Moldova: winner of the ETF Innovation and Skills Award 2020
Moldova's Centre of Excellence in Construction is a pioneer in innovation and digital skills for vocational education and it has just received the ETF Innovation and Skills Award 2020 within the wider European Vocational Skills Week event.
In Chișinău, students and teachers of the Centres of Excellence in Construction are enjoying the positive aspects that the digital technologies offer to education. Teachers now master online and distance learning thanks to specific trainings they received during these years, and they are able to tailor projects according to the specific individual needs. On the other hands, students can learn at their own pace and develop digital skills that can invest in their future jobs.
Sharing best practice from the EU neighbourhood
The school received the prize thanks to their innovative teaching methodologies which emerged after their decision to invest in acquiring multimedia tools for the school, and most of all, to train teachers to learn new digital skills and the online distance learning methodologies which has contributed in positioning the centre as a point of reference and example of best practice for all the European neighbouring countries.
The prize was given by EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, Nicholas Schmit, on the occasion of an award ceremony taking place online on 13 November, during the European Vocational Skills Week.
"With our Innovation and Skills Award we are delighted to present the best practices in digital learning design and developments among the neighbours of the European Union", said the ETF Director, Cesare Onestini
Teachers have been trained not only to deliver fully digital courses, but to take advantage of the online methodologies. This permits students to build their personalised portfolio and structure the curricula into specific, personalised short-term assignments that allow the students to easily achieve their learning goals and, in the meantime, to learn how to work with digital programs.
“We pulled our teachers out of their comfort zone because there was something new for them, for example the adaptation to a computer”, said Sergiu Coceas, Head of the Continuing Education Department of the Center for Excellence in Construction. “At first it was difficult, because old habits have remained. And when we wanted something new, we must somehow convince them that this is all good. And I want to say when the first results came and when we did a survey of students, everyone was happy and showed that everything we do is for the better. And now I cannot imagine how can we organise our learning process without distance learning.”
Digital and Innovation as guiding principle for the institution
The digital shift it is the results of years of investments in several projects that permitted the school to be fully digitally equipped. Smart TVs and interactive whiteboards have been integrated in the school methodologies along with the continuous teachers training to permit them to fully master these tools. In addition, the school continues providing new training to its staff and external one at the sake to pursuing the leading role in the country as a point of reference in modern digital skills adapted to vocational education for the other centres of the country and beyond it.
The other finalist: the Republican Institute for Vocational Education (RIPO) in Belarus
The institute, having reached the final stage of the Awards with an outstanding project, has developed a skills upgrading curriculum targeting teachers and trainers, which focuses on interactive, multimedia and cloud technologies in vocational education. In the program, trainers are actively involved in developing assessment criteria, and they experience peer, digital, and project-based learning. At the end of the course, teachers can design and implement modern multimedia lessons, and deliver them online.
The Vocational Education and Training Excellence Awards are an important element of the European Vocational Skills Week. They highlight best practice and recognise excellence in vocational education and training all over Europe and in the countries neighbouring the EU. It fosters network building and new career opportunities. Winners of the awards become ambassadors in their field.
The ETF Innovation and Skills Award celebrates examples of good practice in teaching and learning for digital competence development. Learning design and new/innovative approaches to the development of digital competences are the key selection criteria. Voting was open until November 10, with 50% of the vote weighting from a public vote and 50% from the ETF selection committee.