In late 2012 the Ministry of Education and Science (MoES) expressed an interest to cooperate with the European Training Foundation (ETF) to develop the first Entrepreneurial Learning strategy for the country. In response to this request, ETF provided guidance, shared knowledge and good practice, technical expertise and quality assurance throughout the strategy build-up process. In December 2012 ETF supported the organization of a first workshop with a wide group of stakeholders, including young entrepreneurs. The workshop led to the identification of a number of pillars that will feature in next-phase planning discussions, which ultimately resulted in a national entrepreneurial learning strategy.
A second workshop was organized in April 2013. Its main objective was to present the proposed starting activities in preparation of the EL Strategy. During the workshop expert teams described the overall project concept and planned deliverables. The experts also presented the methodology, approach and milestones that will be used to track the development of the EL strategy. The workshop received excellent feedback from the participants and ideas that can be included in the development of this strategy were well received. In the period between April – June 2013, a wide range of networking e-tools were developed in order to gain additional input. These complimented the on-site visit that experts conducted:
- desk research (relevant documents, links, web pages, etc.); interviews (by phone and face-to-face site visits with all relevant stakeholders); questionnaire were sent to selected organizations / schools / donors / individuals ;
- on-line forum; e-mail list directory created for development of Macedonian EL strategy.
- Faceebook community for Macedonian EL strategy.
In order wider community to be closely engaged in creation of EL Strategy, video materials from the first EL workshop (April 18 2013) was posted on the following link http://www.youtube.com/user/Pretpriemac/videos. Some of the presentations from the workshop can be found on this links (P1 and P2).
After collecting different ideas via the networking tools and on-site visits during this period, experts drafted the stocktaking report of good practices that was presented to the third workshop in July 2013. The final stocktaking document was then updated with the recommendations and ideas from the participants at the third workshop, and served as a basis in the creation of this entrepreneurial learning strategy. The participants of the workshops that actively participated in the creation of this strategy included representatives from leading state institutions (Ministry of education and science, Ministry of economy, Ministry of labour and social affairs, State Agencies, etc.) chambers of commerce, employers representative organizations, business support organizations, schools, universities, Biro for Development in Education, Centre for Adult Education, VET Centre, young entrepreneurs, ETF, donor representatives, municipalities and other relevant institutions. Draft version of the strategy was presented in December 2013 in front of the Inter-Agency board that was body responsible for finalisation, implementation and monitoring of the strategy. Head of the Board is the State secretary in the MoES, while all main stakeholders are members in the board. In the period December 2013 – April 2014 EL strategy was finalized and Action plan 2014-2016 was developed. Because of the parliamentary election and appointment of the new Government official adoption of the strategy was realised in November 2014.
The high priority areas for the entrepreneurial learning strategy in the Republic of Macedonia are located in five main pillars elaborated above,
while technology and good practices are the drivers of the strategy that will increase overall EL awareness and will results in reforms and continuous teachers (service providers) development. All of these are the preconditions for achieving an EL strategy vision - to ensure sustainable economic development and prosperity of the Republic of Macedonia and Macedonia to become a country with highly developed entrepreneurial culture and spirit that inspires everyone.
As can be seen from the figure 1, there are five pillars as a central part of the entrepreneurial learning ecosystem in the Republic of Macedonia. They are the basic foundation that will directly frame the implementation of Entrepreneurial Learning activities - in order to support economic growth and development of the Republic of Macedonia. Importantly, there are also five energizers that will support the implementation and continuous improvement of the entrepreneurial learning process in the country: (1) creating strong awareness in the whole environment about the true meaning and importance of entrepreneurial learning; (2) focus on foundational educational reforms and continuous teachers’ development in the field; (3) using the state-of-the-art-technology in implementing entrepreneurial learning activities; (4) implementation of systematic approach in developing, implementing and sharing best practices related to the implementation of EL activities inside and outside country; (5) building strong international cooperation among all educational institutions in the country.
Macedonia aims to promote the entrepreneurial thinking massively. For that purpose, the formal education is a mean that could be used for teaching entrepreneurship on a more organized way and imposing it systematically to every young individual in the country. The introduction of the subjects: Innovation, Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Business and Entrepreneurship to the formal primary and secondary education occurred gradually over longer time period (2007-2014), which required reforms for consolidation of teaching curricula to be conducted.
The transformation of the formal education toward more entrepreneurial and innovative started from secondary education, with the introduction of the subject Business and Entrepreneurship in the 4th year of secondary schools in 2007. Few years later, or more precisely in 2012, new subject entitled Innovation and Entrepreneurship was introduced in 1st,2nd and 3rd year of secondary schools. Starting from 2013, the primary education also experienced innovative transformation, by injecting the Innovation and Entrepreneurship topics in six regular subjects of 9th grade of primary schools, which process was finalized in 2014 with the introduction of the subject Innovation to the 9th grade of primary schools. In order to have continuity of the themes in 2015 expert group reviewed whole entrepreneurial educational curricula by development of a highly-structured methodology (study program) for innovation and entrepreneurship.
The high priority areas for Macedonian EL strategy are located in five main pillars (figure above):
- Primary education;
- Secondary education;
- Higher Education;
- Informal and non-formal education;
- Young entrepreneurs.
Another important benefit from application of this methodology is the reformed role of the teachers, which evolves during the school years: from teachers as knowledge-providers in lower school years, to teachers as supervisors and facilitators of the activities where students learn by doing, in upper school years. The application of this methodology for revising the curricula for entrepreneurial education ensures step-by-step evolving education experience for the youth, blending together not only formal and informal educational ways, but also establishing connections with the community and the business sector, ensuring that the real needs of enterprise skills will be embedded into the educational system.
Attachments can be found here: