Meeting 28. and 29. June 2021 at Alternative Pro, Tirana, Albania
Alternative Pro is a private VET school owned by Mr. Giancarlo Milanese and Ms. Lidiana Kockici. It started as a school with hair dressing courses, and the hairdressing education is still the flagship of the school, mainly because Mr. Giancarlo Milanese is a well-known and respected expert in this field. Alternative Pro is the first school in this field who are systematically teaching hairdressing theory – and not only practice. Other professions you can be educated for are: fashion designer, manager, make-up artist, operator, tourism operator, marketing specialist, esthetician and physiotherapist.
Alternative Pro is licensed to provide VET education and its courses are registered in the Ministry. Changes in the program must be approved by the Ministry. The school is licensed to develop curricula. Alternative Pro also has departments in Lezhë in Albanian and in Prizren in Kosovo. The students are between 17 and 35 years old. Many of their students come from rural areas.
In the field of VET education in Albanian there are both private and public providers. The private schools have much more independence than the public ones.
The Spanish participants presented CDEA: the educations and the applied pedagogical methods of the school (the presentation is attached to this meeting minutes). Some of the key words were learning by doing, active learning and work with challenges (cases): they are using the Ethazi-model focusing among others on challenges, collaborative learning, soft skills and labor marked orientation. https://tknika.eus/en/cont/proyectos/ethazi-3/
The students of CDEA all have 3 months’ work practice in a company and many of them get employment in the same company after they have graduated. Among the many educations CDEA are providing are Computer Science, Marketing and publicity and Hospitality and tourism.
It was agreed with the Albanian partners that there is a good potential for cooperation in the fields of marketing, management and tourism (and maybe IT/computer science). The dialogue between the Spanish and Albanian participants about how their cooperation will take place (regarding mobilities and trainings) was initiated and will continue during the kick off meeting in Denmark.
CDEA is also providing adult education and Lidiana mentioned that is could be an option for Alternative Pro to develop courses in this field since it is something new in Albania.
Another idea to work on in the framework of this project is entrepreneurship. It is already a topic in Alternative Pro but it could be good to develop a curriculum for it and CDEA is experienced in this.
Finally, it was discussed as an option to establish a class in tourism where students are taught the topics in English. It could be tested with just one class running parallelly with the classes in Albanian. CDEA already has material in English.
The presentations of the other EU partner school were shown and it was discussed who could be the second EU-school partner for Alternative Pro (CDEA is the primary partner). Tradium, Denmark is relevant because it provides hairdressing education but since Alternative Pro is cooperating with a health care company working with healthcare technology and since the school also is considering providing elder care educations in the future, also SOSU could be a relevant second partner.
The Corona pandemic had serious consequences for Alternative Pro. All schools were closed meaning no income and therefor also the teachers could not have any salary and lost their job. Alternative Pro hopes to be able to work normally from September this year. However, since the rent for the current premises in Tirana is very high, it is considered either to find new ones or to give up the department in Tirana and continue only in Lezhë and Prizren.
About national events, campaigns and local Joint Task Force:
There is a need to elevate the status of VET in Albania and the campaigns and national events are important. It could be relevant to organize three small events: One in south Albania, one in Tirana and one in North Albania. Companies should be invited and involved. We should also try to involve the Ministries (two Ministries are relevant). Right now, it is difficult to work with them – they simply do not answer when you address them. Also, the municipalities where the department are located could be relevant to involve. Lidia informed that there is a national VET organisation in Albanian but Alternative Pro is not a member. She will try to find some info about them and we will try to involve them as well.