In the period of 19-21 November 2018, at the EC PRO DIDACTICA, a study visit “Intercultural Education from Primary School to University: Good Practice” was organized for an international delegation within the NGO Education Centers Network, Zagreb, Croatia. The members of the delegation were NEPC (President Mario Bajkusa), Vilnius University Education Policy Center (Rimantas Zelvys), Belgrade Educational Policy Center (Milica Todovici, Lola Hasanović, Žaklina Veselinović) and the Step by Step Program (Zorica Topalovic) – people with the educational experience of teaching and research.
The first visit was held to High School “A. Pushkin” from Chisinau, where we were guided by distinguished director Mrs. O. Abramova, who showed us the institution with an elitist allure in which the transformational leadership is visible. Two quality lessons were presented at the optional discipline “The Culture of Good Neighborhood” (grade 1 – Ms. M. Racul and grade 3 – G. Miteva), through which the beneficiaries of the visit have experienced some novel practical aspects in the implementation of innovations from the intercultural education field, promoted by previous projects of partnership with EC PRO DIDACTICA. Also, relevant visits and presentations were carried out to the high school museums, by which the museum pedagogy for the knowledge of other cultures is harnessed: the Russian culture (Al. Pushkin’s Museum), the Romanian ethnographic culture in Bessarabia (Ethnographic Museum as part of the Cabinet of Romanian language) and the history of the institution (School Museum).
The second visit took place at the State University of Moldova (USM), which has special experiences of intercultural education, known by the participants through the meeting with the dean of the faculty of PSESAS, dr., prof. Vl. Guţu and the head of the Department of Educational Sciences, Dr. M. Şevciuc, but also by visiting the USM Museum, the Japanese Culture Center and other Centers of Foreign Culture and Civilization (Italian, Polish, French, American, Spanish, Austrian) – all opened and functional within the Faculty of Foreign Languages through extra-budgetary projects, supported in particular by the embassies of the countries concerned and exploited in the multilingual training of USM students.
During the 3rd day, visits took place at two rural institutions in the UTAG: Lyceums Moldovan-Turkish in Congaz and the “T. Zanet “in the same locality, where we had the chance to see some integrated non-traditional lessons, but also an extensive extracurricular activity, with the original artistic presentation of the Gagauz culture, in interference with the aspect of the culture of Moldovans, Bulgarians, Russians, Turks, Ukrainians, entitled “We are all different, we are all equal”. The hospitality of the Gagauzians and the generosity of the demonstrated traditional habits, on the one hand, and the professionalism of the teaching and managerial staff, on the other hand, have been fully demonstrated both in the lesson of history and civic education, organized as a press conference and facilitated by 4 teachers of History and Civic Education, Romanian, Turkish, and English languages, but also the original artistic event, when folk music and folk dance with dramatic poetry and art have been combined, with a long lasting impact on the guests, as well as on parents, students, and other community members. In this context, We express our gratitude for accountable involvement and support – Mrs. Alla Nikitcenko, principal consultant from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research and Mrs. Elena Tulba, specialist from the Education Department Comrat, with whom we are cooperating fruitfully for many years.
In conclusion, we emphasize the interest of our colleagues from NEPC for the intercultural education practices known to us, but also the respect, tolerance, the opening of the educational actors from the visited institutions for acquaintance with the values of other cultures, the knowledge and the practice of the Romanian and the English languages, and, last but not least, pride and concern for the perpetuation of the traditional values of the ethnic groups to the younger generation.
Viorica Goraş-Postică, Project Coordinator