OMNESCODE – “Digitalization of Paper-Based Exams for Coding Classes”

Each year, through mid-scale projects, KUSA engages in projects that seek to support Kosovo’s education system and increase the quality of teaching and learning by innovation and technology. 2020 KUSA Project aims to support the higher education system by creating an innovative coding platform for computer science professors and students.

Today, students aspiring to become programmers have to undergo paper-based exams. In times of tremendous advancement in technology, delivering paper-based exams for to-be programmers is impractical.

Computer engineering students in many countries take their exams in platforms similar to their coding environment and result in better coding skills. Through Omnescode, professors can create tests to examine the students’ abilities in programming languages in a web application analogous to the setting they exercise, thus ending the old method of pen and paper exams.

KUSA is very proud to bring this solution to the education system in Kosovo by developing a product that answers the needs of the students and professors, and that opens the door to the digitization of the paper-based exams for all departments as it includes a word processor that allows students to write text, math formulas, and other specific tasks.

Once exercises and exams are digital, it will ease students’ writing code tasks and intensify their productivity. On the other hand, Omescode will save professors time and effort in printing out exams, which will be replaced with the web application.

1 for All – All for 1

On days like these, it is very important for each of us to contribute to the betterment of our health and our community. KUSA in collaboration with other partner organizations has produced the video “1 for All – All for 1”.
The main purpose of this initiative is to urge people to stay at home and curb the spread of the virus while enjoying the benefits of this situation for our self-improvement.

We want to thank the participants of the video for helping us spread this message, our partner organizations for participating in this campaign, and a special thanks to the team GjirafaVideo for putting this video together.

American Arts Incubator – Kosovo

The National Museum of Kosova, in collaboration with ZERO1, U.S. Embassy Pristina, Kosovo, and the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, is pleased to announce the open call for participants in American Arts Incubator – Kosovo.

AAI — Kosovo consists of a series of art and technology workshops taught by visiting American artist Lori Hepner focused on addressing youth empowerment, the development of collaborative team project prototypes, and an open house to share participant creations with the public. Participation in the incubator is free of charge. Participant teams will receive small grant funding to develop their collaborative project prototypes. The program will be held at the National Museum of Kosovo from March 6 – 29, 2020.

More information about the project and application, you can find on the link:
https://kosovomuseum.wixsite.com/aaikosovo?fbclid=IwAR3383rgowh3QDpRnRfs1Zk3RQ2pxivb_1fQqnT_KNO86aqXMOaV8Zp3jGU

ALUMNI TALKS

Each year, KUSA aims to create an engaging environment for our Alumni and encourage them to contribute towards civil society involvement and development with regards to Kosovo’s reform efforts in economic, social and cultural spheres. One activity that fosters this principle is Alumni Talks. 

Alumni Talks is an annual activity, held four times during the year. It is designed with the idea of providing our Alumni members a platform to voice their thoughts, opinions or concerns with the U.S. Embassy. Based on the topic, participants will meet with representatives of different sectors of the Embassy. For instance, if the topic is Education, participants will discuss with policymakers from that sector.

In 2020, KUSA talks will be organized during the months of March, June, September, and December. Each month will have a different thematic. The topics for this year are organized as follows:

Education

Depolitization and Institutionalization

Environment and Energy

Kosovo Security Sector

If you have something to say in relation to the topics mentioned above, you are welcome to join our Alumni Talks sessions. This is a great opportunity for Alumni to network with different sectors of the Embassy, as well as meet Mr. Philip S. Kosnett, the US Ambassador to Kosovo. 

HOW TO APPLY?

To become a participant of Alumni Talks, you have to fill out an application form where you state your:

Contact information

The study program

Field of interest

Short description of the issues you want to discuss related to the topic.

We host up to 10 Alumni for each session. All alumni are eligible to apply regardless of your program. Alumni will be chosen based on the quality of their idea they will present on the application form.

Education Program – ARTEEN Club

Through this grant, the National Gallery of Kosovo tried to engage the young people in productive and artistic activities. Being part of this club gave them the chance to perform a number of activities that often are not included in the school curricula in our schools. The participants were exposed to many forms of creative arts such as photography, art installations, video art, lectures, zine, and visits to art exhibitions. All of these activities gave the young artists the chance to express themselves and to get more information about the visual arts that are applied today.

