A conference marking five years of BiH participation in the eTwinning programme, an electronic platform for European schools that Bosnia and Herzegovina joined in 2015, was hosted on October 10th, 2019 in the BiH Parliamentary Assembly.
Gianluca Vannini, Head of Operations Section for Social Development, Civil Society and Cross Border Cooperation of the Delegation of the European Union in BiH, emphasised that teachers are a driving force of reforms to the education sector throughout the country: “The eTwinning platform is a step forward to internationalisation of education in BiH. The EU has recognised a need to support teachers to access adequate initial and in-service training and has allocated an additional 3 million EUR for this purpose. We are also committed to supporting education reform regarding Vocational Education and Training Reform and reform of pre-school education”, said Vannini.
Maja Stojkić, Director of the Agency for Pre-school, Primary and Secondary Education in BiH, which acts as the State Office for support to eTwinning teachers in BiH, stressed the necessity to continually provide extensive training of all professional associates in the educational process, and to initiate measures that enable improvements to the quality of education.
“We have taken the necessary steps in Bosnia and Herzegovina to provide a basis for the comparison of the knowledge of our pupils with that of their peers in the rest of Europe, so they may become equals. Currently, we have more than 1,500 registered teachers, which is a lot for a country the size of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and around 200 registered schools, of which more than 180 have been awarded the state quality mark”, stated Stojkić.
In the framework of eTwinning in BiH, there are also eight ambassadors, comprising teachers and other non-teaching staff, who promote the programme. Lejla Hujdur, eTwinning Ambassador to BiH, emphasised that eTwinning has multiple impacts on the work of teachers in schools, precisely because it provides continual professional development of its members, through its free portal.
“We don’t have to wait for formal institutions in our country, we can educate and improve ourselves through eTwinning. Also, the programme enables us to access project-based teaching where we engage pupils in a creative manner that maximises their engagement and willingness to work”, emphasised Hujdur.
The Conference was also an opportunity to present eTwinning School awards and plaques as a form of recognition and reward for the involvement, dedication and loyalty of not only individual teachers but of entire eTwinning school teams. Representatives of NSS EPALE Bosnia and Herzegovina took part in the conference, too.
eTwinning is an integral part of the Erasmus+ programme, providing a platform for educational staff (teachers, head teachers, librarians, etc.) to communicate, collaborate, develop projects and be part of the most exciting learning community in Europe. Since its launch in 2005, eTwinning has engaged more than 450,000 registered teachers from 175,000 schools, making it the world’s largest teaching network. 57,000 projects benefiting millions of pupils of all ages have so far resulted from this most innovative of programmes.