The Capacity Development in Basic Education project (CDBE) sees a crucial focus in strengthening teachers’ qualification in order to achieve an improved Quality in Education. Studies have proven that the students ‘achievements in Mathematics and Natural Sciences are especially crucial for Economic Development. In the light of the introduction of the New Kosovo Curriculum it is important to offer teacher training opportunities that focus on subject-didactics in a competency based approach.
Thus the CDBE-project started its first trainings in Mathematics and Natural Sciences Grade 1-5 and 6-9 in 2012. Since then seven trainings have been developed and successfully implemented; more than 1000 teachers have been reached in all 6 Pilot Municipalities, many of them several times. As all teachers prepare a portfolio reflecting the application of the training in actual model lessons; a selection of those are being published and distributed via face-book. All trainings are embedded in a comprehensive monitoring process, which includes knowledge tests (pre- and post-training) and classroom observations (2-3 months after the training). All reports show a very positive impact at the knowledge level; the application of this knowledge in the classroom also improved, but not as strong as the knowledge – which is an expected result: it is much easier to refresh your knowledge than to change your behavior. A thorough Control Group Study, which CDBE has mandated in 2014, confirmed a positive impact on the knowledge of teachers and also showed the positive cumulative impact of consecutive trainings.
The trainings also showed that there is still a high percentage of not sufficiently qualified teachers. CDBE supports the MEST in developing a Comprehensive Strategy for Teacher Professional Development, which includes a teacher licensing system incl. a regular pedagogical inspection.
CDBE supported MEST in the development of the New Kosovar Curriculum: based on previous work CDBE together with national and international experts developed model-lessons for the integration of Career Education in the grades 6 and 7 (workbooks for each students and teachers) and of Environmental Education on Energy Efficiency and Waste Management for grade 6-9.
The entire work with teachers is important as they are crucial for improving quality of education: but in the end it is the learning achievements of students that count and define the actual level of education quality.
The results of the MEST-external test for a national sample of grade 5 students in Mathematics and Albanian language from 2013 show a very low achievement of students, especially in Mathematics: in average the students only mastered 34 % of the test questions, that means that at the end of primary school the average students has missed already 2/3 of what he/she should know in Mathematics. This is an enormous burden for the next education levels and puts narrow limits to further achievements.
On request of the resp. Municipal Education Directors CDBE supported the full coverage of two of the pilot municipalities, so that the MEDs have a clear picture on student performance in their municipality on class basis.
The assessment of student achievements is still a challenge: the a.m. MEST test of grade 5 students also investigated the difference between internal and external assessment, the difference between the performance of the student in the test and the marks received by the teachers, . This difference was very big, in average it counts for 2 grades! Thus neither student nor parents get a true feed-back of the actual performance. CDBE developed a training on summative assessment focusing on test Design (assessment of actual learning) which will be piloted in the six municipalities.
As all the other training, also this training is accredited by the MEST.
GIZ/CDBE is supporting the process of the first participation of Kosovo in PISA and will provide the national report at end of 2016, at the same time as the international PISA Report will be published.
CDBE will support the broad discussion of the results and respective recommendations.