Bratislav Filipović, Founder and Instructorcoordinator of Academy Filipović

Everything Starts With a Good Idea

It was a decade ago that the programming workshop of the Filipović Academy introduced the complex programme of the 'School Information System', which permanently changed and improved the education process in Serbia. All its parts are being improved and further developed, to the general satisfaction of all participants in the education system

Bratislav Filipović

The gratitude of teachers is the greatest reward for me and my colleagues, but also an incentive for us to be even better and more productive. Everyone is aware of the benefits brought by using our applications and training, and that’s why we’re preparing around a dozen new programmes, announces Bratislav Filipović exclusively for CorD.

Has your ‘School Information System’ succeeded in modernising, improving and easing the work of all participants in the education system in Serbia?

– The main purpose and intention of the ‘School Information System’ is to mitigate, simplify and improve the work of all participants in the education system, from teachers in preschool institutions to the Minister. The applying of the E-documentation system has a number of advantages: simpler and faster recording of all forms of educational work, monitoring the implementation and development of educational work programmes, increasing the degree of efficiency in work, more effective monitoring of activities – the progress of children, improving communication with parents and all relevant factors.

The application represents a high-quality basis for the development and improvement of education and training in the development of skills for lifelong learning, such as self-confidence, openness, curiosity, perseverance and creativity. Our primary goal is to help users record their activities in all forms and purposes in a very simple way, as well as enable them to more easily access the data and reports that they need in their work. In designing the programme, we followed the legal framework, took into account the average computer literacy of personnel in education and adjusted the programme to the end user, whilst respecting all the imperative elements for the proper functioning of the programme.

Which business processes are covered by your ‘School Information System’? What enables employees in educational institutions, professional services, parents, the Ministry etc.?

– The ‘School Information System’ contains parts that form one powerful whole: the ejournal that satisfies all standards, legal requirements, coverage of all types of schools and the implementation of IOP; the e-portfolio for teachers, students, heads of education; the Electronic Pedagogical Notebook, the Programme for Printing Testimonials, the PP service Programme, a platform for developing school websites and the E-Library. Programmes for the self-evaluation of schools and bulletin boards are under development.

In accordance with the latest technical possibilities, and taking into account the needs of preschool institutions, the narrowly specialised team of Academy Filipović has created a project to record, monitor and evaluate work programmes according to the latest model “Years of Takeoff” – E-nursery.

Bratislav Filipović

An electronic portfolio is a contemporary way of monitoring and recording the creativity and competencies of education staff. The Eportfolio has great potential in promoting the results of the work of employees in education and represents a good way of presenting results achieved by individuals and entire institutions.

This is much more than just a set of papers; it is a complete record of an employee’s development and advancement. Archived data can be accessed easily and the development path of teachers can be overviewed, and able to be accessed by colleagues, school management, parents and other interested parties. The E-portfolio programme in Serbia has been attended by 10,198 teachers from 951 schools, and it is also used by teachers from Montenegro and Republika Srpska. The programme is also adapted to school principals for personal portfolio records, with all standards and requirements for obtaining a director’s license.

The information system that we’ve developed is the best in the region and is useful to all participants in the education system

Your slogan is “A step ahead of everyone” and is based on the regular monitoring of the needs of education employees. Are the directors and employees of institutions that cooperate with you at an advantage over others?

– One step ahead of everyone is reality, and not a simple phrase. We developed and implemented the electronic journal in schools in Serbia as far back as 2008; we perfected our programme by monitoring all legislative changes and developing it further, regardless of the fact that some other programme was introduced to schools. We started developing our electronic portfolio in 2013, and in 2015 we received international recognition for it – the first award in the field of education, DISKOBOLOS 2015.

We developed a platform for the creation of school websites in 2012, which is used today by about 200 schools, and in 2013 we created a programme for managing school libraries and it received the support of the Association of School Librarians of Serbia, as the best programme of its kind.

Today we hear about frameworks for the digital competences of teachers, electronic textbooks, digitalisation… and I can state freely and with pride that we at Academy Filipović laid those foundations, approaching the needs of the education system as research work, monitoring global trends and the development of IT.

How does your ‘School Information System’ differ from many other competing systems and programmes with the same and similar purposes?

– Several good programmes with a similar purpose exist in Serbia, which were developed at more or less the same time, but we were slightly ahead in terms of ideas and problem solving, at least a step ahead. I can claim responsibly that only two companies in Serbia can compete seriously with our information system, apart from in the part of the Electronic Portfolio and electronic records of documentation in preschool institutions, where we are definitely without competition.

Bratislav Filipović

The actual end users of the system helped us in the development of the programme and in finding the right solutions; the teachers, who set tasks for us, sought that we free them from bureaucracy and writings various documents that are in many cases unnecessary or useless.

Increasing the quality of education and training is among the priorities of developed countries and societies. How is this achieved?

– At Filipović Academy everything starts with a good idea. We monitor contemporary world trends, carry out the selection of ideas and plan their implementation. We care about education. We care about people and they recognise that. We seek good people who can implement good ideas, making them visible and accessible. We are going a step ahead of everyone, even though we are tripped up by those who, with their actions and considerations, would return to the past; those who care only about money and not about people, knowledge, progress and freedom. We move ahead of those who are without ideas, those who are lagging behind us.

We want everyone to keep pace with the times, for us to give them guidance in recognising the benefits of progress, but in no way to forget tradition, history, and to take serious steps forward together, to preserve our achievements, but also to promote a correlation between the modern and the traditional.

The seminars of Academy Filipović have been implemented in several hundred schools across Serbia in recent years, attended by thousands of education workers. Do you have any new accredited programmes?

– Sixteen years of hard work, 52 accredited seminars and 47,000 satisfied attendees, for whom we have provided knowledge and necessary skills, their gratitude and appreciation are the motivation for us to continue on, for us to be even better and more productive. We monitor trends, research and are preparing around a dozen new programmes for the next accreditation period. We also have two seminars accredited in Montenegro. One of them is the ‘Electronic Teacher’s Portfolio’.