The Honeyland educational packet was promoted on 29 March in the Daut Pashin Amam in Skopje. It will make it easier for primary school pupils, between the ages of 10 and 14, to learn about the key messages from the Honeyland documentary through an interactive approach. The event was organized by the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning, the Ministry of Education and Science and the Nature Conservation Programme in North Macedonia (NCP), coordinated by Farmahem, financed by the Swiss Development and Coordination Agency (SDC).
In his address, the Minister of Environment and Physical Planning, Naser Nuredini, underlined the importance of the age-old wisdom and the powerful messages of Honeyland. “We thought that these powerful messages should also reach the youngest population, because it is particularly important that their education ensures they grow up in harmony with nature and that they respect the basic principles of interaction with it.”
Minister of Education and Science Jeton Shaqiri pointed out the importance of the educational packet, which includes 3 components: a Honeyland illustrated picture book, an interactive cube game and a big interactive game. In the pilot phase the educational packet was printed in Macedonian, Albanian and Turkish languages and was distributed in the primary schools in the Bregalnica region. “As part of this project we created a packet with educational materials and games that incorporate the messages from the Honeyland documentary and the goal is to encourage curiosity, learning and exchange of experience between teachers and pupils, that would allow for upgrading lifelong learning skills”, Minister Shaqiri said, adding that the project has strengthened the cooperation between the institutions from the public, private and international sector, which also implies greater responsibility for creating conditions for change in education.
In her address, the Ambassador of Switzerland to the Republic of North Macedonia, HE Véronique Hulmann, talked about the significance of Honeyland and its powerful message: “Keep half of the honey for yourself and leave the other half to the bees!”, which was not just a message, but a wake-up call for all of us – policy creators and ordinary citizens who use natural resources without caring for the environment and its sustainability, which is contrary to our own interests and the interests of our children. The educational packet is an excellent opportunity for pupils to return to real life and start playing and laughing together, have fun, and at the same time learn about nature, its rules and the need for sustainable use of natural resources”.
The director of the Bureau for Development of Education, Zekirija Hasipi, in his speech talked about the results of the pilot phase that was implemented in schools in the Bregalnica region. “The teachers who were involved in the trainings for implementation of the educational process in informal education showed great interest, which gives us the right to be optimistic that the educational packet will be successfully delivered to the pupils as end users. The Bureau for Development of Education will monitor the further implementation of the educational packet. It is of exceptional importance for us to find a way for this educational packet to be available in all schools throughout the country”.
The Nature Conservation Programme team leader Marjana Shushlevska reminisced about the major success of the Honeyland documentary, whose production was supported by the NCP, and the powerful messages of its main protagonist Atidje that travelled the world. “We have already crossed the red line, nature is under great pressure and we constantly feel the consequences of its destruction. Young people, who are our future, will have a period full of challenges. The interactive educational tool is an opportunity to share with them traditional local knowledge about the use of natural resources and Atidje is a great example of living in harmony with nature. This is the right way to prepare them to deal with the challenges in a more comprehensive, holistic way”.
The content of the educational packet, developed by Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov, was presented by Simona Stojanovska, project coordinator and editor in chief of the illustrated book. The interactive games in the educational packet were developed by Aleksandar Mikic, Samoil Petrevski, Vladimir Trajcevski and Boris Momic.
The event was attended by representatives of ministries, diplomatic institutions, international organisations, competent national and regional institutions in the Republic of North Macedonia, who had the chance to get acquainted with the packet’s content and once again meet Atidje and look back on the Honeyland documentary.