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 of the upper-secondary formal education system; 2) Institutionalized local social innovation hubs; 3) Digital solutions for public institutions.
Output 1. 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 2,200 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, 500 adolescent girls and boys will be trained in advocacy for change and 10 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 160 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. 600 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.
In total 7,100 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 Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST) with an analysis of gaps of the existing curriculum on skills-based learning, including the revision from a gender perspective;
• Support MEST 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 MEST 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;
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.