The Faculty of Agriculture at the “Goce Delchev” University from Shtip has started an initiative to transfer the integrated practical teaching concept from vocational schools to higher education. This means that in addition to the already existing summer training, students in the third and fourth year of this faculty will now undergo practical classes in companies throughout the semester. Such a complementary approach ensures that graduating agronomist engineers can seamlessly integrate into the production process at their future employer, while companies benefit from a workforce precisely tailored to their needs.
The pilot training for mentors responsible for implementing this practical teaching approach at “Goce Delchev” University and collaborating companies has recently concluded. During the certificate presentation ceremony for the mentors, the Deputy Minister of Education and Science, Agim Nuhiu, addressed the participant. He expressed his satisfaction from the strengthened relations between the educational institutions and companies, further fortifying the practical training component, ensuring that graduates are well-prepared to enter the labor market.
“With the support from Switzerland, we are developing, expanding and promoting the dual education concept of in secondary vocational schools, with the focus on practical teaching in companies. I mentioned this concept, because I sincerely hope that it will be expanded, reflected in higher education and will enable a continuity of the quality practical education that is now available to high school students, if they decide to upgrade themselves academically” added Nuhiu.
The dean of the Faculty of Agriculture, Dr. Emilia Arsov, commended the intensive efforts invested in developing a mentoring program for practical student teaching. “We hope for success, the students have expressed interest and, of course, we encourage the companies working in the agricultural sector to open their doors to our students so that tomorrow they can have skilled workforce responsive to the demands of the labor market,” she said in her address.
Macedonia is actively reinforcing the dual education concept to cultivate a competent workforce capable of meeting real-world business challenges. An increasing number of educational institutions in the country are forming partnerships with companies, providing students with opportunities to combine theoretical knowledge with practical skills.
The event unfolded within the framework of the “Development of a mentoring program for higher education in agriculture” activity, financially supported by the Swiss projects Education for employment in North Macedonia – E4E@мк and the Program for increasing market employability – IME.