The 12th International Symposium on “School failure in police education institutions – between assumption and acceptance”, from 24th to 28th June 2019, at the “Avram Iancu” Training School for Border Police Agents in Oradea, Romania, was also attended by a five member delegation from the Police Training Centre, Serbia. The members of the delegation were Police Colonel Dušan Maksimović, deputy head of the Police Training Centre, Police Major Andrija Novaković, head of the Centre for Specialized Police Training and Professional Development, and tree representatives from the Basic Police Training Centre: Police Lieutenant Colonel Rade Bogojević, PhD, assistant head of the Basic Police Training Centre, Police Colonel Milenko Kalacun, head of the Section for the Field of Policing and Police Advisor Snežana Vla, e-learning trainer, as the English language interpreter.

The visit was aimed at closer acquaintance with the system of police education and training of the participants of the symposium, as well as with the problems encountered during the delivery of training, and strategies and mechanisms used to overcome them. Of course, international symposia are always a good opportunity to establish contacts for further cooperation.

At the symposium, a total of 20 institutions from 9 countries participated. In addition to the delegation from Serbia and the host from Romania, there were also delegations from Bosnia and Herzegovina (Republika Srpska), Germany, Hungary, Moldova, Northern Macedonia, Slovakia and Ukraine.

In their presentations, representatives of police educational institutions identified a number of factors that affect failure during training. Most have recognized the factor related to the personality structure and the system of values of generations that are the target group for recruitment and subsequent retention at work. Namely, bearing in mind that the main priority for these generations is not professional success, but personal satisfaction, they are not motivated to opt for a police call, to persist in training and professional development. Most of them would rather change profession than put more effort to adapt to a system that does not suit them.

Another factor is mostly related to the perspective of the teaching staff and management, where it was concluded that if we want to recruit and retain new staff, it is necessary to change the attitude towards their abilities (short attention span, relying on the Internet for information, lack of interest in learning anything by heart). It is also necessary to adapt the selection criteria and teaching methods and techniques in order to achieve the acquisition of the necessary knowledge and skills, so they can apply them in the field. As for the teaching content, the focus should be on practical application. The use of teaching methods should aim to motivate students, empower them, build their self-esteem, and focus them on their personal interest in advancement and development.

Also, each delegation briefly presented its training system, so the delegation of the Police Training Center had a two-part presentation, too. Police Colonel Dušan Maksimović spoke about the legal basis for the implementation of the training (Law on Police and by-laws), types of training, as well as about the training cycle that is standardized and implemented in accordance with the provisions of the Law on Police and the Regulation on Professional Training and Development, whereas Police Lieutenant Colonel Rade Bogojević, PhD informed the participants of the symposium on the legal regulation of termination and leaving the training and statistics in this area. Police Advisor Snežana Vla interpreted the presentation for the English-speaking participants.

The headmaster of the “Avram Iancu” Training School for Border Police Agents, Police Chief Commissioner Ionel Hotnoga and assistant headmaster, Police Chief Commissioner Aura Sima made sure that the official part had a good working atmosphere and encouraged the discussion on this subject which, as they said in the opening statement, is not easy to speak about honestly.

We owe special thanks to the interpretors from the School, without whom the exchange of experience would be significantly impeded due to the language barrier, bearing in mind that during the formal and informal part of the symposium one could hear Serbian, Macedonian, Romanian, Ukrainian, Slovak, Hungarian, English and German language. Our warmest gratitude we give to the Head of Department for Foreign Languages, Social Sciences and Humanities, Ioana Bordeianu and her colleagues, for their generous support in overcoming the communication gap.

The head of the Department of International Relations, Police Commissioner Marius Cura was in charge of assembling such a dynamic group of participants, organizing the symposium and maintaining good atmosphere throughout it, particularly in the part dedicated to learning about the Romanian culture and traditions and establishing closer contacts among participating delegations.

The same as in previous years, he made sure that all participants are glad to have been at the symposium and wish to participate next year as well. We hope that this cooperation with the Police Training Centre will continue and that it may be expanded through other activities.

Text: Snežana Vla
Photo: BPTC, “Avram Iancu” Training School for Border Police Agents

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