Two trainings with particular focus on “Communication skills and public relations” for professionals working in the areas of lifelong learning, vocational education and training, and adult education, were organised in Bitola on the 19 of April, and in Veles on the 3 of May 2017. The training was delivered by Professor Miomir Despotovic of the University of Belgrade, as an expert engaged on the project for “Enhancing Lifelong Learning”, funded by the European Union and implemented by the British Council.
The main goal of these trainings was to help improve participants’ understanding of the importance of communications and public relations in context of lifelong learning, but also to enable them to apply basic communication principles in everyday professional practice.
Among the topics presented during the trainings were the essence and factors of successful communications, types, methods and channels, as well as potential difficulties, obstacles and feedback in communication. The training sessions also provided opportunity to discuss the concept and context of lifelong learning as a frame for modernisation of the vocational education and training and adult education system in the country, with special emphasis on EU lifelong learning policy. The models and rules of visualisation and presentation were also underlined as inevitable element of successful communication with students and trainees.
All topics were presented and discussed on a plenary session and then scrutinized through different methods of active learning - discussion in a small groups, roll play, work in pairs, group games, problem solving, etc. Verbal and non-verbal communication, active listening, ways of motivating students to actively elaborate their views and understanding, were also thoroughly discussed.
Participants have adopted a common understanding of communication as basic tool of teaching and learning, and subsequently for personal development and improvement. In conclusion, participants in this trainings, both form Bitola and Veles, have agreed that communication and public relations are of great importance for lifelong learning, and that managers and other responsible authorities in VET and adult education institutions should pay particular attention to advancement of teachers’ and trainers’ individual communication skills, especially those that are at early stage in their careers in the field.