Inspiring and far-reaching initiatives to improve democratic development in schools were presented at the National Conference for the “Schools for Democracy” programme in Ukraine on June 25-26. Almost 50 schools got to showcase the results of their efforts, and nearly 300 stakeholders participated at the event.
The programme aims to support systemic democratic reforms of school education, and so far, over 200 schools have participated. Students, teachers and principals alike stressed the notable changes happening after taking part in the training, and the presentations demonstrated an impressive diversity in implemented activities.
“First we thought that our ideas would not be heard, but after we saw that our initiatives may be implemented we got inspired and even more engaged in the school life”, says Mariana, a student from the Piadyky-Lyceum school in the Ivano-Frankivsk region when explaining the ripple-effect the program has had on student empowerment in her school. “It (the programme) gave us an understanding that we can do a lot more, and now we have applied for several other projects and are pleased to continue working on making our everyday school life a better place for all” she continues. Principals were also describing the positive changes in their schools, and we were pleased to hear reflections of improved interaction between students, teachers and the community.
On the second day the participants got the chance to work in workshops focusing on different aspects of a democratic school culture, before they were introduced to representatives from various organisations and initiatives that work in the field, which can support schools in continuing the democratic transformations they have started.
After spending two fantastic days with the programmes 3rd cycle; sharing experiences, reflecting on what has already been implemented and contemplating about what comes next, the event was wrapped up with an inspirational speech by CoE and EWC expert Marzena Rafalska. All school teams and trainers were awarded with well-deserved certificates.
The Programme is funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway. It is implemented by the European Wergeland Centre in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, Centre for Educational Initiatives and ISAR Еdnannіa.