The spread of COVID-19 has interrupted schooling, which disturbs not only the life of pupils but many of their parents and teachers too. On March 11, 2020, the Ministry of Health decided to close all education institutions in Kosovo until March 27, among other preventive measures undertaken by the ministry against the pandemic. Consequently, given the lack of technological equipment possessed by schools in Kosovo and the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology required to film, edit and publish online learning units, BIRN Kosovo and its partner Internews Kosova started voluntarily filming and edited teaching units for elementary school in March and April. Subsequently these lessons were then broadcast on public TV and archived online in the Ministry of Education and KALLXO website.
Sixteen (16) BIRN Kosovo and I/KS staff (including producers, camera operators, audio and lights operators, editors and graphic designers) started filming e-lesson teaching units. Beginning on March 17, they successfully filmed and edited more than 1,800 e-learning units in Albanian, Serbian/Bosnian and Turkish in only five (5) weeks, collaborating with more than 200 teachers and assisted by more than thirty (30) volunteers. The lessons began broadcasting on March 23, 2020 on the public Radio Television of Kosovo (RTK), in Albanian, Serbian/Bosnian and Turkish while our teams were involved in the production of Albanian language units primarily. Considering the pandemic continues, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology said that it needs technical and human capacities to produce more learning units before the end of June 2020. Therefore, BIRN Kosovo and I/KS asked US Embassy for help in continuing to support the extra 1287 e-learning units, which were filmed, edited and broadcast during May and June 2020. A part of this work was also done pro-bono in support of the education of Kosovo pupils.
Given the worsened situation with the COVID-19 pandemic, as of the last week of July 2020, the Ministry of Education is preparing several scenarios including partial reopening of the schools in September, not reopening at all or closing and then reopening. In any given scenario, the Ministry will need to have e-lessons filmed from 1-9th grade for all the months that have not been filmed so far. Having filmed and broadcasted over 2000 lessons so far, the feedback that KALLXO team has received is also highly based on the necessity for assistance to the teaching staff in Kosovo.
The Ministry of Education has requested the KALLXO team to provide training on public speaking to Kosovo teachers as well as to provide online assistance and technical support to 25,000 teachers of Kosovo. Many teachers have claimed that they do not know how to use applications like Zoom, Google Meets, Google Classroom etc. The Ministry has requested KALLXO’s help to build manuals in Albanian on how to use these applications. The teachers of Kosovo have confessed that they have not been able to use these online tools to communicate with students as the Ministry or the municipal departments have not offered them this training ever before.
Considering the feedback received and lessons learnt during the March-June 2020 period, KALLXO will provide public speaking trainings to teachers prior to e-learning unit filming.
The US Embassy in Kosovo
The overall goal request for support is to provide Kosovo teachers with public speaking training and technical support on using online tools/platforms during the e-learning process for school year 2020-2021.
- Training of fifty (50) teachers on public speaking and presenting in front of the camera;
- Advanced mentorship to teachers for issues identified during the e-learning process and mentorship to teachers provided, and
- Creating manuals in Albanian in how to use ZOOM, Google classroom, Google meet and establishing and maintaining a technical support help line to provide ad-hoc assistance to teachers during the e-learning process.
- Teachers of primary schools across Kosovo;
- The Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation;
- 230,000 pupils around the country and their parents or guardians.
Internews Kosova, MESTI