Implementation of the Distance Learning in the 2020/2021 School Year in the Secondary Education

The Konrad Adenauer Foundation and the Association LEAD conducted a full-scale national research with the aim to identify how distance learning concepts were implemented in the secondary high-school system.

The crisis that was triggered by the COVID-19 virus inevitably had its implications on the secondary education in North Macedonia, especially in the way of teaching. Instead of regular classes, almost the entire last quarter of the school year 2019/2020 took place through the so-called distance learning model. Additionally, the new school year 2020/2021 also started with the distance learning model.

But to what extent is this model of education in line with the right to education defined in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the principles of quality and inclusive education, and the legal provision for free secondary education for every student?

The right to education is a universal right of every child, therefore, both in the regular educational process and in all other models of teaching, it must be taken into account and guaranteed that the new model will be equally adapted and accessible to every student. This means that when creating it, the conditions (technical and social), the opportunities and needs of the student should be taken into account, as well as the risk of deepening the social gap between students, and especially to pay attention to the conditions in which children and young people are, from socially disadvantaged categories and with fewer opportunities.

It is important to note that, according to the Law on Secondary Education, every student must be provided with free secondary education in secondary schools. This means that when changing the educational model or introducing a new model, such as the distance learning model, the principle of free education should be guaranteed, i.e .that students will not be subject to financial costs.

Taking this into account the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation and the Leaders for Education, Activism and Development (LEAD) have been working together for the last 5 years on topics related to secondary education, such as student participation and digitalisation in education. Thus, in July 2020, the first research on the challenges of implementing distance learning model in the last quarter of the academic year 2019/2020 was published. This research is a continuation of the previous one with a focus on the first semester of the academic year 2020/2021.

Having in mind the situation with COVID-19 and the possible scenarios for continuing the distance learning in the second semester, with this research we want to give our contribution primarily to improving the use of digital tools as a complement to the regular educational process, improving the student participation and democracy during the distance learning and improving distance learning practices.

Consequently, the objectives of the research are:

1. To identify the ways and frequency of distance learning in the first semester of the academic year 2020/2021;

2. To identify the best practices and challenges in the implementation of distance learning;

3. To generate recommendations for improving distance learning in regular teaching.


Sandra Koljackova

Ansprechpartner Mazedonien

Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin

sandra.koljackova@kas.de +389 2 3217 075