A regional seminar entitled "Teacher Education and Training in the Western Balkans – Is it in line with the times? Is it effective?" was organised in Ohrid on 19-20 November 2013. This event is part of the work programme of the Western Balkans Platform on Education and Training which is chaired by Mr Truszczyński, Director-General, Directorate-General for Education and Culture.
About 100 stakeholders involved in the education and training of teachers participated, including government officials, deans and professors of universities and pedagogical institutions, as well as representatives of teachers, students, principals, parents, and civil society participated. The Minister of Education of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and the Head of the EU Delegation in Skopje joined Mr Truszczyński in opening the seminar, while the latter participated actively throughout.
The specific topics discussed included initial teacher education, teachers' professional development, mentoring and induction of new teachers, as well as regional and international cooperation in the field. Participants had the opportunity to share experiences and good practices in the EU and in the Western Balkans, to identify common needs and challenges, and to discuss the findings of the new studies, which were also presented at the seminar. The study undertaken by the European Commission provides the first concise data collection on the topic in the region. Participants showed high interest and viewed the findings as realistic, needed and timely.
Overall, the seminar on teacher education and training resonated strongly with the participants, who left the event planning follow-up activities and future opportunities to cooperate on supporting the teaching profession in the Western Balkans.