My name is Niko Kosta and I am a fourth-year ICT student in the vocational school 'Pavarësia’ in Vlora.
During my first year at school, I was very surprised that we did not have textbooks for some subjects. This was a real challenge not only for students, but also for teachers, who had to spend many hours to develop content and even more time to explain it to the students.
This reality changed when our school started collaborating with ‘Skills for Jobs’, a Swiss funded project. The lack of updated textbooks and learning materials was solved when we started using online learning platforms such as Metronom and certification-based courses like Cisco Networking Academy and Microsoft Virtual Academy. The information we got from these courses was up to date and aligned with the school program.
The S4J team did their best to get us closer to the work-reality. The new modalities in working and learning, such as the apprenticeships model (both in company and in distance), have urged me to train further, to strengthen my personal skills in order to better cope with the labour market and fit into what is called a TEAM. School projects and apprenticeships have been very interesting experiences for me, especially because these were my first experiences working ‘like a professional’.
I cannot describe my emotions when our school won the first prize in ICT at the ‘National Skills Fair’! The energy and applauses made me forget the fatigue that we had gone through designing those projects, which would be nothing but sketches on paper if it weren't for the support provided by the project and the school. The dedication of our IT teacher is worth-mentioning as well. She has always been there in every moment to push us to fulfil our aspirations.
It is impossible for me to imagine now how different things would have been different if I had not chosen the vocational school, and moreover, if I had not been part of this project, which I would define as LIFE CHANGER. All this journey has really influenced the occupation I have opted for.
To those who have asked me (or still ask me) if I would go back in time and change my vocational choice, here is my answer: I would everything the same way again! The industrial ‘Pavarësia’ school and ‘Skills for Jobs’ project are the best things that have ever happened to me!
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