At the end of the project, an exhibition with all the artwork from the young people was held. There everyone showed the enthusiasm that has followed the project on every step and the happiest were the ARTEEN Club members, whose artistic creations left everyone in awe.

Know Your Rights!

Since the approval of the “Law on the environmentally endangered zone of Obiliq and its surroundings”, it has been little discussed about the process of the implementation of the law.

In order for the inhabitants of Obiliq to know the rights this law brings to them, this small grant launched an informatory webpage called ligjiperobiliqin.info and organized round table panel discussion.

Through the establishment of the open-data webpage, the local communities and CSO can get informed in detail about all the aspects of the policies under this law and are provided with visual and simplified information on the 12 Articles deriving from the Law of Obiliq. This platform now can be used as a window where you can read or share your opinions, complain or ask any question related to the Law of Obiliq.

A round table panel discussion was also organized, where were present local decision-makers and representatives of institutions responsible for the implementation to talk about the challenges of the implementation of the articles that come out of this law.

Prishtina School Clubs

The Directorate of Education in the Municipality of Prishtina has come to a decision for Primary Schools to spend 30% of their curriculum to extracurricular school activities. Therefore, with KUSA’s experience in Primary School Clubs from the project “Alumni Engagement through Extracurricular School Activities,” the Directorate and KUSA have reached an agreement to collaborate for the implementation of this project.

With this in mind, KUSA will organize a fair where the club’s organizational structure will have the chance to meet KUSA Alumni and different companies operating in Kosovo. The organizational structure is made up of 20-25 students, i.e. the club coordinator who is a full time professor at the school, the president and the vice president who are selected from the students. KUSA alumni will share their experience and expertise, whereas, the companies will share their work as well as the expertise that their company needs and values. Moreover, the clubs that will be established or re-activated are Art, Outdoor Activities, Technology and Debate Club. Therefore, through this fair, the schools will have a chance to develop a curricula for the club which they will follow throughout the school year.

The fair will be organized in the following weeks and KUSA’s help for the schools to develop these clubs will continue throughout the year.

Know your rights!

On Monday, Keep it Green hosted a round-table discussion as part of the monitoring of the implementation of “The Law on the hazardous environmental zone of Obiliq and surrounding areas”. 
The round-table consisted of discussions and debates regarding the environmental legislature in Kosovo and the steps to be taken towards proper implementation.

An online platform was also presented during the event. Citizens will be able to use Ligjiperobiliqin.info regarding their law-guaranteed rights in the upcoming info-sessions in the community.

This project was funded by KUSA as part of the Alumni Small Grants Program and aims to reduce law-breaking and encourage transparency by raising information levels of general public and CSOs in Obiliq about their rights guaranteed by the recently approved law.

Inspiring tomorrow’s engineers and scientists: Tackling girls’ academic self-perception at an early age

This project aimed to establish a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Club in one of the schools of Prishtina. By performing creative and fun activities and games, the children had the opportunity to learn and to get inspired by many women role models that were part of the club gathering through their lectures. These lectures by women who are engaged in STEM careers, brought the children closer to the idea of a woman engineer, scientist, computer programmer, astronaut etc.

The activities of the project included visits in different companies related to the STEM field and educational institutions, which gave to the children the chance to see innovative and creative environments and inspired them to approach STEM choices for their future studies and careers.

At the end of the project a science exhibition was organized within school to showcase the as the creative ideas of all the children and to get to share with everyone what they have learnt during this project.

Girls in ICT

The Girls in ICT conference was held on Friday, the 26th of April, on the campus of RIT Kosovo and gathered around 300 girls interested in the field of ICT, influential actors of the field, inspiring speakers, and seventeen companies of the field offering hiring opportunities to the girls.

The speakers told their inspiring stories about their studies and their interesting jobs. In this conference, the girls had the opportunity to network with the speakers, guests, and their peers. Workshops opened afterward and participants followed their chosen workshops. After the participants successfully completed their workshop, they were granted certificates in the respective workshops.

At the end of the day, a job-fair was held where fourteen local companies and businesses met with the young girls and discussed hiring or internship opportunities, and the open positions at their companies.

During the conference, the girls got a chance to listen to talks to change-makers and get inspired first hand to bring technological innovation to Kosovo, participate in the workshops and learn practical new skills, network with other skilled people in their field and open the doors for future collaborations, and meet the representatives of the companies working in Kosovo, giving them a chance to apply for open positions and put their skills to life.