On 13 December 2018, key beneficiary partners from the Ministry of Education, University of Montenegro, the Bureau for Education Services, the Anti-Corruption Agency and the Centre for Vocational Education attended the 5th meeting of the Steering Committee on actions in Education in Podgorica.
The meeting reviewed the progress achieved within the action “Strengthen integrity and combat corruption in higher education”. This was also the last meeting related to the second Horizontal Facility action “Fostering a democratic school culture”, which concluded on 31 December 2018. A full overview of the latter action’s results was conducted the same day during a final conference.
It was reported that a number of important activities took place within both projects during the period considered by the meeting. Within the anti-corruption action, the most important achievements have been the development of the draft law on academic integrity, the certification “Responsible institution” to be awarded to University of Montenegro by the Swiss International Institute for Research and Action on Academic Fraud and Plagiarism, the development of web based courses and of materials on academic integrity, the regional conference in Skopje, the series of debates with students and academic staff on the topics tackled by the action, the seminars on integrity in higher education with a view on quality assurance and integrity plans, the attendance of the ETINED meeting, etc.
As for the democratic school culture action, among the main events organised during this period was named the “Inclusive day” celebrated throughout Montenegro and in Podgorica central square on 11 October, which gathered teachers and students from the pilot schools and a large public. A good practice observed throughout the action duration was teaching democracy and human rights both at the formal level (e.g. lesson planning and teaching) and through extracurricular activities and co-operation with the community. This experience will be covered in a compendium of good practices. A policy roadmap has also been developed, as well as an in-service training programme for teachers on fostering the democratic school culture.
The Steering Committee members expressed their satisfaction at the results of the two actions and expressed their hope that follow up initiatives will be supported. Vesna Atanasova, Programme Manager at the Council of Europe’s Education Department, concluded the meeting by saying: "This is not the end. Closing these education projects usually means new beginnings and fresh starts".
The activity is organised within the Horizontal Facility for Western Balkans and Turkey programme funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe, and implemented by the Council of Europe.