Twinning Project MK/07/IB/SO/05

“Support to the capacity building of the Centre for Adult Education and development of programmes for adult education, for literacy and fulfilment of elementary education for excluded persons”.

CENTRE FOR ADULT EDUCATION

Strategic and Action plan 2012-2013

 February 2012

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. ASSESSEMENT OF THE CENTRE FOR ADULT EDUCATION
    1. Strengths and opportunities
    2. Weakness and threats
  1. GENERAL MISSION OF THE CENTRE FOR ADULT EDUCATION
  1. MAIN GOALS OF THE CENTRE FOR ADULT EDUCATION
  1. VISION OF THE CENTRE FOR ADULT EDUCATION
  1. VALUES OF THE CENTRE FOR ADULT EDUCATION
  1. OBJECTIVES AND ACTIONS FOR THE YEAR 2012
  1. MID-TERM GOALS
  1. GOVERNANCE, MONITORING OF THE ACTION PLAN

a.       Roles and Responsibilities

    1. Report on performance
  1. STRENGTHS AND THREATS OF THE STRATEGY AND ACTION PLAN

 

1          ASSESSEMENT OF THE CENTER FOR ADULT EDUCATION

A thorough re-reading of the documents listed below was conducted in order to develop an Action Plan in line with the different Macedonian Laws regarding adult education and the goals for which the CAE was created. Also these readings, along with the information provided by the staff of the CAE, were useful to assess adult education in the country.

  • Law on adult education
  • National Strategy for Development of Education 2005-2015
  • Minutes of the Steering Committee 2011

The interim reports of activities 1.1, 1.2 and the final report of activity 3.1 of this project were also carefully read to take into account the findings of previous experts, the needs and opinions expressed by the different stakeholders of adult education and the members of staff on workshops, meetings and individual interviews. Special attention was paid to the SWOT analysis carried out on activity 1.2. to identify the key internal and external factors that are important to achieve the CAE’s objectives.

In order to analyze the CAE’s evolution, avoid contradictions, duplications and, above all, to obtain more information about the direction in which the Ministry of Education and the Steering Committee think the CAE should develop, three other documents were also analyzed:

  • The Annual Working programmes 2011and  2012 approved by the Steering Committee
  • The Action Plan 2011 within the Strategy for adult education of the Ministry of Education

Some meetings were also conducted with new staff members to get their vision of the CAE and their involvement and capacities regarding the activities to be carried out by the CAE. And also with older staff members to analyze what has been done so far by the CAE and to discuss plans and a common vision for the mid-term and near future, to agree upon priorities, issues, goals and strategies and to consider what procedures or steps can be used to establish and implement the action plan.

The meetings with the Director of the CAE focus on funding, identifying priorities, and choices to be addressed as part of the strategic planning effort, as well as provide a vision of the CAE present and future.

During the meeting with the Director and also with the staff, some questions were asked to make a diagnosis of the CAE situation, in connection with its projects and socio-economic environment. Their answers completed the SWOT analysis that had been carried out on activity 1.2 and which proved very useful to design an action plan in which strengths and opportunities and weakness and threats were tackled.

Strengths and opportunities:

Regulation and organization:

  • Law on Adult Education
  • Statute of the CAE which also has its own Rulebook on systematization of the working positions
  • Five bye-laws that regulate the validation process.
  • National Strategy for adult educationand a work plan for each year approved by the Ministry ofEducation.

Human resources and environment:

  • The Steering Committee has a very supportive involvement and it is making itself very visible with a good availability and accessibility
  • There is a positive response and will on the part of the new Director in order to improve and undertake some changes.
  • The staff is very motivated and they have a very good background to develop this project. Most of them have a good command of English, ITC and communication and they are capable to face up their tasks, having received much training related to Education.
  • The twinning project offers the CAE many opportunities in terms of improving its organization, training, project and task management, best practices and pilot programs.

Communication, visibility, promotion and marketing:

  • The CAE has a close relation with Centre for Vocational Education and Training and Ministry of Education and Science.
  • The CAE has got its own website.
  • The CAE is aware of some promotion and marketing should be done.
  • The CAE has a constant and informal relation with many public representatives.
  • The staff members attend different Committees as advisors on Adult Education.
  • The CAE has a small budget for promotional activities

Weakness and threats

Regulation and organization:

  • Some elements of the Adult Education Law on the role of the CAE need to be more precise.

