A Good Start in Life for Rural Children in Moldova

The 3rd phase of the project A Good Start in Life for Rural Children in Moldova builds on and deepens the impact of the previous two phases. In the first phase of the named project, SBSM provided technical assistance (training and mentoring) to 65 newly created rural kindergartens and Community Centers (CC) and 33 in magnet raion-level kindergartens with established resource centers, guiding their staff towards the new professional requirements based on a child-centered approach (an area of expertise SBSM has developed since 1994). In the second phase, besides continuing to support the kindergartens and CCs whose staff displayed personal commitment to professional growth, SBSM focused on ways of ensuring the successful transition of children to primary school based on the continuity of child-centered practices, respectively providing trainings and mentoring to primary teachers. Priority was given to schools that serve as training basis for teacher students’ practice. Another new project objective was to support the upgrading of pre-service teacher training practices and tune them to the new requirements in teacher profession. In working with professionals of different levels, SBSM has relied extensively on its experience as ISSA member and the valuable ISSA resources that helps bridge theory and practice and is very useful in establishing a professional dialogue on quality based on the Professional Development Tool. Besides the fact that SBSM trainers/mentors are themselves experienced practitioners, the trainings were organized at the SBSM training center and included observation and de-briefing opportunities in Step by Step classrooms. In May 2015, there was an external evaluation of the project Good Start In Life For Rural Children In Moldova, which included some strategic recommendations to the project implementation, like the need of considering the transition from primary to secondary school in a whole-school approach, the need of developing more support materials and finding ways of influencing changes at the pre-service teacher training. 
Cooperation Partners Ministry of Education, Culture and Research
Project outcome SBSM contibutes to building a shared understanding of the child-centered education principles translated into practice at different levels, to support new ways of on-the job professional development and to improve the pre-service teacher.
Project outputs
  1. Invest in the capacity of the national team of expert practitioners/ trainers/ mentors to continuously reflect and improve classroom practices and develop skills needed for mentoring other practitioners in reaching quality child-centered education.
  2. Provide support to teachers from partner institutions in implementing child-centered education, including through mentorship for professional development/coaching at the workplace.
  3. Support a continuum of educational practices between pre-school and of active, relevant learning across educational levels in schools.
  4. Develop cooperation agreements with the most important and engaged universities and colleges training pre-school and primary teachers to help them align their practices with the new demands in profession.
  5. Advocate for a coherent approach in reform actions (related to new ECD curriculum, evaluation documents, recognition of the mentorship in the system, etc) aligned to the child-centered paradigm.
  6. Disseminate among country professionals (through SBSM website, newsletter, conference, round tables, etc.) good practices illustrating value-based changes in the teaching-learning practices; developing and translating new resources.
  7. Build partnerships with the ME, regional educational authorities and other donors to amplify the impact of the project investment.
Duration 36 months (01.01.2016-31.12.2018)
Project budget 358,200 euro