A group of eight students from Barleti University in Tirana, Albania, spent the whole of last week at the USB Faculty of Health and Social Sciences as part of their credit mobility. During their stay, they also visited the Department of Physical Education and Sport and the Department of Psychology of the Faculty of Education. At the Rectorate of the University of South Bohemia, the Albanian colleagues were received by the Rector of the University of South Bohemia, Prof. Bohumil Jiroušek, and the Vice-Rector for International Relations, doc. Radka Závodská. Two Albanian educators, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Erika Melonashi and Lejda Abazi, PhD., came to České Budějovice for an instruction stay and presented their paper at the conference on autism organized by the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences on Monday, October 10. Four administrative staff members attended a training course focusing on internationalisation and the Erasmus+ programme. The group also included Artan Shytaj, Vice-Rector for Student Affairs at Barleti University, and Artan Pogony, Head of the Department of Sport.
Director of the Institute of Social and Special-paedagogical Sciences FHSS USB doc. Jitka Vacková perceives Albania as a country full of incentives for the fields of social work, which are currently significantly developing there. ‘Albania is historically close to the Czech Republic. They both belong to the Eastern Europe region, which has some common features and yet very diverse experiences. This country has been experiencing migration for a long time, which is also a very useful topic in terms of the current situation in our country. Social work there has different ways of financing than here – and this fact can also inspire us,’ explained doc. Vacková. Erika Melonashi, Vice Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Tourism and Sport at Barleti University, described the focus of the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, which combines health and social sciences, as a perfect combination. She is a psychologist by profession and studies health from three perspectives – social, medical and psychological. She also looks at how different personality types affect health, including in relation to the course of the Covid-19 disease.
The collaboration between the two schools was born in 2017 in the USA at Clemson University in South Carolina when preparing joint instruction for students in the PhD programme. ‘The evolving social work in the new Albanian civil society shows historical and developmental similarities of the emergence that are also evident in the Czech Republic. This makes this cooperation all the more significant,’ said doc. Vacková. The interruption of the historical development of the field caused by the communist regime, which to some extent did not admit to and covered up social problems, entails an enormous need for methodological anchoring of the field as a scientific discipline, including the development of methods and techniques of social work that graduates could use in practice.
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