Human resources and environment:

  • There is an evident lack of coordination with local and regional institutions which hampers the CAE more visibility.
  • There is not enough formal coordination with the Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Education, Local Authorities and other relevant institutions in the field of Adult Education.
  • There is not networking with private companies, Trade Unions, Chamber of Commerce, Chamber of Craftsmen, Professional Federations…
  • The motivation of employers for education and training of their employees is very low.
  • The state and private enterprises still do not have a developed awareness of the educational needs of their employees.
  • The educational mobility of adults in the framework of elementary and secondary education is minimal.
  • There is no culture of learning in the population.
  • There is not enough adequacy between the offer of adult education and the educational needs of the population and society and the needs of the labour market.

Communication, visibility, promotion and marketing:

  • The website needs to be implemented in terms of working with many more public institutions, disseminate programs and making it more attractive.
  • The website provides valuable information but it lacks other means of information and communication like newsletters, catalogue of programs, forums,…
  • The CAE doesn’t have a communication plan to disseminate all the relevant programs and information by any kind of means (digital, paper, media…)
  • The CAE hasn’t started to support any companies or institutions in terms of trainers’ training, advisory, guidance… which are also other means of promotion.
  • There is no publication of any catalogue of activities, promotional documents to inform any target companies, institutions or final beneficiaries of Adult Education.
  • There is no resource centre in the CAE for searching information about Adult Education

 

2          GENERAL MISSION OF THE CENTRE FOR ADULT EDUCATION:

o   Promoting a functional, modern and EU-compatible system for adult education within the context of lifelong learning, which, in our opinion should lead to a harmonisation of Macedonian adult education with documents worked out by the European Commission and with the EU standards and to a warranty that the contents and organisation of Macedonian adult education are internationally recognised in terms of theory and methodology.

o   Providing high quality learning and qualification opportunities to meet the needs of the whole population,  which has undergone drastic changes as a result of:

o   rapid changes in society and the working environment;

o   development of information and communication technology;

o   people’s need for education to cope on labour market, where the number of the unemployed is big and where increasing demands are imposed on both professional and personal level;

o   companies’ need to become and stay competitive on domestic and foreign market;

o    Enhancing employability and entrepreneurship,

o    Meeting labour market needs and contributing to economic, social and personal development.

 

3    MAIN GOALS OF THE CENTRE FOR ADULT EDUCATION

The main goals of the Centre are to contribute to the realization of the social-economic needs of the country, to answer to the needs of the labour market and to support individuals in their personal growth/development.

According to the Director, one of the goals for the next coming years it would be for the Centre to become more self-sufficient in relation to the MoES. She would also like the Centre to be fully operational in 2 years time. Her strategic axes for the following next 12 months can been stated as follows:

  1. Stabilize the number of trained staff so that there are enough human means to do all different tasks.
  2. Engage a campaign of communication towards the people who might need the Centre.
  3. Establish adult education programs verification and publish a catalogue of the said programs.
  4. Create a Database so as to be able, over time, to become a sort of Observatory of the situation of employment/unemployment.
  5. Set up a system of certification of competences.The Centre should be able to deliver unified and state recognized certifications to students who have successfully taken courses, which have been created according to the labour market demands.

Additionally, Ms Lindita Qazimi thinks the Centre should reinforce its links with stakeholders: Agency for Employment, Municipalities, Economic Partners, Ministry of Labour and Social Policy… It is these experts’ opinion that this reinforcement should lead to the integration of all the sectors of adult education (public, private and third sector) and the specification of their different roles in the meeting of social demand, as a main goal.

As explained in the strategic planning process, taking into account the Director’s opinion and also that of the members of the staff as well as having consulted the different reports of experts of the project, and minutes of the Steering Committee, we proposed the following Action Plan, which contains 5 strategic axes and 28 actions. Also 3 long-term goals and 14 actions have been spelled out for the following year 2013.

