What conditions do primary school students in Skopje have, do schools have enough space for uninterrupted teaching, and do they have gyms, arranged school yards, what level is hygiene at? Inbox 7 team toured several schools in Skopje to see if they meet the basic criteria prescribed by law. First we visited the oldest school in Macedonia, “Ss. Cyril and Methodius”, which is located in the center of Skopje. This school has no gym yet, physical education classes are conducted in improvised conditions. Then, in the municipality Gjorce Petrov in the school “Strasho Pindzur” we entered an arranged schoolyard, a spacious gym, but we found out that there they are facing a problem that must be solved soon – part of the school roof is dilapidated.
|Criteria||Cyril and Methodius||Strasho Pindzur||Naum Ohridski|
|Space conditions||Yes||Yes||Lack of classrooms|
|Access for students with disabilities||No||Yes||No|
|Security||Yes||Night security||Night security|
|Food||Yes||Yes||Just snacks by choice|
In Municipality Gazi Baba, however, we visited a school where they told us they were forced to save on central heating, so they could buy new school doors or replace the asbestos roof.
In “Naum Ohridski” there is a lack of “only two classrooms”, a new roof and a gym
In primary school “Naum Ohridski” in municipality Gazi Baba there are three different buildings – the central one is located in the village Bulacani, the second building is in the village Creshevo and the third is located in the village Rastak.
Elizabeta Andova, director of this school, claims that although at first glance it looks complicated and unsafe for children, this school is one of the safest.
“Students are paid a monthly ticket and without a problem they are transported from one village to another. People here know each other. Students who study here are from these three villages. This is a really homogeneous environment and there has never been a problem”, says Andova.
What Inbox 7 noticed was the “gym” in the central school in Bulacani, which is nothing but a hall which extends along the whole building. It is the same hall through which hundreds of students, teachers and the entire staff of the school daily and constantly pass for tens of kilometers per day.
Right on that entry, in that “gym” or the long hallway, we were welcomed by the first students who carelessly jumped on the mattress practicing their PE lesson. Dressed in T-shirts, shorts and sneakers they welcomed us and did not pay attention to the cold, which just then, as intentionally, showed all its strength.
Andova admits that the school lacks gyms in Creshevo and Bulacani and hopes for help from the Ministry of Education and the municipality of Gazi Baba because the money they save by periodically turning off the central heating is planned to be used for replacing the doors in the school in Bulacani. However, what most bothers the leadership of this school is the lack of “only two classrooms”.
“We could have at least two classrooms in the schools in Creshevo and Bulacani to go to school in one shift. This will save on electricity, heating, etc. In village Creshevo part of the roof is covered with asbestos boards, and we know they are not healthy, they are harmful to children’s health, and to all of us. So our plan is to completely change the roof of this school”, says Andova.
After the fire, they are waiting for better times
In primary school “Vera Jocic” they are still waiting for the implementation of the plan to build a new, modern school building in place of the old facility which in 2011 caught fire so classrooms, computers and overall computer installation were gone. Now teaching with computers is performed only in three renovated classrooms.
Director Liljana Malkovska Krstevka says that according to the Ministry of Education and the experts from the Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Engineering Seismology, who after the fire drafted a document, building a completely new facility is recommended. Until then, says Malkovska Krstevka, they repair just what they have to.
“Spatial conditions were reduced after the fire in 2011. We have a shortage of space and we work in minimum space conditions, and the gym does not work. It is one drawback. Otherwise we have the other conditions. We have a computer for every child, but the fire had destroyed part of the computer installation. To fit in, we have a new installation in three classrooms and in those classrooms we realize teaching using computers”, says Malkovska Kratevska.
Unfortunately or fortunately, the fire did not catch the gym but due to dilapidation it is locked and does not function at all. In “Vera Jocic” there are 530 students in 19 classes.
Editor: Stojanka Mitreska