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Press Releases, 9/4/2015

Former President of Finland Tarja Halonen visits Kosovo

Press release 206/2015
4 September 2015

Former President of Finland, Ms. Tarja Halonen will be a key-note speaker in two high-level conferences organized by two EU projects on 8th of September 2015 in Pristina. These projects are led by Finnish experts and they work for the development of forensic medicine services and for the improvement of the educational system in Kosovo. During her visit hosted by the Embassy of Finland in Pristina, President Tarja Halonen will also meet important partners of Finland and political leaders of Kosovo, including President Afitete Jahjaga.

After the Kosovo War, peace has prevailed in the country for more than 15 years. Humanitarian and crisis management operations have given way to expert support for strengthening rule of law, democratic institutions and economic growth. Finland has been an active international actor in rebuilding Kosovo and has had longstanding cooperation in the areas of inclusive education and forensic medicine, among others.

As for the EU Twinning Project Support Implementation of Kosovo Education Strategic Plan 2011−2016, led by the Finnish educational institution Omnia, the project aims to establish an equal and high-quality educational system in Kosovo. The educational programmes of class and subject teachers are being reformed in cooperation with the University of Pristina. Hundreds of school principals, teachers and state and local government representatives have been provided with continuous education, enabling them to introduce a variety of new teaching methods and strengthen their leadership skills. In addition, the educational quality-assurance system is being reformed and new learning environments have been developed to facilitate and stimulate learning processes. Moreover, modern equipment and teaching aids have been provided for 134 pilot schools with the support of the EU project. 

The Inclusive and Quality Education for All conference will bring together the decision-makers and relevant stakeholders in Kosovo's educational sector to discuss the progress in the area of inclusive education. Inclusive education brings different kinds of students together in one classroom and seeks to maximize the potential of all students regardless of their strengths or weaknesses. A strategic plan to implement the inclusion at all levels of the education system will be presented during the conference. The plan has been prepared under the direction of the EU Twinning project.

The memories of war still linger in Kosovo and dealing with the past is crucial for the stability of the country. This is why forensic services need further development. The Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare and the Department of Forensic Medicine, University of Helsinki are leading an EU project, which aims to develop the Kosovo Ministry of Justice administered Department of Forensic Medicine into a high-grade unit that would operate in accordance with European standards and provide quality forensic services. The Missing Persons – Way Forward conference will gather government, judiciary, media and civil society representatives to raise general awareness about how forensic medicine contributes to the realization of human rights and to the legal protection of all citizens.

Further information:

Inclusive and Quality Education for All Conference
Kirsi Lindroos, Resident Twinning Adviser
The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology of Kosovo
Tel: +386 49 389 653

Missing Persons – Way Forward Conference
Sinikka Salo, Team Leader, DDS, PhD
IPA Project “Strengthening and Modernizing the Forensic Services in Kosovo”
tel: + 386 49 166 062

Embassy of Finland in Kosovo
Lari Peltonen, First Secretary
Tel: +386 49 852 893

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