Institutionalizing and Consolidating Innovations for Youth in Kosovo
The proposed project will ensure that adolescent girls and boys and young men and women are provided with skills for life and skills for decent work. This will ultimately ensure that young men and women are empowered to achieve their full potential and are ready to become social change agents/innovators/entrepreneurs. The Project will realize three main Outcomes:
1) Strengthened skills-based curriculum and blended learning solutions for the upper-secondary formal education system; 2) Institutionalized local social innovation hubs; 3) Digital solutions for public institutions; 4) Strengthened professional readiness of adolescent girls and boys and young men and women.
Output 1. The Learning Passport is functional and fully embedded as a core digital solution in the context of education reform to facilitate distance and blended learning by the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI). 960 upper secondary teachers from four municipalities (Gjilan, Lipjan, Dragash and Fushe Kosova) are trained with the basic skills on the utilisation of the Learning Passport initiative/shkollat.org digital learning platform. In addition to facilitating the school learning for all children, the Learning Passport provides opportunities for adolescents and youth to build their digital skills. 10,555 adolescents and youth from upper secondary education are equipped with skills so that teachers and students can collaborate online. 140 teachers (60% females) are trained in the provision of the amended skills-based curriculum, 3 skills-based programme curricula (UPSHIFT, PONDER and PODIUM) will be accredited and introduced into existing formal curriculum of secondary education. As a result, 2,400 adolescent girls and boys (60% girls) will be trained in 21st century skills.
Output 2. 4 social innovation hubs are established in 4 different regions of Kosovo, whereby 3,500 adolescent girls and boys will gain access to skills-based programmes through deployment of UPSHIFT initiative and 4 social innovation hubs to ensure that the programme is able to reach 60% of adolescent girls and young women. In this context, 8 social start-ups will be established through StartUP initiative and 400 beneficiaries will gain professional capacities and trained in soft and transferable skills. Moreover, 800 adolescent girls and boys will be trained in advocacy for change and 35 youth-led campaigns will be implemented by beneficiaries through the Podium: Advocacy for Change workshop. In addition, 700 adolescent girls and boys will gain knowledge in sexuality education through Shnet app, and 350 beneficiaries will gain skills in critical media literacy, whereby 30 of them will do experiential learning apprenticeship within media outlets through Ponder workshop.
Output 3. 700 adolescent girls and boys and young men and women (60% girls and young women) are trained in relevant ICT skills and will gain professional experience through a practicum pursued in cooperation with and under the mentorship of ICT professionals to design, develop, manage, and deploy 6 ICT-based solutions for public benefit.
Output 4. 350 adolescents and youth (55% girls and young women) are trained and placed in internship positions in private sector entities, public sector and other organizations. In addition, 700 adolescents and youth (55% girls and young women) are engaged as volunteers in supporting their communities, health workers and public institutions in response to COVID-19 situation and vaccination rollout
In total 19,705 direct beneficiaries are targeted. The target group constitutes adolescent girls and boys and young men and women aged 14-24 years, with specific focus on the most marginalized adolescent girls and boys, those coming from rural areas and impoverished municipalities. The advocacy initiatives will specifically target adolescent girls and boys aged 14-18, while the social innovation and social entrepreneurship will target young men and women 14-24.
Some of the key activities to achieve the results are:
• Support the MESTI with an analysis of gaps of the existing curriculum on skills-based learning, including the revision from a gender perspective;
• Support MESTI with establishing linkages between the existing curriculum on skills-based learning and UNICEF’s skills-based curricula and an action plan with a gender equity lens for the implementation of skills-based programmes;
• Support MESTI with training resources, materials to design and implement/deliver workshops for trainings for teachers for delivering skills-based programmes;
• Pilot, test and asses the skills-based curriculum in selected schools with the trained teachers;
• Establish social innovation hubs in partnership with the municipality institutions, schools, academia, and Education Directorates;
• Establish a mentorship partnership with the private sector, academia and other relevant stakeholders and conduct trainings of young men and women mentors;
• Conduct skills-based trainings and workshops with adolescent girls and boys and young men and women;
• Provide support to seed financing, incubation services, and mentorship for young men and women led projects;
• Solicit client organization project requests;
• Analyse projects, develop a structured curriculum for the Techstitution initiative and/or secure learning resources;
• Through the structured mentorship scheme, secure and capacitate trainers to conduct workshops and provide mentorship to public institutions for the usage of the ICT solutions provided;
• Conduct project inception/charter event, introductory project management training;
• Deliver curriculum for beneficiaries;
• Capacitate public institutions (client) and deploy solution;
• Liaise young people with internship positions through the match-making platform kosovogenu.com;
• Increase the capacities of the Kosovo Generation Unlimited, a multi-sector initiative which brings together the private sector, public institutions, donors und young people for the purpose of softening school-to-work transitions;
• Create and populate the match-making platform with e-learning materials for the benefit of young interns to equip them with skills for their professional development;
• Provide regular mentorship to the interns;
• Supporting volunteer hosting organizations and young people for the certification and recognition of the voluntary work through the Kosovo Volunteers platform
The majority of Kosovo’s poor-quality instruction and outdated pedagogy throughout all education levels affects the entire Kosovo adolescent population, but most particularly girls and adolescents from non-majority communities. According to the 2018 Public Pulse Analysis conducted by UNDP and USAID, 25% of respondents consider that the education that they are obtaining is not useful to get a job. Moreover, 38% of young people consider as the main obstacle the lack of professionalism by teachers and professors, and 28% the quality of the curriculum. According to the same analysis, 69% of Roma respondents reported not attending school or university, a significantly higher number than other communities who are not attending or are out of the system. In this context, the need for a tailor-made approach targeting out of school children is essential, to ensure they attend and/or to supplement education through alternative channels as proposed in the project.