The biggest hopes of Kosovo lie in the children and the young people of the country. More than half of the population is younger than 25 years, one of the youngest populations in Europe. What matters is that this generation no longer grows up in an atmosphere of segregation, separation, hatred and without prospects.
The youth of the country requires a chance to develop in a spirit of understanding, esteem and respect. It needs the possibility of education in our European meaning of the word. Girls and boys of all ethnic and religious groups should attend school together and learn to live with one another again. Central to the UN-Convention on the Rights of the Child from 1989 is the stipulation that all children have the right to a good primary school education and an equal right to secondary education: education and learning are fundamental for development and are therefore the key to the future.
Jean Monet (1888 - 1979), a major figure in providing the inspiration for and form a united Europe, once said: "If I had to begin all over again to build up Europe, I would put less emphasis on the economy and more on culture and education." As a democratic European country in the Islamic world Kosovo can expect a particular commitment from Europe.
This is undoubtedly the reason why, in autumn 2002, Kosovar parents approached Renovabis, the German Catholic movement of solidarity with the peoples of eastern Europe, and requested assistance in establishing a grammar school in Kosovo.
Early in 2003, Renovabis sent Father Happel SJ to Kosovo with the task of carrying out a feasibility study into the possibility of establishing a grammar school in Kosovo:
The possibility of establishing a grammar school in Kosovo?
The results were available by the end of June 2003. The establishment of such a school in Kosovo was not only possible and to be desired, it should be regarded as a duty. In particular, the teaching of girls and boys together should be a priority; they should have the chance of a good education.
The future grammar school should definitely have boarding facilities and be open to all children in Kosovo and its neighbouring countries.
In autumn 2003 Renovabis asked the Jesuits of the German Province with carrying out the project and simultaneously agreed to give generous start-up funds to subsidise a large part of the building costs.
Once again Father Happel SJ was entrusted with the responsibility for the project and sent to Kosovo in September 2003.
Prizren is supposed to be the historic capital of Kosovo. The possibility of transferring the function of the capital city from Pristina to Prizren is something which is often discussed.
In addition, Prizren is a city which has grown and developed naturally in time where a grammar school is of great symbolic and political value. Prizren is situated in the German sector of the KFOR-troops and accordimng to the crime statistics it is the safest city in Kosovo. The Germans, both military and civilian, have a very good reputation here.
Prizren is easily accessable from Macedonia and Albania. Therefore the grammar school is open to childrem from these countries as well.
Father Happel SJ began his work in Kosovo by establishing good relations to all important organizations.
He negotiated with the Prizren City Council and the relevant government ministries in Pristina. Equally important was the presentation of the project to the Apostolic Administration in Prizren.
One by one the various formalities and bureaucratic obstacles were overcome and the organizations taking part began to feel they were working together on a common project.
On 18th May 2004, the constituent assembly of the registered society of representatives took place in the Prizren Town Hall. The next steps to be taken were recorded in the minutes:
"The members agreed unanimously to set the project in motion before the end of the current school year. As commencing lessons in the coming school year is not practicable for reasons of time, the members have decided to do everything necessary so that building can be started in the school year 2004/05).
Similarly, the selection of teachers, their training and the development of the curriculum should all start as soon as possible."
Without a legal corporate body in Kosovo, the project would have been and would remain unthinkable. The corporate body acts as the contact partner for all national and international organisations, and functions as sponsor for the grammar school and the boarding facilities.
The Asociation "Loyola-Gymnasium" (ALG), the association of sponsors of the grammar school and boarding facilities, was formed in December 2003 in Pristina as a legal corporate body and registered as a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) with UNMIK o 19th of January 2004. Om 8th of February 2005 the association was granted the Public Benefit Status (PBS) by the Ministry of Public Affairs.
The objective of the association is the sponsorship of learning and education of the highest quality, and thereby the support of young people in Kosovo. This includes the preparation of Kosovan youth to face European competition and their corresponding integration into the fields of education and science, as well as the promotion of an understanding of culture, science and art appropriate to their age group. Members of the association can only be corporate bodies.
The current members of the registered association are:
Further members would be very welcome.
The building site, approximately 3.8 ha in area, is situated on the north-western perimeter of the city of Prizren, on the main transit to Albania.
The site was put at our disposal by the city of Prizren and it was signed over to us by UNMIK on 11th May 2005 for a period of 99 years.
It was entered in the land registry on 15th June 2005.
In January 2005, tenders for the building contract were invited. Within the stipulated time we had received 4 tenders from interested parties.
On the final day four bids were submitted to the five-member selection committee for consideration: Global was declared the winner, awarded the contract and the start of building work.
On 24th March 2005, the building contract with Global was signed and as early as 16th April we were able to celebrate the laying of the foundation stone.
