The existence of combined classes in our country, due to the conditions and the number of children in elementary education in rural areas are especially important for the children who are in the educational process, as well as for the teachers who lead the classes. Combined classes are the only way to effectively organize teaching in rural areas while giving children an education that will provide them with a basis for further education.
According to the legal regulations, a certain elementary school, with the consent of the Ministry of Education and Science, can create a combined class with students from first to third grade, with students from fourth and fifth grade as a group or with students from sixth to ninth grade as another group. According to the data provided by the Bureau for Development of Education, in the academic year 2018/2019 in our country, there were a total of 911 combined classes (844 combined classes with students from first to fifth grade and 67 combined classes with students from sixth to ninth grade).
Although the practice shows that combined classes are quite common, unfortunately, in the pedagogical theory not much is written about the educational work implemented within combined classes. This issue is not sufficiently addressed even at the faculties that educate future teachers, and yet, many class teachers start their professional engagement in the combined classes.
Recognizing the challenges faced by teachers in combined classes and the need to set basic guidelines that will help teachers in their work, the Foundation Open Society – Macedonia in cooperation with the Bureau for Development of Education, supported the creation of instructions for working in combined classes in elementary schools.
This guide, on the one hand, will represent professional support for the school management staff in the selection of teachers, in the formation of combined classes and in the organization of the teaching process. On the other hand, it will give directions to teachers in the process of planning the teaching process such as annual planning, mid-term planning and daily planning, i.e. planning for today’s lesson. At the same time, the guide will be professional support for teachers in choosing organizational forms, teaching methods, techniques and activities, to develop and/or strengthen their professional competencies to work in combined classes, but will also provide guidance to teachers for effective organization of space and time and to create a stimulating learning environment in combined classes.
The guide is available in Macedonian, Albanian, Serbian, Bosnian and Turkish and you can find it at the links below.