Open the Windows for fifth year in a row organized Get Online Week campaign in Macedonia. This year’s campaign was supported by governmental institutions as Ministry for Information Society and Administration, Directorate for Personal Data Protection, educational institutions (primary, secondary schools, and universities), civil society organizations, and the media. The focus of this year’s activities were Internet safety, particularly for young people with disabilities and the importance of digital skills for fostering employability. 

Open the Windows at the same beginning of the campaign in cooperation with the Directorate for Personal Data Protection, held an inclusive workshop on Internet safety for students with and without disability. The workshop was hosted by Nikola Karev high school.

Twenty students from three high schools and the users of the Center for Assistive Technology attended the workshop. Students from held presentations on cyber violence and its prevention with important information, examples and videos and facilatated a workshop where young people with and without disabilities worked together in groups defining key recommendations for Internet safety.

Twenty six students from State University of Tetovo started their practical training in Open the Windows during the Get Online Week campaign. Divided into five groups visited Centre for assistive technology and monitored the work with different beneficiaries. They were very interested how to use assistive technology, computer and educational software with children with different types of disability. These occasion was used State University of Tetovo to signed the Memorandum for Collaboration with Open the Windows.

The main event of the campaign was conference “ICT and employment: necessity and opportunities”, at hotel “Porta” in Skopje. The aim of the conference was to contribute to raising awareness of the need and potential benefits of using ICT as a facilitating skill for equal opportunities to the open labor market. Speakers of the conference were: Minister of Information Society and Administration, Mrs. Marta Arsovska Tomovska; Director of Agency for Employment, Mr. Vlatko Popovski; Executive director of Macedonian Chamber of Information and Communication Technologies (MASIT) Mrs. Anita Nikova; Mrs Sophie Beaumont from The Delegation of European Union in Macedonia; Representative from Ministry for Labor and Social Affairs, Mr. Dushan Tomsik; USAID project YES network, Mrs. Milica Trpevska; Association for students and youth with disabilities, Mrs.Daniela Stojanovska Dzingovska and Mr. Vladimir Lazovski, Executive director of Open the Windows. Representatives from educational institutions, municipalities, civic organizations, and media supported Get Online Week 2016 in Macedonia by signing the online survey. The conference had great media coverage.

Open the Windows together with students from High School Brakja Miladinovci from Skopje visited the classroom of the 21st century at Faculty of computer science and engineering (FCSE). Aleksandar Stojmenski from FCSE introduced the study programs and gave practical examples of benefits of studying at FCSE. High school students were very interested on the new technologies as 3D printers, drones, software making etc.  

Macedonian primary schools also supported Get Online Week by organizing various activities with their students, parents, colleagues. For example primary school Johan Hanrih Pestaloci from Skopje organized presentations of videos, discussions, computer drawing and similar activities for safety on internet with their students, they also shared online manual for parents for protection of privacy and personal information for kids on internet with parents of their students. Primary school Simche Nastovski from village Vratnica organized promotion of assistive technology for students with and without disabilities for lower grades and workshops on safety on internet for upper grade’s students. Primary school from Kriva Palanka, Joakim Krcovski organized meeting for her students with Club of pensioners in the Red Cross facility. Students showed elderly how to use computer, tablets and smart phones. Students and teachers from primary school Toli Zordumus visited primary school Magdalena Antova, both in Kumanovo, for sharing information and joint activities. Primary school Jan Amos Komenski organized debate: Benefits of assistive technology use in inclusive education of students with disabilities.

This was great week and great opportunity to make collaborations for future.

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