Only five months later, on 12th September 2005, parts of the school and boarding facilities were officially opened. Classes began for 184 children the following day.
This was only possible because of the rapid building methods used and the commitment of all involved. At times there were over 200 people working on the building site.
The Deutsches Technisches Hilfswerk (German Technical Relief Organisation) supervised the work. Renovabis bore the lion's share of the costs of the first stage of building work.
In 16th April 2007, the second anniversary of the laying of the foundation stone we celebrated and the completion of the whole building work. It should be noticed that both the general framework of time and finances were met.
Additional costs had to be covered for alterations or extensions in the outdoor sport fields e.g. the originally provided asphalt coating was replaced by rubber granules and instead of one playground three different sportsfield were made.
Our teaching methods are optimistic.
We try to educate in a way which gives a positive view of the world and of life, which should contribute to a balanced and integrated development of the indivudual in all fields of the society and which encourages dialogue and understanding.
On account of its positive world-view our education conception considers everything worthy of being used as a source of learning. The students should be completely open to all questions and problems and they should be ready to learn from these not only in the mornings during lessons.
A simple transfer of knowledge and practical skills is not education.
Moral values must also be included.
For this reason, one of the most important goals of our schooling just as important as a good foundation of learning is the fostering of the individual personality.
We value individual treatment and the care for each individual student.
We emphasise individual initiative and encourage further life-long learning.
We look for inner values and encourage knowledge, love and acceptance of oneself.
We wish to contribute to a realistic knowledge of the world and its development.
We aim at the encouragement of the fullest possible development of all personal gifts and aptitudes.
Moral values are passed on at Loyola-Gymnasium by carefully chosen teachers and educators. and the examples which they give to the school in their daily lives and through the particular subjects which are suited to this.
Important aspects of personality development are the acqusisition of social skills such as the critical faculty, sensitivity, creativity and above all respect for others and the ability to form interpersonal relationships.
A boarding school such as the Loyola-Gymnasium in Prizren offers the particular opportunity of good education and training. Both are facilitated by the close intertwinning of life and learning in lessons and in free time.
The children can learn and practise good personal and social behaviour, companionship and life in a community. The students are educated in this way in groups according to their respective ages and according to modern views of educational theory.
We are convinced that European philosophy is a suitable foundation to lead from mere knowledge to real education. Even though living and learning in a community make many things easier we must be aware that in life and learning nothing is achieved without strain.
In our school we try to give our students the best possible preparation for their future life which means that we do not only demand great efforts but also give support and help whereever needed.
Education at the Loyola-Gymnasium combines older tried and tested methods with new challenges. Latin, German, and English are the foreign languages taught: languages form part of the curriculum, but so does the teaching of modern sciences.
Once skills and knowledge have been acquired they should not be used selfishly simply to satisfy the needs of the individual concerned, but should be placed at the service of society.
Education at the Loyola-Gymnasium is therefore education for the society. It is in harmony with the concept of Europe and should stimulate a desire for social justice.
This should lead to an outstanding service to others and to the taking on of responsible positions in society.
Human beings are individuals with different gifts and possibilities. We cannot impose the same standards on everyone as if it were a competition.
However, each one of our students must try to develop his or her talents and abilities to their fullest extend. We encourage open-mindedness, competence and enthusiasm not only in our students but also in their parents and naturally in ourselves.
Continual trustful cooperation among parents, teachers, tutors and students is a foundation of our educational method. This requires as follows:
It should be visible that the Loyola-Gymnasium Prizren with its boarding facilities does not only wish to help students to achieve a good leaving certificate, but to help them become individuals with European values and goals, `people for others` who will knowledgeably and responsibly participate in constructing the world and society.
The Loyola-Gymnasium in Prizren is a "lighthouse-project" of the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Zentralstelle für das Auslandsschulwesen.
The Loyola-Gymnasium is a partnerschool of the Federal Republic of Germany. This does not only express special closeness but also special responsibility:
The Loyola-Gymnasium is the only school in the region which after a thourough inspection by Deutsche Kultusministerkonferenz was authorized to carry out the exams for the language diploma "Sprachdiplom der Deutschen Kultusministerkonferenz" (DSD).
This diploma, can be acquired on two levels. It provides as far as the knowledge of the language is concerned the necessary condition for access to studies at a university in the German speaking countries.
For the admittance to that high level examination the candidates must have successfully taken part in at least 800 to 1200 lessons. The exam consists of three written exams and one oral test conceived according to the recommended European framework for learning foreign langugages on level C1 which corresponds to the level of a German native speaker.
The exam consists of "listening and understanding", "reading and understanding", "written communication" and "oral communication". At least 60 % of the test points have to be achieved to pass the test.
