A presentation of the Analysis of the legal framework on education and the possibilities of including open educational resources took place on 26 January 2016, at 11:00AM, in the Center for conferences and studies in the National and University Library “St. Kliment of Ohrid” – Skopje.
Metamorphosis’ representative opened the presentation by delivering brief introduction about the project “Initiative for open educational resources”, as well as the previous activities that inspired this Analysis. Afterwards, the author Klime Babunski, presented the analysis that covers four laws: Law on Primary Education, Law on Secondary Education, Law on Textbooks for Primary and Secondary Education as well as the Lawn on Copyright and Related Rights and it also provides a perspective for the situation, opportunity to draw conclusions and recommendations for regulation of open educational resources in these laws.
The author emphasized that the emergence of the open educational resources concept is one of the greatest changes in the educational process, and some of the key conclusions resulting from the analysis that were also emphasized during the presentation are:
- The common good status that the continuous education possesses, is a positive trait and conceptually creates a certain foundation, i.e. does not close the possibilities for open access to educational resources. However, the open access to textbooks is not clearly defined by the educational policy and is not in a state of awareness.
- The current normative concept in the educational system, as well as practices, do not optimize the education in the context of digitalization of society.
- The plan and curriculum, for the appropriate grades and subjects as bases for preparing of each textbook, are proposed by the Bureau for Education Development, and are determined or confirmed by the Minister of education and science, according to the Law on Textbooks.
- The creative power of textbooks creation is determined by the authors, and the authors themselves have a key position in education.
- Multiplication of textbooks is an essential importance as material right when it comes to free access to textbooks. The Law on Copyright and Related Rights accepts the benefits of the information technology and instructs that “electronically work storing” can be one way of multiplication.
- Harmonization of factors to open access of educational resources, and primarily the open access to textbooks, ought to begin with legal and program definition within the framework of education. State, commercial, professional and civil organizations should participate in the definition as well. The open access will become a state of common awareness this way only.
Main presented recommendations are:
- There should be a built-in norm in the Law on Copyright and Related Rights regarding the public interest and public finances as coordinating items of open access on the one hand, and on the other hand, to enhance the copyright and related rights protection, and to improve open access rights to such works, especially when it comes to educational resources.
- Norm for open access to textbooks should be simultaneously established in the Law on Textbooks, as an optimal achievement when it comes to public interest in education.
- Open access to textbooks should become a legally defined segment in the plans, curriculums and concepts created by the Bureau for Education Development in the framework of textbooks and other educational resources, for instance, workbooks.
- Clearly coordinated policy should result from the establishment of “open access” as one of the basic principles of textbook creation, which will cover divergent institutional and non-institutional subjects, but the authors and their copyrights will always be in the focus of such policy.
- Open access should inspire communication and creativity appropriately to the technical possibilities and standards (for instance: Web 2.0) by deformalizing the pupil – teacher relation, and should create elementary conditions for more essential and more wide-ranging education digitalization.
- Conceptual redefining of the “e-textbooks” website should be initiated by standardization of laws and bylaws on open access to textbooks.
This analysis has been inspired from the work in the area of open educational resources as well as the recommendations received from the open education resources workgroup composed of members of the Alliance of open education resources, and is available for download in Macedonian and English language as well.
The Alliance for open education resources is an open group of individuals, organizations and institutions functioning as an informal network with a common goal – raising awareness and capacity of academic and science public for creating and using open educational resources in Republic of Macedonia.
The project “Initiative for open educational resources” has a goal to affect the awareness and capacity raising of academic and science public for creating and using open educational resources in Republic of Macedonia. This project is conducted by the Foundation Metamorphosis.