MAIN GOALS OF THE CENTRE FOR ADULT EDUCATION

MAIN GOALS OF THE CENTRE FOR ADULT EDUCATION

 

4    VISION OF THE CENTER FOR ADULT EDUCATION:

The members of the CAE would like to have a more flexible and self-sufficient organization that would allow them the freedom to choose their own paths. Their vision of the CAE is that of a bigger organization which evolves from a dependent body to one which uses the logic of projects and competences and which:

o   will collect, analyse and disseminate data and information to all stakeholders

o   will give periodic assessment of the national status of adult education

o   will establish synergies with similar organizations in the Region and in the rest of Europe

o   will establish a service for the provision of adult career and training consultations

 

5    VALUES OF THE CENTER FOR ADULT EDUCATION:

Core values are essential because they govern personal relationships, guide our processes, clarify who we are, articulate what we stand for, help explain why we act the way we do, guide us in making decisions. They underpin the whole organization, require no external justification and are essential tenets held in common by everyone. Thus it is mandatory that each member of the CAE team fully adheres to them.

o   Teamwork

Teams are the catalysts for our ideas and actions. Every team member has the power to influence the group. This power is a privilege and a responsibility.

Teamwork is the foundation of an effective, successful, fun environment in which the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

We promote and support a diverse, yet unified, team, which works together to meet its common goals.

Team members need to:

  • Focus on achieving the team goals
  • Support initiatives, implement decisions and share the successes of completion
  • Look for ways to contribute, learn and support
  • Leverage the abilities of all team members
  • Energize and inspire each other
  • Foster an atmosphere of honesty, forthrightness and utmost integrity
  • Communication

Communication inside the team allows everyone to know what to give and what to expect from others. A small unit can give the illusion of a close relationship between members who may consider formalization as pointless. This is not the case and everyone should know the function of his colleagues.Otherwise the risk of inaccurate mental representations and stereotypes that interfere in the fluidity of everyday relations is real.

  • Motivation

Motivation gives three characteristics in any conduct: strength, direction and persistence. Indeed, any behavior is goal-directed to which the personattributes a certain value. The intensity and the persistence of the action denote the value placed by the person to the objective pursued.

Motivations are very different from one individual to another one and the quality of an organization is to channel and unite them. It is also to clarify the plurality of the goals and the role that each can fill to achieve its.

  • Commitment

It is essential to get a committed workforce and that the whole staff adheres to the collective commitments and focuses on objectives and results of its organization at the expense of his own.

If this sense of commitment is shared by the team, it is important to keep and strengthen it, including through sharing success stories by each and analyzing the failures to bounce back.

  • Integrity

Each member of the team is personally accountable for the highest standards of behaviour, including honesty and fairness in all aspects of his/her work.The relationships that are critical to our success depend entirely on maintaining the highest ethical and moral standards.

Integrity is at the heart of everything we do. We are honest, ethical and upfront because trust is at the foundation of our relationships with our customers, our communities, our stakeholders and each other.

  • Accountability

It is a willingness to take responsibility for action and outcome, to deliver what was promised to

be delivered, to accept good and bad outcomes, to own up to shortcomings/mistakes and take responsibility for one’s actions, honour obligations, expectations and requirements.

We take responsibility for our actions as individuals, as team members, and as an organization. We work together, support one another and never let others down

  • Vision of the future

The CEA aims to be a pro-active and forward-looking organisation which anticipates , responds to the needs of its  clients and stakeholders  and improve the lives of the people in the country. An illustration of the shared vision of the staff is their willingness to bring a stone to the edifice allowing all citizens to geta second chance, which is in resonance with the European commitment, “one step up”.

 

 

  1. GOALS
6                 OBJECTIVES AND ACTIONS FOR THE YEAR 2012
Goal 1 :   Stabilizing the number of trained staff in order to have enough human resources to carry out all different tasks.

Indicators:

  • At the end of the year at least the same number of persons and the same people are still working at the CAE.
  • New staff receives information sessions and are mentored.

As explained on the interim report, Ms Lindita Qazimi took the necessary measures to get 3 more people to work for the CAE. So her priority of stabilizing the number of trained staff in order to have enough human means to do all different tasks is already started and goes on the right direction.