Traditionally Latin is taught by Romanists on grammar schools on the assumption that the teaching qualification of French automatically includes the qualification of Latin as well. Because we think that this is wrong we developed a special qualification programme for Latin. For their further qualification we send our teachers to Germany.
And we have our own students' books for Latin developed as well.
The students should at least achieve the qualification to read, translate and understand G. I. Caesar's "e bello Gallico" which roughly could be compared to the Latinum.
About 20 % of the basic vocabulary of the Albanian language has latin roots. In that respect Latin leads the students back to their cultural roots and contributes to a cultural identity. Latin is taught from class VI thru class X with five weekly lessons.
A further language beginning in class 6 would be too much. But when students come to us already possessing some knowledge of English we offer them courses in class 6 and 7 with two lesson a week to maintain the level they have already acquired and go forward from class 8 with three lessons a week. From class 10 to 12 they have four lessons a week.
We enlarge the curriculum of the schools in Kosovo on five lessons of both Latin and German per week. Latin is supposed to lead the children back to their cultural roots, whereas German connects them to Western Europe. Due to these extensions children can enter our school only from class VI.
We also take in students for class X from Kosovarian schools and lead them to our Abitur with the addition of courses for beginners of German and Latin.
The Matura of Kosovo (the examination for university entrance qualification) is nationwide a central examination since 2006. All the tests are written in multiple choice proceedings and differ only in the selection of the subjects which are taught at the local grammar schools. The complete examination of up to six subjects takes only three hours.
All students of the Loyola-Gymnasium have successfully passed these examinations so far
In addition to this Kosovo Matura our students have to take an Abitur exam according to german standards in German as a foreign language, Mathematics and History.
Half of all the school and boarding places are reserved for girls, because the encouragement of girls to enter the school is of particular importance to us. The only condition to enter the school is passing of the entrance examination.
Our charges cover about two thirds of the costs for running the school. Charges and donations are our only financial resources.
From 2014/15 the fees are:
85 EUR/month = 1020 EUR/year
School and boarding fees
265 EUR/month = 3180 EUR/year
The parental contributions are due in 3 instalments:
10th of September
10th of January
10th of May
For those in need we grant additional scholarships in case of proven need, exemplary good behaviour and incessant good results.
As a matter of fact all our students indirectly receive a fundamental financial support since the fees cover two thirds of the total costs only.
The foundation and the constructing of the Loyola-Gymnasium could only have been brought to life due to the support of our friends, sponsors, and patrons. The continuance of the Loyola-Gymnasiums in the future still depends on donations from outside.
Among our donors are many private persons but also firms, foundations, and organizations which cannot be mentioned by name here, because we want to protect them from inquiries, applications and requests by others.
Apart from the many private donors who simply are impossible to be mentioned here we wish to thank our sponsors on behalf of the children entrusted to us for every kind of support and help.
Children are the most precious gift of a society.They need a future because they are the future! It is our destination to educate children for and into their future.
It is a fairly simple reason which we unfortunately are not always aware of. Very often children are brought up under conditions which are far under the possibilities of their society. Often boys and girls do not experience equal attention and treatment.
The support association was founded in Beckum in March 22nd, 2007. It is the objective of the Association "Loyola-Gymnasium" to support the educational efforts of Loyola-Gymnasium.
Er soll darüber hinaus für Schülerinnen und Schüler des Loyola-Gymnasiums den Schüleraustausch aus und ins Kosovo vermitteln und fördern.
Over and above that the association supports the exchange of students from and to Kosovo. The association is a not-for-profit-organization and is registered at the Amtsgericht Münster under VR 70758.
Constitution of the association
Application for membership
Education cannot be achieved for free. Like all educational institutions Loyola-Gymnasium is in need of financial grants.
DONATION Account - Loyola-Gymnasium
Account holder: Jesuitenmission
Bank: Ligabank Nürnberg
IBAN: DE 61 750 903 00 000 511 55 82
Reference: Loyola-Gymnasium Prizren
DONATION Account - Support Association
Account holder: Freunde und Förderer der Asociation "Loyola-Gymnasium" e.V.
IBAN: DE40 4126 2501 6700 9587 00
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This is not only a question of our students but also a question of our friends and sponsors. Some have tried to find answers and started the Further Education and Training Initiative.
Especially our friends in Beckum and Oelde felt obliged to organize an offer of further opportunities after graduation from school. Every year in November representatives of various companies come to our school to present their educational opportunities to our the graduating students and their parents.
Those who are interested are also given the opportunity of personal interviews to get a fuller insight into these companies and their training branches. So the students can decide if they want to take advantage of a practical training in Germany during the month of April of the coming year.
After the practical training companies might offer a full qualifying training in Germany, sometimes even with the option of further qualifications at a university of applied sciences.