Professional development of teachers in Albania
The professional development of teachers and trainers is a key driver for the improvement of vocational education systems across all regions. Vocational teachers play a critical role in the successful implementation of education reforms, including changes in organisations, transforming curricula, and developing work-based learning, technology and pedagogy.
In 2018, the ETF carried out a survey to gather data on vocational teachers in Albania and the role of continuing professional development (CPD) in their work. The purpose of the study was to inform national policymakers about teachers’ needs first of all and, secondly, to help them to improve the effectiveness of their professional development.
The survey revealed that the major challenge is the lack of commitment at national level in terms of a proper allocation of resources, action plan preparations and clear division of roles and responsibilities for coordination.
Who are the vocational education teachers/trainers?
The average age of teachers in vocational schools is 41.7, with majority of women (72%). Two thirds have worked in the teaching profession for less than 15 years and for 17% of respondents teaching is not their first job.
High-level degrees, but limited training in pedagogy
Most vocational school teachers report that they have a master’s degree (80%), while only 7% of them hold a qualification lower than a bachelor degree.
In terms of the initial pedagogical training, 41% of teachers did not have any initial pedagogical training before they started teaching.
More than 80% of vocational teachers have industry experience in the profession and only about half of teachers seldom visit workplaces or regularly have contact with employers seeking to recruit students.
Teachers’ working conditions are good, but the reputation of teachers’ profession is considered to be an issue
Teachers have high job stability in the surveyed schools: 54% of teachers have more than 5 years teaching experience in their current school. Further analysis reveals that about 67% of teachers who have spent their entire teaching career at only one school. Moreover, 83% of them have permanent employment contracts. Therefore, teachers (99%) report to be very satisfied generally with their profession but one third of them believe that teaching profession is not valued in Albania.
Two biggest challenges of continuing professional development: the incentives and the relevancy
Almost all teachers and instructors report that continuing professional development had a high impact on their teaching (71-84%). In addition, nearly all of them said that they would be interested in it.
The two major barriers are the lack of incentives for participating and no offer of relevant professional development.
More than 50% of teachers reported a need to learn more about new technologies in the workplace (66%), on teaching students with special needs (68%) and on teaching in a multicultural or multilingual setting (63%).
Teachers in rural areas and small towns have fewer possibilities to participate in the professional development
The possibilities for accessing continuing professional development vary depending on the urban/rural area. The largest cities have the biggest frequency of teachers who received in-service training (more than 90%), while only 47% of teachers from small towns get this opportunity and the volume of training courses is lower.
First results of the study
On 29 January 2019, the European Training Foundation organised a workshop at the Ministry of Finance and Economy in Albania to present the first results of the research into vocational teachers and trainers in the country. Representatives of schools, trade unions, national agencies and donor organisations took part in the event and discussed the findings of the survey. The recommendations will feed into a new National Strategic Plan for Skills and Employment.
To know more about ETF support in Albania: https://europa.eu/!Pr38qX
To know more about continuing professional development of teachers in Western Balkans and Turkey: https://europa.eu/!qU47HV
To know more about the workshop: https://europa.eu/!bn69TH
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