International cooperation for mutual development. Participation in the annual conference of the penitentiary training academies network (EPTA - European Penitentiary Training Academies)

«The more you know, the more you can». (E. Abu)
The conference «Tackling gaps in cross-border cooperation for penitentiary training academies» was held on September 28-29 in Bratislava under the auspices of the European Penitentiary Training Academies (EPTA). The European Penitentiary Training Academy (EPTA) is a network for the experiences exchange in penitentiary staff training, which has extended to 25 members from all regions of Europe.

The main objective of EPTA is the exchange of knowledge, contents, programs and good practices.
Every year, EPTA elects the president among the members of the community – the Director of an educational institution of certain European country. In turn, the training academy, which takes responsibility for the presidency, is also in charge of organizing the annual conference.
Josef Valuch, the director of the Slovakian Penitentiary Staff Training Centre, is holding the current EPTA presidency 2020, so the conference took place in Bratislava. Because of the situation related to the Covid - 19 the conference was organized in online format for the first time.

The event was attended by the Head of the Bila Tserkva Center, Colonel of the Internal Service Oleg Duka, and a teacher-methodologist Viktoriia Chernobaieva. During his speech, Oleg Duka presented the main activities and development strategies of our Center.
It is worth noting that the Bila Tserkva Center participated for the first time as a full member of EPTA, which is a significant achievement in the international cooperation of the educational institution. The purpose of the conference was to exchange experiences in managing training activities during the lockdown due to COVID - 19 as well as the introduction of innovative methods and approaches in prison staff training.
During the first day of the conference, there were outputs from the Special Interest Groups on the following topics: «Training Leadership and Management», «Dynamic Security», «Managing Difficult Inmates». Other educational institutions had the opportunity to join the discussion on these topics and shared their own experiences.

Representatives of such countries as Slovakia, France and Ireland started the second day of the online conference, where they talked about the organization of training during the quarantine of Covid-19. Also, the issues regarding the platform usage, remote education and organization of examinations carried out in a remote form were discussed.
At the end of the conference there was voting on updated Statutory rules and announcing of new EPTA members.
In general, the work was extremely useful and fruitful, which can allow in the future to apply in the practice new methods and approaches in teaching of the Bila Tserkva Center and gaining experience in international cooperation.


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