Salesians Offer Formation for Teachers and Youths in Kosovo

Initiative Aims to Facilitate Employment and Unite Ethnic Groups

PRISTINA, Serbia, OCT. 14, 2003 ( A pilot center of professional formation has opened here to offer job opportunities for young people in the Kosovo province.

The “Qendra Sociales Edukative Don Bosko,” administered by International Volunteers for Development (IVD), an non-governmental organization linked to the Salesians, is a response to specific requests by institutions and numerous residents who during the Kosovo war were sheltered in tents prepared by the Don Bosco Centers of Tirana and Scutari.

Research carried out by IVD on conditions in the labor market and the school system revealed the grave crisis of the educational system.

Of Kosovo’s population of about 3.3 million inhabitants, 1.4 million have no academic degrees and only 34.5% of those younger than 15 have finished elementary school. Only 17.3% have a secondary school diploma, and 3.3% have a university degree.

In addition to the low level of education, there is a lack of books and well-trained teachers.

The center in Pristina will provide educational material, professional formation, and the use of modern technology in electronics, computer science, business, secretarial skills, languages and mechanics. Local teachers will receive up-to-date formation.

This will be the first time that courses will be available in Kosovo for both sexes, making it easier for women to enter the labor market.

“I am especially happy because this school represents an important bridge toward an integration of the different components of the population,” said Antonio Raimondi, president of IVD. “The center, in fact, will accept young people of the Serbian minority, so that differences will be resolved in a multiracial culture.”

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