ACTIONS RESPONSIBLE TERM
  1. Elaboration of an organization chart and work processso others can be trained.
Every time new employees are hired
  1. Establishing an orientation schedule to provide a level of communication so that new employees know what to do, when to do it, and how to do it and create a team spirit.
Every 15 days
  1. Organizing welcoming sessions providing new employees with the required information needed to be functional on the organization: laws, bye-laws, strategy, Action Plan, Train Plan, IPA project, organization chart…
Every time new employees are hired
  1. New employees are mentored by senior ones.
Every time new employees are hired
Goal 2: Promoting the Centre for Adult Education and a culture of Lifelong Learning.

Indicators:

  • The website has a new design.
  • There is a new logo for the CAE.
  • X number of brochures and leaflets has been distributed.
ACTIONS RESPONSIBLE TERM
  1. Elaboration of a draft for a campaign of communication taking into account: the campaign’s target audience, who the best messengers are, what the best messages are, what beliefs, attitudes we want to change and/or transmit, what and how many materials we want to put out.
June/July
  1. Organization of information days for the popularization of non-formal and informal education and the explanation of their fundamental principles.
To be defined
  1. Developing the Website by means of :
  • Including a data bank on policies, concepts, good practices and learning opportunities on literacy, training, formal and non-formal education, news and achievements of the CAE
  • Giving the Website a new design
  •  Translation into English and Albanian of the Website contents
  • Getting feed-back by users (visitors counter/satisfaction questions)
All year round

Counter and new design by October

  1. Designing and adoption of a new logo of the CAE to be used on all documents, brochures, leaflets, Website and so on
July
  1. Distribution of leaflets and brochures containing CAE information and promoting adult learning,  in adult schools, VET Centres, Municipalities, Social Services and so on.
From September on
  1. Transmit information of the CAE and adult learning policies and activities when meting with all stakeholders
All year round
Goal 3 : Establishing a database on learning and training opportunities for adults.  

Indicators:

  • Economic and institutional partners identified by the end of February.
  • Number of direct contacts with different stakeholders.
  • Number of economic and institutional partners that join the network and share their data.
  • Data on illiteracy, education needs and provision is made available on the Website by the end of November.
  • Analytical tools on adult training and literacy are built by October.
  • Statistics and analysis of labour market needs organized by sectors by June.
  • Partnership sustainability and quality of information in data exchanges
ACTIONS RESPONSIBLE TERM
  1. Identification of economic and institutional partners.
February
  1. Collecting data, information and analysis about illiteracy, unemployment and employers’ needs and providers’ provision from all documentary sources available: Agency for employment, National Institute for Statistics, Ministry of Education, VET Centre, Chambers of Commerce and Crafts, Workers Universities, NGOs…
February/

April

  1. Meetings with identified stakeholders in every municipality to gather and analyze information about adult illiteracy, training and education needs and provision.
February/

June

  1. Establishing cooperation procedures with the key bodies in charge of statistics.
June/ September
  1. Mapping and collection of sectoral statistics organized and regularized by priority branches.
February/October
  1. Building analytical tools on adult training and literacy needs to be regularly implemented.
March/July
  1. Building up a common database, driven by CAE and shared by all partners.
February/October
  1. Making available, reliable, accurate, attractive to professionals and timely data on the CAE’s Website
By the end of November
  1. Using data for decision-making and planning.
All year round
Goal 4:Coordination with different organization and institutions that offer formal and non formal lifelong learning to collaborate on developing adult education.

Indicators:

  • Document containing roles, objectives and responsibilities of the different stakeholders and the terms of collaboration.
  • Regular consultations  held with stakeholders
ACTIONS RESPONSIBLE TERM
1.       Studying of missions and objectives of different organizations to identify areas of collaboration and recruit appropriate stakeholders for collaboration with the CAE. February/

April

2.       Determining operational responsibilities for organization by spelling, as suggested bellow (*), global roles and responsibilities of different stakeholders. April/

June

3.       Fostering strategic partnerships and designing and implementing an effective communication process that allows regular consultation and exchange of information with stakeholders: industry, trade unions, local and national governments, civil society institutions, training providers, Chambers of Commerce and Crafts. June/ September

(*)

Employers

o   Identification of competencies and setting up of competency standards,

o   Skill demand analysis and curriculum development.

o   Participation in affiliation and accreditation process

o   Supporting basic skill development initiatives

o   Investing in skill development activities.

