The Faculty of Education – Bitolа (in Macedonian Latin script: Pedagoški Fakultet – Bitola; in Macedonian Cyrillic script Педагошки Факултет – Битола; IPA transcription: [peʹdagoʃki fa:kul′tet ʹbitola]; (abbr. PFBT) is a state higher education scientific and teachers’ training institution in the south western region of the Republic of Macedonia. Pedagoški Fakultet – Bitola is one of the oldest educational unit within the structure of the second State University St. Clement of Ohrid – Bitola, i.e. in Macedonian: Univerzitet Sv. Kliment Ohridski – Bitola; (acronym – UKLO - Bitola [ʹυklo ʹbitola]) the rectorate of which is in the town of Bitola.
HISTORY OF TEACHERS’ TRAINING EDUCATION:
The teachers’ training education in Republic of Macedonia has an exceptionally long tradition but the credits for its obtaining the form of written records and discourse are bestowed to the work of the Saints Cyril and Methodius (Светите Кирил и Методиј [ˈsvetite ˈkiril i ˈmetodij], 826-869, 815-885); and two of their most prominent disciples – Saint Clement of Ohrid, (840 – 916) (Свети Климент Охридски [ˈsveti ˈkliment ˈohridski]), a medieval Macedonian saint, scholar, writer, and enlightener of the Slavs, founder of the Ohrid School of Literature in Macedonia, more known as “The First Slavic University”; and St.Naum of Ohrid (830 - 910) (Свети Наум Охридски [ˈsveti ˈnaum ˈohridski], a medieval Macedonian scholar, writer, teacher, and one of the establishers of the foundations of the Macedonian literacy and education.
The list of all their disciples and followers on the path of spreading the Macedonian alphabet and language codification armature preparation – as two major tools of education and teachers’ training, encompasses a period of more than 1100 years.
Some of the most prominent ones in this list of Macedonian language enlighteners and educators are the Miladinovci brothers (Браќа Миладиновци, transliterated in English as Brakja Miladinovtsi): Dimitar Miladinov (1810-1862) and Konstantin Miladinov (1830-1862), both of them Macedonian poets, folklorists, teachers and authors of an important collection of Macedonian folk songs, who are also known to have laid the foundation of the Macedonian literary tradition and teaching; and Krste Petkov Misirkov (1874-1926) (Крсте Петков Мисирков [ˈkɜːrste ˈpetkov ˈmisirkov] philologist, slavist, ethnographer and historian, who outlined the principles of the Macedonian literary language.
In its long educational history, Bitola is righteously proud to have had both Miladinovci Brothers and Krste Petkov Misirkov teaching in its area for some time.
Yet, there are other names enriching the long list of Macedonian teachers and enlighteners, and thus, worthy to be mentioned: Daskal Kamče (Даскал Камче trnsl. Kamche the Teacher) an enlightener, teacher and printing press operator; Rajko Žinzifov (Рајко Жинзифов) a teacher, poet, and translator; Joakim Krčovski (Јоаким Крчовски) a pilgrim, priest, teacher, mixed-school founder, and writer; Kiril Pejčinovikj (Кирил Пејчиновиќ), a cleric, writer, school founder, educator and enlightener; Dimitar Makedonski (Димитар Македонски) an educator and school textbook writer; Dimitar Pop-Georgiev Berovski (Димитар Поп-Георгиев Беровски) a teacher and school headmaster; Tsvetanka Senokozlieva (Цветанка Сенокозлиева) a teacher; Jordan Hadži Konstantinov – Džinot (Јордан Хаџи Константинов – Џинот) a teacher, author, and advocate of secular public education and application of modern pedagogical practices; Goce (Georgi Nikolov) Delčev (Гоце Делчев transliterated as Gotse Delchev) a teacher who – even though in relation to his revolutionary ideas on the autonomy of Macedonia, kept emphasizing the importance of cooperation among all ethnic groups (today – a worldwide core of multiethnic societies); Krume Kepeski (Круме Кепески) a pedagogue, linguist, translator, Macedonian folk literature collector purposing to preserve traditional oral literature and culture, grammarian, author of the first Macedonian grammar; Blaže Koneski (Блаже Конески, transliterated Blazhe Koneski) one of the most distinguished Macedonian poets, writers, literary translators, and linguistic scholars, world-known linguist and philologist as well as intellectual and linguistic colleague and collaborator of Horace Lunt. Moreover, it was Blaže Koneski who brought to realization the codification of the Standard Macedonian Language.
