More than 6,000 students from 12 vocational education institutions (VET) across Moldova will have the chance to address their critical needs for life skills development. The empowerment of the girls and boys is set to be the result of a United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Austrian Development Agency (ADA) and the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research (MoECR) joint project launched today during a virtual conference, IPN reports.
The project will address various challenges faced by the young people engaged in the VET system concerning their employment or self-employment from the perspective of life skills-based health education. It proposes a concurrent investment in life skills education, in creation of safe spaces at school and at the workplace, and in empowering young people to develop healthy behaviors, address gender stereotypes and prevent gender-based violence.
“Access to education and employment for young people is a priority for the MoECR and with donors support Moldova has already achieved important results in capacitating the VET institutions and staff. Nevertheless, statistics prove that the investments in VET do not reap all the benefits possible without a concurrent investment in reducing risky behaviors and negative health social outcomes that can interrupt education or early professional life,” stated Igor Șarov, Minister of Education, Culture and Research.
“The overarching principle of the Agenda 2030 is “Leave no one behind”. In this sense, the world community, including Moldova, has adopted the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the Agenda 2030. The achievement of these goals can only be successful if the focus is placed on people, including women, adolescents and young people,” stated Nigina Abaszada, UNFPA Resident Representative in Moldova.
“We welcomed the project’s focus on gender equality and integration of disadvantaged population groups such as young people with disabilities, adolescents from rural areas and ethnic minorities was as an opportunity to contribute to these cross-cutting issues, which are also targeted by the Austrian Development Cooperation’s Country Strategy for Moldova,” stated Alexander Karner, Head of the Austrian Development Cooperation’s Office in Chisinau.
As a result of the project, 12 classrooms will be arranged as student-friendly spaces, equipped with furniture and ICT equipment. Institutions will be prepared to offer in a qualitative and sustainable way the course "Decisions for a healthy lifestyle" based on trained teachers, innovative and digitized learning materials. A program of continuous teacher training will be piloted and study visits will be organized abroad to assimilate good practices. Institutions and business companies part of dual education will learn how to provide a safe space for young people. Also, a network of peer educators will be created in VET system from Moldova.
The project“Develop life skills and healthy behaviors of students in Vocational Education & Training (VET) for their development and job readiness” will roll over the next three years in twelve VET institutions including four in Chisinau and eight in Cahul, Nisporeni, Rezina, Orhei, Edinet, Rascani, Balti. Nine business companies that partner with the VET institutions will be also engaged.