 Trade unions:

o   Raising awareness about the benefit of training, skill development plans and activities among the workers

o   Promote skills up gradation and lifelong learning among the workers.

o   Promoting investment on skill development among the employers.

Civil society organizations:

o   Raising awareness about skill development plans and activities among the public.

o   Implementing skill development programmes of the CAE.

o   Assist in developing competency standards.

o   Promote lifelong learning among the public.

o   Sharing experience of learning with others

Local Government Authorities

o   Participation in the identification and selection of beneficiaries within their jurisdictions

o   Coordination and implementation of specific initiatives and programmes under the CAE supervision

o   Monitoring and evaluation under the CAE supervision.

o   Collection and provision of information to national level institutions to facilitate national coordination, monitoring and evaluation.

In order to ensure smooth implementation of the CAE collaboration with stakeholders, they all will have to agree on modalities, such as Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), for operations and collaboration among them. That should ensure that deliverables are defined and achieved by cooperating actors.  Each actor must operate according to the agreed modalities and principles.

Similarly, mechanism for conflicts resolution shall be spelt out in the instruments that have been agreed upon. In the area of monitoring and evaluation, there will also be a need for harmonization of tools and instrument that are used by different actors.

Goal 5:Becoming an essential quality reference in verification of programs for adult education among all training providers

Indicators:

  • New verified programs are presented to the MoES.
  • On-line catalogue is ready to be presented in November.
  • At least one workshop on methodology to elaborate programs is carried out for providers by the end of the year.

As for the establishing of adult education programs verification and publishing a catalogue of such programs, we can say that it is half-way accomplished because  the four programmes that were presented by providers were validated on the second week of February (bakery, cooking, hairdressing and carpenter), a fifth one is on the way (security for the driving of tractors). The publication of the catalogue remains to be done

ACTIONS RESPONSIBLE TERM
1.       Programmes presented by providers are verified and sent to the Ministry of Education. On-going all year round process
2.       Defining content, structure, and functional requirements for an on-line cataloguewhich containsverified programmes. September/October
3.       Organization of workshops for future providers to explain the methodology used to elaborate programmes to be submitted to verification. October/December
Goal 6:  Setting up a competences certification system.

Indicators:

  • The competence certificates that are issued mention all the competences that were evaluated including the key competences.
  • After studying different systems of certification, one is selected to be implemented.
  • Competences certification through the implementation of Pilot Programmes is experimented.
  • The Portfolio for lifelong learning is been used.
ACTIONS RESPONSIBLE TERM
  1. Implementation of European Qualification Framework (EQF)
All year round
  1. Introduction of the Portfolio for lifelong learning as a document that registers extracurricular activities as well as learning outcomes that result from informal or non formal contexts.
From October on
  1. Study in depth specific systems of certification for adults and select the most adequate to be implemented by the CAE.
Concluded in December
  1. Collaborate with economic partners and training providers to set areas of certification.
From April on
7              MID-TERM GOALS

(2013)

  1. Adapt and organize curricula for adult primary and secondary education in a way that allows them to reconcile their professional and personal lives.
  • Develop a modular curriculum offering the recognition of partial competences at the exit of each module.
  • Recognition of previously acquired competences (within formal, informal and non formal education)
  • Allow the access for competences to the education system.

o   Possibility to undergo a test or exam to be placed on the right level.

o   Possibility to undergo a test or exam, without being a student, to obtain a Diploma.

  • Flexibility with respect to timetable organization by allowing students to enter programmes at various points.
  1. A system of recognition of previous learning and working experience (RPLWE) is applied.
  • Develop a system for the application of recognition of previous learning and working experience in the formal education system.

o   Skills based on duties, working methods and co-operation both in the workplace and with external environments.

o   Description of how work is to be carried out and assessment criteria.

  • Availability of consultations on recognition of previous learning and working experience and due preparation of consultants for the provision of the service will be guaranteed.
  • A decentralized system of guaranteeing recognition of previous learning and working experience quality will be established.
  • The principles of recognition of previous learning and working experience will be followed during the application of a professional quality system.
  1. Establishment and implementation of a Second chance system for primary and secondary school

System aimed at diminishing drop out rates by targeting the same objectives and competences as in the compulsory curriculum for general education. Within this programme, methodologies are adapted to the specific target group: youth that have left the school system before completing compulsory education.