According to the facts stated afore, the education and training of teachers is not only of a long tradition but a rich and profoundly experienced one in shaping the educational path as well. Yet, the path took its legislative form only after the end of WW2 (late 1964) when Republic of Macedonia was recognized as equal to the others constituting the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia – SFRY and its worldwide known and appraised educational system.
Bitola Teachers’ Training School (in Macedonian Latin script: Učitelska Škola – Bitola; in Macedonian Cyrillic script: Учителска Школа – Битола; IPA transcription [uʹtʃitelska ʹʃkola) was one among the numerous secondary schools founded, opened or reopened all over SFRY, and activated to produce literacy environment within the reach of every individual from both urban and rural areas.
Due to its quality teaching and training, fast evolution and progress, and its popular appeal, in 1964 Bitola Teachers’ Training School was transformed into and accredited as Teachers’ Training Academy (equivalent to a two-year university education college; in Macedonian Latin Script: Pedagoška Akademija – Bitola; in Macedonian Cyrillic script: Педагошкa Аадемија – Битола; IPA transcription: [peʹdagoʃkа akа′demia] ʹbitola]; (known as Viša Pedagoška Škola and abbr. VPŠ).
The foundation of the second State University St. Clement of Ohrid – Bitola in 1979, as well as its progress, development, and growth, embedded the missing brick into the educational, scientific, and cultural structure of the architecture of the modern Macedonian society.
The Agreement on establishment of a second State University in R. Macedonia, passed with a Self-governing Socialism Act on affiliation of six higher education and two scientific institutions into a university, was signed by all eight institutions, including the Teachers’ Training Academy of Bitola:
• Faculty of Economics – Prilep
• Faculty of Law - Bitola
• Faculty of Technical Sciences – Bitolа
• Faculty of Tourism and Hospitality – Ohrid
• Agricultural College - Bitola
• Teachers’ Training Academy – Bitolа
• Tobacco Institute – Prilep
• Hydro-Biological Bureau – Ohrid
Bearing in mind that the Macedonian historical cloth has been woven not only with fight for independence and ethnicity, identity, name, and language recognition, but with traditional, cultural, educational, and teaching embroidery as well – the latter of which of universal significance and credited to St. Clement of Ohrid, an initiative was put forward for the second state university to bear the name of this enlightener.
The 8th day of December of the year 1994 was the date when the university name initiative was approved of and realized, thus made the official date of the Patron Saint of the second state university of Republic of Macedonia – St. Clement of Ohrid.
Affiliated with the Bitola University St. Clement of Ohrid, the Teachers’ Training Academy not only continued its higher education mission of preparing and training new teaching staff but it advanced to the extent when it became a must that it be accredited as a four-year faculty; thus, in 1995, it was turned into a Faculty for Preschool and School Teachers with all degrees offered: diploma, master, and doctoral degrees.
The times of transition after the Independence of Republic of Macedonia obtained when former Social Federal republic of Yugoslavia disintegrated, have brought dynamics marked with fast changes and numerous reforms in all spheres, including the educational one. The path walked towards bettering the educational services for every individual and adapting the educational system into an all-inclusive one, has spurred the academic units to introduce new changes and study programs respectively. Thus, the Faculty for Preschool and School Teachers was renamed into a Faculty of Education (Pedagoški fakultet – Bitola) and in 2005 plunged into additional spheres of university study programmes and courses for diploma, master, and doctoral degrees: national and foreign languages teachers, and computer and engineering studies teachers.