Partnership with Albanian Ministry of Education opens doors to help improve education

Just a few months ago, 1,500 children marched through the streets of a poor Albanian town – Dibra – with the support of World Vision, chanting that education was their right to life. One child said “Through education I can realise my dreams,” and another said, “to be educated means to have a future full of hope.”

Yet for many Albanian children, a quality education is out of reach due to family poverty and the pressure to work in order to contribute to the family income. Limited resources and poor infrastructure in schools are also disadvantaging students, especially those in rural areas.

Now the doors are open, we can just enter, be creative, collaborative, and helpful for more partners and more children
The new memorandum of cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Science now gives World Vision official entry status to work with schools across the country – an opportunity that World Vision believes will enable greater collaboration to more effectively reach the goal of ‘Children educated for life’. Before this memorandum, regional directors had the discretion to allow or not allow World Vision into schools to work with staff and students.

Furthermore, the memorandum makes the Ministry and World Vision key partners in working toward mutually beneficial goals such as improvements in early childhood education among other initiatives. The signing of this memorandum culminates two years of iterative work and meetings with the Albanian government to enable World Vision to more effectively address education issues in public schools.

“Education is a human right which every child should have access to and children themselves have the right to raise their voice to have access to school and enjoy a quality education which equips them with skills for life,” said Brisida Jahaj, World Vision Education Manager.

Education is a human right which every child should have access to“Before this agreement we had to spend a lot of energy and time knocking on school doors to get permission to enter,” said Emiljano Kaziaj, World Vision’s National Education Coordinator. “Now we don’t have to do that anymore because the doors are open, we can just enter, be creative, collaborative, and helpful for more partners and more children.”

World Vision’s Education project in Albania is focused on improving student skills in analysing situations, critical thinking, and working with adults to transform their school environment into a child-friendly space. The education staff seek to empower local education stakeholders to improve their education programme so all children are educated for life.

During 2010 many efforts emerging from the Student Governments proved to be successful with the collaboration of the still fragile structures of School Boards, which have resulted in several successful initiatives and the support of local government authorities. World Vision has been working in ten Area Development Programmes with Student Governments, teachers, school boards, local government and other partners on the local and national level to improve the quality of education across Albania.