  • Special focus on the integrated development of the key competences.
  • Learning materials are adapted for the students.
  • Guides for the development of curricular support.
  • Special training courses for the teachers to assist them develop learning resources.

 

7    GOVERNANCE AND MONITORING OF THE ACTION PLAN

The Director and the bodies already established by Law to govern the CAE are the ones responsible for the governance of the strategy and action plan.

Roles and Responsibilities

In order to avoid divergence and overlaps of activities, roles and responsibilities, the person accountable and the persons involved in every activity have to be clearly spelt out.  This will allow close monitoring, and impact assessment.

Monitoring ensures that the Plan’s strategies are being implemented by checking that the individual tasks are completed. Monitoring also allows implementation problems to be identified. Monitoring requires to:

  • identify the people in the CAE who will be responsible for monitoring
  • ensure that specific timeframes have been allocated for the implementation of strategies
  • develop formal reporting procedures for the identified person to comply with

Report on performance

Periodically it should be checked that agreed actions are being undertaken, that meetings are being held, or that there is evidence that certain activities have taken place. It is important to make a record of this progress against the action plan.

Minutes of the meetings and summarised reports of the activities should be made available to the Director and the Steering Committee, at least every two months, in order to make the necessary decisions and modifications if needed. Those reports should be seen as a consultation process as well, and should be presented on specific meetings to review progress on major actions. It is also advisable to make use of informal contacts with staff to ask about the effectiveness of solutions.

These meetings can be used to promote a sense of ownership among staff and consequently a commitment to effectively implement the Plan. Regular information about the development and implementation of the Plan can be provided also to different stakeholders in the way of newsletters every four months or when an important event or achievement takes place.Establishing internal and external communication standards should be implemented.

Besides monitoring, evaluation should also be regular to analyze whether the actions undertaken have achieved the CAE’S aims, not merely whether the tasks involved have been completed. Evaluation involves using the given indicators to assess whether the completion of activities has led to achieve the desired objectives. A continuous improvement policy for reviewing and evaluating progress should be implemented.

 

8          STRENGTHS AND THREATS ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PLAN

A strong point of the Action Plan is the fact that the Master Training Plan for the period 2011-2013 is in line with this Action Plan and will help the staff to implement the proposed activities.  This can be deduced from the following list, in which goals to be achieved in the Action Plan are mentioned for training areas and actions of the Training Plan:

Cross-Competences Project Management Competences Adult education competences Specific competences
Corporate culture (1) Facilitation and coordination (2 and 3) Evaluating training programs impact (All goals) Managing data bases

(3)

Speaking in English (All goals) Organising and leading meetings (2, 3  and 4)) Training for Trainers (4) Managing IT communication

(1)

Communication and networking  (2 and 3) Recruiting people and keeping them (1) Training Design

(4)

Integrating new staff

(1)

Managing the projects within/outside the organization (planning, organization, allocation of tasks,  execution, control, reporting,  using software tools for PM (3 and 4) Fund raising

(All goals)

Project monitoring and outcome evaluation

(All goals)

Skills certification & recognition of prior learning

(#2 mid-term)

Besides, it can also be added, as strong points, the fact that senior staff, operating since the inception of the CAE, has received a great amount of training on adult education (UNDP, DVV, ETF etc) and consequently they have a good experience on the area and have achieved some important goals recently which will allow them to achieve credibility. Working together for the last three years has developed in them a team spirit which is very positive for the CAE.

A good asset is the willingness and commitment of the Director to make the necessary changes to continue developing the CAE. This commitment was recently demonstrated with the hiring of 3 new people. It is the desire of new staff to make themselves useful for the Centre, participate in all possible activities and be fully integrated.

On the other hand, lack of funding and a possible fracture between newly hired staff and senior staff, which could be the CAE’s DNA, can lead to some problems on the developing, not only of the Action Plan, but also on the success of the Centre. It is urgent that the team spirit existent among the early staff spread to the rest by undertaking the actions described on goal # 1.