OSCE Mission in Kosovo trains teachers on stress management during COVID-19

News and Press Release
Originally published

PRISHTINË/PRIŠTINA, 19 November 2020 – The OSCE Mission concluded today the first phase of its project "Mental Health of Students during the COVID-19 Pandemic." The project, implemented in co-operation with Education and Management in Kosovo (EDUMEN-K), a non-governmental organization specialized in providing support to the education sector, included training for teachers on how to alleviate mental health issues among students as a consequence of school closures and isolation due to public health measures.

According to research conducted by the University of Pristina on the effects of COVID-19 in education, 65.4% of students reported moderate stress levels due to the lockdown in the spring, whereas 26.9% reported high-stress levels. The Association of Psychiatrists also stated that COVID-19 might have long-term negative effects on human psychology in Kosovo.

“The rapid closure of educational facilities as well as the urgent need to shift from classroom to online learning was one of the biggest challenges the education sector has ever faced. Moreover, students of all ages, both young women and men, had their in-person contact discontinued and lost the physical presence of their peers. These challenges have burdened young people and inevitably caused stress and possible mental and emotional health problems,” said Jan Braathu, Head of the OSCE Mission in Kosovo.

“Through training the teachers on how to deal with students’ stress during the COVID-19 pandemic, we aim to minimize the level of consequences that potentially students might have later,” said Braathu.

Over 400 teachers from all municipalities and communities Kosovo-wide were trained in this first phase. Training sessions included: basic knowledge about stress, stress management and strategies for preventing the consequences of stress after the COVID-19 pandemic. Upon completion of the training, selected teachers will be able to organize and lead stress management activities for students in their schools.

The second phase of the project is underway and will be completed by December 2020.