How to start with WBL in Kosovo*
Work-based learning is carried out through the close collaboration of all stakeholders, starting from school, enterprise, students, and parents. In order to successfully implement WBL, the Ministry of Education Science and Technology (MEST) has drafted the occupational standards for 3 levels of in – company trainer programs, (Work Place Instructor, In Company Trainer and Master Trainer) to companies. It has also defined the responsibilities of all stakeholders through the legislation and the strategy to enhance the collaboration with businesses, including the guidelines for vocational schools and guidelines for enterprises. Professionals and supervisors from companies of all sizes and sectors, executives with training responsibilities and human resource developers, freelance trainers, workplace instructors are the target group for these programs. To date 64 In Company Trainers, 23 Master Trainers and 70 Work Place Instructors have received and completed the training.
“In-Company Training programs,” “Business Membership Organizations” (BMOs) development, “Retail Internship Scheme” development, and the establishment of “Local VET employment networks” are the mechanisms considered into the successful WBL implementation as well offering the knowledge and skills in real work situations to the students and future employees.
According to these documents, to implement WBL, the schools should undertake the following steps:
- Establish a Career guidance center within the school which, among other tasks, would be responsible for mediating between the school and the business until the signing of the cooperation agreement.
- assign a teacher or an instructor for the vocational subject, respectively, for practical modules.
- the subject teacher or the instructor prepares a list of students of 11th and 12th grades and informs the respective students about WBL.
- the subject teacher or the instructor, in cooperation with the business, designate places for students in the company;
- the subject teacher or the instructor, in collaboration with the business, develop a work plan for WBL.
- the subject teacher or the instructor announces the list of students admitted to WBL.
- the subject teacher or the instructor monitors the students during the WBL process in the company.
- the subject teacher or the instructor receives students’ portfolios and their assessment from the company.
- the teacher awards students with the final mark based on the instructor’s assessment in the company.
Steps for implementation of WBL in a company
- The company signs a cooperation agreement with the vocational school;
- the company appoints an instructor responsible for the student who has been trained beforehand by MEST;
- the instructor is informed about the curricula of respective profiles;
- the company instructor, in collaboration with the subject teacher or the instructor, define the selection criteria for WBL;
- the company instructor designates places for students in the company;
- the company instructor, in collaboration with the subject teacher or instructor, develop the work plan for WBL;
- the company instructor supports students to achieve the expected results as planned;
- the company instructor keeps a work diary and student portfolio with all student records, the checklist, assessment forms, etc;
- the company instructor assesses the students (assessment is done continuously, including the final assessment);
- the company instructor informs the respective school on the WBL process;
- the company instructor delivers student portfolios and student assessment forms to the subject teacher or instructor;
- the company through a person responsible monitors the company instructor.
This model of WBL is being piloted in 11 schools and 53 companies with 142 students. After piloting phase, MEST has drafted an AI for WBL, which is expected to be approved soon.
Besides the development of the AI, the findings of the piloting phase recommend the followings:
- The development of a manual for implementation of WBL;
- enhance the collaboration and coordination with the business representatives;
- the alleviation of criteria for business selection for WBL;
- awareness increase of WBL;
- reviewing of student’s internal assessment Administrative Instruction;
- capacity building of schools’ management on the financial management and identification of other potential sources for the implementation of WBL;
- identification of potential incentives for the respective stakeholders supporting the WBL and
- improvement of coordination of the main donors and MEST supporting this activity.