The event was organized by the European Wergeland Centre in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, Education Initiatives Centre and ISAR Yednannya supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway.
Representatives of schools participating in the Programme (teachers and schools administration, local community representatives, students, parents), members of the Programme Network of Trainers, partners, guests and media were invited to mark a symbolic graduation event of 42 schools taking part in the Programme’s second cycle.
During the official opening of the Conference HE Ambassador of Norway Ole T. Horpestad addressed the participants highlighting the Norwegian support regarding the implementation of democratic reforms. Oleksandr Yarema,Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports of Ukraine, commended a fruitful collaboration with the EWC underlining the relevance of the centre’s work in Ukraine. Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine Roman Greba expressed the gratitude for centre’s support in implementation of educational reforms in Ukraine and countersigned the Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine and the European Wergeland Centre.
Ana Perona-Fjeldstad, Executive Director of the European Wergeland Centre welcomed the participants and presented a new enhanced “Schools for Democracy” Programme corresponding to the needs and requests from the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine – support of the new National Curriculum development, elaboration of quality standards for schools, development and piloting of materials enhancing civic competences, development of the online tools incl. massive online courses and providing educational policy advice.
EWC’s Executive Director used the opportunity to present a "School Guide on Developing Democratic Competences and Creating a Democratic School Environment" which was recently elaborated by Programme’s experts. The new publication will: provide theoretical background and Programme’s philosophy, give concrete examples of good practices, suggest practical recommendations and further readings for those willing to improve the relations and environment in their schools and beyond.
In addition, Mrs Perona-Fjeldstad asked the schools in Ukraine to continue their endeavors towards more democratic schools and invited to part take in the Council of Europe’s educational campaign “Free to speak, Safe to learn: Democratic schools for all”.
School projects fair was certainly the highlight of the conference. The school teams were pleased to share changes accomplished, discuss the achievements and cherish the best practices.
This open space discussion was particularly valuable for all participants of the conference: schools could find news ideas and inspiration, share their successes and challenges, get more motivation for further democratic development; invited guests and partners used the opportunity to talk to various stakeholders and see for themselves what a democratic school means in practice.
We encourage the alumni schools to keep in touch and continue the good work by strengthening school autonomy, democratization of school governance and teaching and learning processes.