Ermal Hoxha’s Study Report on TOKA’s Impact in Informal Learning

November 1, 2023

Ermal Hoxha – a doctoral student with the Language and Literacies for Social Transformation program at the University of Missouri – Columbia, has made a Study Report on TOKA’s Impact on Informal Learning. During May & June 2022, he observed the activities of a young group (10-12 girls) from Gjilan. During his time observing the activities of this young volunteering group, he concluded these main findings:

  1. Positive Experience at TOKA:
  • Young people felt valued and involved at TOKA. Quote: “They always wanted to hear your opinion. Made you feel like you are wanted in the club.” – Tina
  • Notable positive aspects: building friendships, teamwork, meaningful activities, and summer camps.
  1. TOKA’s Role in Youth Well-being & Empowerment:
  • TOKA prioritizes students’ needs over institutional demands. Quote: “Everyone had to look how the teacher is asking questions… At TOKA it was different, the leaders looked how we are as students and then to get together with us.” – Dona
  • TOKA led to societal prejudice reductions and allowed youths to transition from learners to leaders. Quote: “Compared to how we make them appear… they were very friendly/sociable, and we had a great day. We made their day and they made ours.” – Tina
  • Youth projects at TOKA led to meaningful community contributions. Quote: “contribute something valuable for their own city” – Bona
  1. Critiques of Traditional Schooling:
  • Students expressed discontent with the education system, highlighting issues like an overemphasis on rote learning, neglect of vital topics, and a misaligned focus on grades over actual knowledge.
  • Quote: “Teachers always made us think that grades are more important that the knowledge we get.” – Dona
  • Schools failed to address important issues until a crisis arose. Quote: “At school they never talk about these things [mental health & bullying]… at school they only talk when something really bad happens.” – Dona

Overall, the findings underline TOKA’s role in promoting a positive, student-centered experience and empowering youths, contrasted against some of the shortcomings of the traditional education system.

To read the full depth report, click on this link.


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