FIRST TIME VOTERS
The idea to implement the project came out of the need for continuous and permanent education of the voters. In 2004, MOST made a decision to work on education of the ones who needed it the most, i.e. the first time voters. Although the statistical data are not detailed and clear enough, still the existing data indicate that the interest of this group for political issues, including the elections is very low. Only the youngsters who are engaged in the political parties gain certain education which is not complete.
The best way to include the entire target group was to use the educational system, i.e. the final years of the secondary schools throughout the country.
The implementation of the project started in September 2004. The first phase of the project was implemented during the school year 2004/ 2005. The results from the first phase lead to continuation of the project in the next 6 school years including 2010/ 2011. Firstly, the project was supported by the target group secondary school senior students and later on by the head masters of the secondary schools and by the professors as well.
In October 2005 a Memorandum of cooperation between MOST and Ministry of education and science was signed. In the following years the implementation of the project was supported by Memorandum of cooperation with Ministry of education and science, but the final goal of the project was full incorporation of the subject in the national educational curriculum.
The implementation of the project foresaw serious coordination, logistic support and communication with the secondary schools in all cities in R Macedonia.
Nevertheless, the good fact is that great numbers of youngsters were part of the workshops during the course of years, and through methodologically adapted approach, they interactively were introduced with the election process as well as with the advantages of being active citizens.
The overall project objective was to contribute towards improvement of the knowledge of the first time voters on their rights and responsibilities in relation to the elections and the importance of being active citizens, through continues capacity building of the formal educational system in the R. Macedonia.
- Educate the first time voters about election processes and active citizenship;
- Raising the awareness of the First Time Voters on the issues of family and proxy voting;
- Transferring the capacities and knowledge to the formal educational system in the country.
Period of implementation
School year 2004/2005 – School year 2010/2011
- Educated a total of 23 639 first time voters;
- 871 workshops conducted, in 104 High Schools around the country;
- Produced and distributed Guide for the first time voters, Glossary of election terms and flyers on family and proxy voting;
- Trained more than 20 trainers engaged in the workshops;
- Signed Memorandum of Cooperation with the Ministry of education and Science.
Key achievement of this project was reaching sustainability and institualization. The subjects covered in the workshops are incorporated within the curriculum of the Civic education classes. Through a decision enacted by the Ministry of education and science the educational curriculum of the Civic education class was amended and supplemented for all vocations in the secondary education.
This project was funded by National Endowment for Democracy – NED, Norwegian People’s Aid – NPA, the Embassy of the Kingdom of Netherlands, United Nations Development Program – UNDP and the European Union