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Vocation, innovation, integration

Daniela Nuredini on how Albania is upgrading ICT and English teaching

Albania is working towards EU membership and needs to modernise. Current reforms include a focus on the economy and the labour market, which have a significant influence on the country’s objectives, education methodology and infrastructure. In response to the changing requirements of the future workforce, public education in the Republic of Albania has been restructuring to adapt to technological changes and innovations.

Vocational education sector reform aims to bring the education system closer to the reality of the workplace and market competition. There have been institutional changes, greater labour market orientation and an increase in the number of new specialists with qualifications and skills needed to create a dynamic programme.

The main purpose of vocational education in information and communication technology (ICT) is to develop students’ abilities to thrive in the fast-paced constantly changing world around them. There is a focus on developing professional competence based on knowledge, skills, attitudes and values.

Albania’s vocational ministry has benefited from support in preparing students for ICT in the following ways:

  • Improvement of school infrastructure (computers, printers, labs, etc.)
  • Continuous training of ICT teachers to develop courses
  • Improvement of school curricula, bringing them closer to market requirements

The last two points are closely linked to another initiative, improving students’ language abilities and bringing them closer to European standards.  Albania is aiming for EU integration and inclusion in the global market as an equal competitor. This requires the acquisition of ICT and language competences, making English a necessity.

At the British Council in Albania we aim to provide quality in teaching and learning opportunities for all young people. Linguistic skills are key to overcoming communication barriers within the country and abroad. Languages serve to open channels of communication and research, and to promote, encourage and consolidate a broad intercultural understanding.
The Ministry of Education and Science and the British Council have focused cooperation on vocational high schools, ICT and language learning based on the English for Skills project, which supports English language teaching in vocational high schools with a curriculum tool kit.

The kit renews a course outline, designing and offering a new structure for introducing vocational English language skills and proposing a new way of teacher preparation. Teachers are now encouraged to prepare lesson plans on a weekly basis and focus on qualitative integrated teaching.
Teachers have been very positive about the changes, and learners are now better placed to communicate their improved knowledge of ICT through English and ultimately succeed in the workplaces of the future.

Daniela Nuredini is programme manager of the British Council Albania

Modern vision: (L to R) Edije Betja, director of ICT VET, Myqerem Tafaj, Albanian minister of education, Nicholas Cannon, British ambassador to Albania, and Daniela Nuredini, BC Albania programme manager. Courtesy British Council Albania