Measure 1.2: Cross-border initiatives targeting the exchange of people and ideas to enhance the professional and civil society cooperation
Project title: Together is better (Zajedno je lepo/ljepše)
|Project value||EU contribution|
|Republic of Serbia||€ 54,611.01||€ 46,419.35|
|Montenegro||€ 69,834.04||€ 59,358.93|
|TOTAL||€ 124,445.05||€ 105,778.28|
Beneficiary of funds in the Republic of Serbia: Elementary School “Desanka Maksimović” – Novi Pazar
Partner: The town of Novi Pazar – “Youth Office”
Beneficiary of funds in Montenegro: Elementary School “Šukrija Međedović” – Godijevo, Bijelo Polje
Partner: Municipality of Bijelo Polje
Area of implementation:
• Montenegro: Municipality of Bijelo Polje
• Serbia: The town of Novi Pazar
Project duration: Republic of Serbia: 10/10/2012 – 9/8/2013; Montenegro: 10/9/2012 – 9/7/2013
Project objectives: The overall objective of the project is to promote the development of children through the organization of interactive extracurricular activities of transnational encounters with peers who will contribute to the mutual knowledge and a more complete income and physical development of primary school. Specific goals of the project are to:
• Through interactive work provide an opportunity for students to deepen their knowledge and horizons in the field of life skills.
• Through socializing with students from other states to allow students to develop the spirit of good neighborly relations.
• Understanding the cultural characteristics of the people who live in these areas with the aim of developing inter-ethnic harmony and tolerance.
Activities and results of the project:
The first activity within the project “Together is better” was to equip two partner schools with modern teaching materials and teaching aids. IT devices and equipment for the installation of internet, video and audio equipment provide basis for the development of curricular and extra-curricular activities in schools in line with the current trends in most developed countries. New teaching aids and other equipment allowed the introduction of new work programmes which are more substantially adapted to the children and teaching staff. Sports equipment, provided by the project, allowed these schools to implement new sport contents with multiple beneficial effects on quality growth and development of pupils.
In direct collaboration, the school teachers designed the scheme and programme for workshops which have been implemented in a ten months period in groups of 10 pupils.
The teaching staff conducted workshops addressing the issues on prejudice and discrimination in 6 stages. Both schools conducted the two workshops each, while the third and the last (sixth) workshops were conducted jointly, during the organised visits to Godijevo, i.e. Novi Pazar. The last workshop was conducted by the pupils themselves. The activists of Novi Pazar Municipal Youth Office organised the knowledge test for the pupils on the fight against prejudice and awarded them peer educator certificates. Then, the young lecturers conducted a panel discussion and shared their knowledge and skills on this important issue with their peers with disabilities.
In the same manner, the pupils in the other group, responsible for education on the issue of psychoactive substance abuse, were trained, with the help of their teachers, to convey their knowledge to their peers. This unfortunately increasingly prevalent problem was addressed and ways of solving it were found during the two individual workshops conducted in both partner schools, while additional two workshops were conducted during the reciprocal visits of pupils from Godijevo and Novi Pazar. After passing the test, the young lecturers deservedly received peer educator certificates. For this purpose, the young educators also prepared appropriate educational brochure and distributed it to children in their respective schools.
The issue of children rights was also tackled in the same manner during the project. In addition to the fact that the pupils have learned a lot on this important issue, the pupils from Novi Pazar helped their peers from Godijevo to establish their Pupils’ Parliament based on their experience. Thus, the conditions were created for pupils who attend the both schools to fight for their ideas in an organised and efficient way and to exercise their common rights in an organised manner.
Special groups of pupils from Godijevo and Novi Pazar were trained by their teachers to transfer the acquired knowledge to their peers on the issue of communicable diseases transmitted through sexual intercourse, such as AIDS.
An interesting and current topic of ecology and environmental protection was tackled through the organisation of environmental sections. The activities related to knowledge, skills and specific actions were implemented separately in both schools, and during the reciprocal visits, the peers “rolled up their sleeves” and arranged green areas around their schools, such as planting trees and flowers, placing new litter bins, and did their best to remove the adults who smoke from their environment and built special smoking cabins for them.
Clubs of young historians were formed both in Godijevo and Novi Pazar. Pupils-researchers, along with their teachers and the staff from the local museums collected historical material on the heritage of their ancestors.
During the last common visit in Godijevo, the pupils from all thematic clubs, together with other pupils, organised the Festival of Creativity in the Cultural Centre in Bijelo Polje and soon after the same Festival was also organised by pupils in Novi Pazar. During the festivals they presented their fellow citizens who work in public institutions how much they have learned and how important they are for the development of their respective towns.
During their reciprocal visits, the pupils were accommodated in their fellow host family houses. The pupils maximally used the opportunity of their stay in a different environment to visit and learn about the natural beauty and cultural and historical heritage of the region of the fellow hosts. Visits organised in such a manner additionally allowed the pupils insight into the customs and habits of their peers and their families from other environments, enriched their knowledge and taught them to try even harder to understand and respect other cultures.
Rešad Sijarić, Director of Elementary School “Šukrija Međedović” – Godijevo, Bijelo Polje
“We are glad to have the opportunity to welcome our colleagues from Novi Pazar and exchange experiences with them. I believe that we have a lot to show to each other, to learn and pass our experiences. I would like to take this opportunity to point out that the local government and the Ministry of Education and Sports generously supported us during our participation in the competition for grants through IPA Funds.“
Munir Šabalović, Director of Elementary School “Desanka Maksimović” – Novi Pazar
“I am confident that we shall establish a long-lasting cooperation beyond this project as well. Moreover, Novi Pazar and Bijelo Polje have family ties, and hence the friendship between our schools is a good move in that direction as well. “