stems from RTM’s 20-year presence in the country and from a Feasibility Study in Kosovo coordinated by RTM and carried out by a mixed team composed of 6 experts in pedagogy, training, management of early childhood educational services, and integration of the Western Balkans.
In Kosovo, over 90% of licensed preschools are located in urban centres; the majority of them (about 65%) is run by private actors. Although the development of the preschool sector is included among the national priorities, the governance capacities of the sector by the Ministry of Education are still limited.
The consultations carried out during the feasibility study revealed a deep concern about the poor quality of preschool education. This element has also been found in several international studies.
The project addresses 3 specific needs and problems:
- Weak professional skills of preschool staff
Preschool directors and educators have an outdated or low-quality education. Modern pedagogical materials are lacking and opportunities for refreshment are scarce and expensive.
- Top-down educational methods
Preschools use “imported” learning methods focused on discipline and the obligation to learn. Therefore, the teaching, materials, and educational spaces are rigid, repetitive. The participation of families is very weak: parents see preschool as a “parking lot” aimed at preparing children for primary school.
- Public-private antagonism
The relationship between public and private actors is ineffective as it is based on the defense of vested interests. Private actors see the relationship with institutions as useless due to the limited public funding available.
- Weak professional skills of preschool staff
- 2,400 preschool children
- 15 preschools for training, 60 for partnership
- over 250 sector workers (public/private management and teachers)
The general objective of PEDAKOS is to support national policies for the implementation of the KESP – Kosovo Education Strategic Plan 2017-2021 relating to the pre-school component. A bottom-up approach is adopted to support preschools in defending and promoting the rights of children, developing their skills, and establishing a constructive dialogue with institutions. Namely, the intervention seeks to increase the quality of educational services offered by public, private, and community-based kindergartens, fostering public-private partnerships at all levels.
The intervention strategy revolves around 3 pillars.
- PROFESSIONAL TRAINING
The aim is to increase the professional skills of preschool staff through: study visits to Italy, a 2-year on-site training course, the provision of pedagogical material and the setting up of a demonstration space in the academic field, the creation of a pool of local trainers, and the following accreditation of a new preschool training programme.
- GOOD PRACTICES
The aim is to support 15 pilot preschools in experimenting and being inspired by an educational approach (Reggio Emilia Approach) based on the protection and promotion of the rights and potential of children and on co-responsibility between schools, families, and institutions. To do this, target schools are supported in the implementation of pilot initiatives for the design of educational spaces, participation of families, reuse of materials, and nutrition education. The pilot experiences are then shared with other actors through pedagogical exchanges, seminars, and a travelling exhibition.
- PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP
Thanks to a mix of technical and financial assistance and the development of an information campaign, we intend to support the Ministry and its non-profit counterparts in the process of reform and relaunch of the National Council of Preschool Institutions of Kosovo (“Collegium”), so that it becomes a sector forum at national level attended by schools of all kinds (60) and by the competent institutions.
The project is a driving force for female employment: women make up 100% of the preschool staff and have access to both private and public managerial positions. Strengthening 0-6 education therefore means to strengthen the position of women in Kosovar society. PEDAKOS contributes to female empowerment by ensuring quality professional training for teachers, involving the whole family in the child’s education, increasing the representation of women in dialogue with institutions, and improving an essential service for women’s access to work.
PEDAKOS makes Italian excellence available to Kosovo: the Reggio Emilia Approach, an educational philosophy born in the preschools and kindergartens of the Municipality of Reggio Emilia, that has stemmed an international network which includes organisations from all continents.
- KOSOVO MINISTRY OF EDUCATION, SCIENCE, AND TECHNOLOGY
- ASSOCIATION CHILDPROOF [CIPOF]
- AGENCY FOR SOCIO-EDUCATIONAL SERVICES “SHPRESA E JETES”
- PRESCHOOL INSTITUTION “BOTANIKA”
- UNIVERSITY OF PRISHTINA – FACULTY OF EDUCATION
- KOSOVO PEDAGOGICAL INSTITUTE
- MUNICIPALITY OF REGGIO EMILIA – INSTITUTION FOR PRESCHOOLS AND INFANT-TODDLER CENTRES
- E 35 FOUNDATION
- REGGIO CHILDREN FOUNDATION – LORIS MALAGUZZI CENTRE