The continuous professional development of teachers and trainers in non-formal adult education has been gaining importance in the past few years in Macedonia. There are more and more examples of various profiles of providers in the non-formal adult education landscape in the country, who understand the crucial importance of the capacity building and the continuous professional education of the teachers, as a prerequisite for quality assurance of the non-formal education services they provide. The German Language Center from Skopje – a non-formal education provider with a 10-year experience in German Language teaching services, is one of them. Quality assurance is one of their top strategic priorities and the key to their success. How do they approach the quality assurance? Find out in the interview with Ms Aleksandra Petreska – Paskoska, owner of German Language Center, and Ms Irena Georgievska, teaching coordinator;
Ms Petreska – Paskoska, Ms Georgievska, you set the focus in your work on quality assurance. How do you assure quality of your services?
In order for us to accomplish our vision and to become and remain a reliable partner in organizing German language courses on national, and I near future also on regional level, we designed a German language teaching program that is flexible and adaptable in accordance with the needs of the client.
With the aim to ensure a continuous growth and development of the services we offer, it became clear at the very beginning that it will be necessary to set up a quality assurance system. The quality assurance, especially of the intellectual services is one of the biggest challenges for every provider of such services.
Our system relies on two levels: through continuous training for the teaching staff on the one, and through continuous monitoring and assessment of the teaching processes measured through the learning outcomes of each of the adult learners.
You have developed an internal system of training at the workplace for the teaching staff in your organization. Please tell us more about it;
The position of teaching coordinator was created at the very beginning of the founding of our Center. Throughout the years, it gained on importance; namely, the teaching coordinator got an extended responsibility as a trainer of the teaching staff and assessor of the teaching quality.
The internal system of training at the workplace is a continuous process that starts with the welcoming of a new team member.
It is understandable that the educational work is defined by the energy, personality and style of the teacher. Because our portfolio consists of a variety of services that require teamwork, each team member must be adequately prepared.
How does the internal continuous education influence the motivation of the teachers and the general climate in your Center and how does it contribute toward quality improvement?
The continuous training at the workplace contributes toward the improvement of the teaching quality, but it also contributes toward the setting up and nourishment of the positive corporate atmosphere as well.
The positive experience of our adult learners throughout the process of learning German or Macedonian language is our mission. We cannot accomplish our mission without the pleasant working atmosphere, that reigns in our Center, created by happy, fulfilled and highly motivated employees.
What other measures do you take for the continuous professional development of the teaching staff?
In the frames of the compulsory trainings at the workplace, the employees gain knowledge and skills, and share and exchange their experiences, give suggestions and ideas for the improvement of the teaching process, new services or projects.
A part of our team has already participated in series of external trainings and conferences and shared the learnt in the team. In future, the participation of all team members at external training programs will become a regular practice.