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Expert in rural development: ’’There is no need for sophisticated projects and cosmic funding to happen something good locally. The initiative spirit is the main key’’

Expert in rural development: ’’There is no need for sophisticated projects and cosmic funding to happen something good locally. The initiative spirit is the main key’’

Two schools from two communities from the Republic of Moldova, formerly benefiting from the Education PLUS experimental project, after the completion of the project, decided to continue, on their own, the positive experiences accumulated in the project.

In line with this, the entire teaching staff from the gymnasiums ”Ion Creanga” from Zirnesti, Cahul, and ”Gribova” from Gribova, Drochia, organized their own second exchange experience visit. Following the example of the first exchange visit within the Education PLUS project at the gymnasium from Zirnesti, the teachers from Gribova hosted the visit of their colleagues from Zirnesti.

After a 5 hour trip (320 km), the teachers from Zirneşti were warmly welcomed during a cultural evening, meant to facilitate socializing and good mood among the participants.

The agenda of the exchange visit was organized in such a way as to allow the Zirnesti teachers to assist, during one day, the classes of the host colleagues and as well as a socio-cultural event organized by the local school. At the end of the activities, the 30 teachers had a discussion session where they were able to interact and exchange their views and approaches regarding the quality education and the future perspectives of child-centered education.

”I have been deeply inspired by the diversification methods of the didactic process, methods and working practices of the teachers from the Gribova gymnasium. It is a very good experience. It is different from what I practice during my classes. As soon as I return home, I intend to apply these practices in my teaching activity.” – Ana Caranfil, Romanian language teacher at the gymnasium ”Ion Creanga”.

”I am very excited and pleasantly surprised by this exchange visit, even if we had to travel a long way. I am impressed by the working atmosphere of the institution, the teachers’ team of the ”Gribova” gymnasium and the extra-curricular activities. The thing that touched me most was the teachers’ imperturbability and calm during the classes.” – Lidia Cebotari, math teacher at the gymnasium ”Ion Creanga”.

This exchange visit is part of the two institutions’ commitment to promote and continuously practice the inclusive education. In this way, the two schools signed a partnership memorandum within a conference on the implementation results of the experimental educational model Education PLUS, organized by IRI at the end of 2018.

”We are now analyzing the possibilities of making exchange visits with other schools from Moldova. It would also be great to find the possibility to visit schools from Chisinau where the teachers use good practices of quality inclusive education, as well as other educational practices.” – Aliona Ribac, the ”Gribova” gymnasium principal.

All the expenses related to the organization of the visit were covered by the two partner schools. This time the IRI team were the ”hat” of participant, not organizer at it used to do in the last 6 years.

”It is admirable what the two schools made 6 months after the project was completed. So, there is no need for sophisticated projects and cosmic funding for something good to happen locally. The initiative spirit and care for the children is the main key. At this stage, seeing that the two schools acquired that along the years, IRI’s mission is fulfilled. It is an example for all schools from our country which want a change for better,” mentioned Tatiana Costev, program director, Institute for Rural Initiatives (IRI).

Both schools are IRI’s partners to promote and practice quality inclusive education with respect to most vulnerable and disadvantaged kids. Due to Education PLUS project contribution in respect to training, facilitation, exchange of experience, mentoring, etc., both the teaching abilities of the 30 teachers from two schools and the teaching/learning atmosphere have improved considerably over the last 5–6 years. Because of that at least 400 children from the two communities will benefit from these improvements in the coming years.

The Education PLUS model was created within the ”Education Plus I–III” program, implemented by the Institute for Rural Initiatives (IRI) and the local partners with the generous support of the Liechtenstein Development Services Foundation (LED) in Moldova between 2012-2018.