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In 12 Moldovan technical vocational institutions the disciplines aimed to develop life skills in students will be taught in newly designed and refurbished classrooms, beginning with this semester.


Classroom environment is considered one of the most important factors that impacts students’ learning. The friendly classrooms are set up to create "active" learning spaces which allow students to communicate and collaborate, similar to what is expected from them at the workplace. The new learning environment is positive and supportive. It promotes a sense of belonging for the students, and helps them to trust others, ask questions, and feel encouraged to tackle challenges.



The design of the classrooms was co-created together with students and the refurbishment was made as part of the project „Develop life skills and healthy behaviors of students in Vocational Education & Training for their development and job readiness”, implemented by the United Nations Population Fund and with funding by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA), from funds of Austrian Development Cooperation, as well as in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Culture and Research.


“This is more than I could imagine at our initial brainstorming on the classroom’s design. It is so light and inspiring”, stated one of the teenagers that moderated the inauguration event, taking place today, at the Centre of Excellence in Light Industry in Chisinau.



Present at the inauguration event, H.E. Ambassador of the Republic of Austria, Stella Avallone, acknowledged the project’s progress, despite COVID-19 challenges. She also underlined the importance of a friendly environment for addressing sensitive topics like gender-specific stereotypes, discrimination or gender-based violence. “The project builds on a successful partnership between ADA and UNFPA and we are looking forward to enhancing this partnership and together with the Ministry of Education to continue to substantially contribute to the sustainable and inclusive development of the Republic of Moldova”, stated the Ambassador.


“These classrooms are an important milestone in our joined efforts to support girls and boys from Vocational Education & Training to develop safe and healthy behaviors, develop skills that will help them to fulfil their personal and professional aspirations. It reflects our mission at UNFPA Moldova, to ensure rights and choices for every young person and underlines the leitmotif of our project – Education for life - My right, my choice”, stated Nigina Abaszada, Resident representative, UNFPA Moldova.



The refurbishment has transformed the standard classrooms through individual and mobile study desks, eye-friendly lights, bright and mood-enhancing colors, IT equipment, edutainment materials such as interactive games, audio and video devices as well as recreation zone with bean bags or private lockers among others.


"We are confident that the refurbished classrooms will provide the perfect environment for increasing the positive interaction of students in the educational institution. It is proven that school infrastructure influences the quality of the educational process, improves the attitude towards studies and facilitates the friendly and diverse exchange of ideas with teachers. We want each study class to be similar in terms of school-friendly standards. We believe that every child, pupil, student deserves this, that is why I want to express our gratitude to our development partners for the constant and continuous support in our efforts to increase together the quality of education ", stated Natalia Grâu, State Secretary for Education.



Life skills education delivered within a safe learning environment and alongside access to youth-friendly health services has a positive and lifelong effect on the health and wellbeing of children and young people. The principles of teaching and learning in life skills education, with sensitive topics discussed, should be reflected inside as well as outside the classroom. This can be done most effectively in friendly and safe spaces and by applying a whole-school approach. All members of the school community should espouse the same values and principles. A democratic, non-judgmental and supportive learning environment based on the needs of young people is created together with the learners, teachers, etc.


More than 6000 students will benefit from the project. In these classrooms, they will explore subjects like "Decisions for a healthy lifestyle" and "Personal Development”. Also, the Peer to Peer Educators network, which was created for the first time in VET as part of the project, will organize different meetings and trainings there, consolidating the implementation efforts.



The beneficiary institutions are: CE in Light Industry, Chisinau, Vocational School in Nisporeni, Vocational School in Rezina, CE in Informatics and Information Technologies, Chisinau, Polytechnic College in Balti, Cupcini Vocational School, Edineț, “Alexei Mateevici” Pedagogical College, Chisinau, “Iulia Hașdeu” College, Cahul, “Vasile Lupu” College, Orhei, CE in Food Services and Processing, Bălți, Vocational School no. 2, Chisinau, Agro-industrial College, Rascani.