Entrepreneurial learning stays high on Macedonian agenda
Keen to ensure that entrepre- neurship remains high on the development agenda, Macedonian policymakers, business, schools and universities gathered at the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje on 22 September to celebrate progress and share challenges in the country’s entrepreneurial learning drive.
The festival ensured a lifelong learning dimension to entrepreneurship promotion where the country has been making considerable efforts since it joined the EU’s enterprise policy monitoring framework which now forms part of the Small Business Act for Europe. Encouraging young people to take a more entrepreneurial approach to their careers was the core theme of the festival. In his opening statement, Gjorge Ivanov, the country’s president, called on young people to adopt a ‘culture of creativity’. ‘Open your minds, build new ideas, generate innovation,’ he said.
The agenda saw schools, universities and business support organisations sharing good practice and networking with a particular spotlight on start-ups supported by the National Centre for Development of Innovation and Entrepreneurial Learning.
In a workshop session the many teachers participating in the event had the possibility to discuss and exchange good practice on entrepreneurial learning, facilitated by Elizabeta Jovanovska, advisor within the national VET Centre. At this workshop, Eduarda Castel-Branco drew particular attention to the place of entrepreneurial learning in the EU2020 strategy and its flagship initiatives, demonstrating a new joint action of education, innovation and employment.
Addressing the festival, Eduarda Castel Branco, ETF’s country manager, congratulated all constituents for the efforts to establish a joined-up entrepreneurial learning system. She commended the high-level political support to the entrepreneurial learning agenda and the determination to ensure that entrepreneurship became a mainstream feature of education. She called on schools, training centres and universities to continue to network and exchange on their good practice. ‘Many other countries can learn from the commitment demonstrated by your country to put into practice the entrepreneurship key competence across the education continuum. It is this approach that can create a snowball effect promote an entrepreneurial society,’ she said,’
Macedonian efforts to build an entrepreneurial economy build on an agreement between the education and economy ministries in 2009 to co-work policies to ensure that education plays a more prominent role in the country’s drive to competitiveness. The education-economy nexus will again feature again in a follow-up event on 8 November which will particularly focus on entrepreneurship in third-level education. The high-level round table to be held in Skopje will again include Mr Ivanov, the country’s president, accompanied by Valon Saracini, Minister of Economy and Pance Kralev, Minister of Education and Science.
Radmil Polenakovik, Director of the National Centre for Development of Innovation and Entrepreneurial Learning which established the festival, was clear as to why education policy needs to be constant on the entrepreneurship theme. ‘The entrepreneurial learning policy theme is still very fresh and very vulnerable particularly when resources are more restricted. This festival and follow-up up actions which generate greater policy interest and awareness ensure that the issues are kept on the policy radar,’ he said.
Put simply, lifelong learning means that people can – and should have the opportunity to – learn throughout their lives.
Increased labour mobility across borders brings the skills issue onto the international agenda so the ETF also focuses on policy actions related to skills and employment of both emigrants and returnees.
The ETF aims to develop the capacity of partner country institutions and other stakeholders in developing, monitoring and reviewing policies in the areas of entrepreneurial learning and enterprise skills.
“Employment”: promoting better functioning and inclusive labour markets and vocational education and training systems in ETF partner countries.
The ETF's role in qualifications is to provide expertise for the reform of qualifications systems in partner countries, in their various stages of planning and implementation.
Teachers are a critical factor in education reforms. The ETF takes therefore the role of schools and teachers seriously throughout its work.
Quality assurance is provided through the development of methodological instruments to facilitate a structured policy learning process, integrating quality assurance principles, and reinforcing the quality assurance dimension in the Torino Process.
Governance modes and models have a high correlation with the overall performance of education and training policies, influencing their strategic formulation and implementation.