LEPL Tsalenjikha Public School N2
Address: Tsalenjikha,Gamsakhurdia str N1
Project: Democracy in the children’s hands
Working language during the project:
Themes of the Council of Europe project “FREE to SPEAK, SAFE to LEARN - Democratic Schools for All” covered:
- Making children’s and students’ voices heard
- Addressing controversial issues
- Improving well-being at school
Competences from the Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture (CDC) addressed and where / how they were integrated:
- Valuing democracy, justice, fairness, equality and the rule of law
Students understand the importance of learning about Democracy in school and becoming active citizens.
Students understand the importance of the Rule of Law and are capable of explaining why laws shall be implemented and enforced.
Students learn that elections should always be conducted democratically, in line with national and international standards.
(video watching, role play, discussion, creating brochures)
- Knowledge and critical understanding of the world: politics, law, human rights, culture, cultures, religions, history, media, economies, environment, sustainability
Students learn about core political concepts, including Democracy, Freedom, Citizenship, Rights and responsibilities.
Students learn that Human Rights are universal and inalienable, and they understand it is the responsibility of everyone to respect them.
(video watching, discussion, presentations, creating election slogans, producing brochures with guidelines on school principal elections.)
Students show that they take responsibility for their own actions and mistakes.
Students respect the deadlines for school assignments.
(debates, group role play, group presentations presented and reflected on in class, creating dioramas and making exhibitions at school)
Target group age range:
Level of education:
- Lower secondary education
- Upper secondary education
Short description of the project:
The project developing democracy competences at school was a 3-month project held in March, April and May 2019. During the project, teachers planned and implemented formal education activities on the following topics: human rights, equality, democracy – achievements and challenges. Project activities aimed to investigate children's views and experiences of democracy and pupil participation in relation to everyday school life, and to let their voices be heard on the following issues: respect, empathy, responsibility, cultural diversity, civic mindedness, and tolerance. Finally, the project served to foster a democratic culture at school. This project brings to gather students from different countries.
Approximately 15 teachers from the primary school and lower secondary school and 250 students participated in it. Teachers planned the activities in groups, discussed the challenges that could arise and worked on recommendations for successfully implementing the project. Teachers were on the lookout for best practices and shared their experiences with their colleagues. The project was beneficial not only for students, but also for teachers and for the school, as it served to build a positive school culture and democracy at school.
The first activity was implemented by the lower secondary school students (class 8-9)
Topic: Valuing democracy, justice, fairness, equality and the rule of the law;
Objectives: to teach students that democratic elections should always be conducted honestly, in a free and fair environment, in accordance with international standards and national law, raise awareness of students about the importance of democracy at school.
Steps: video watching, role play, discussion, creating brochures including recommendations on how to imitate the elections at school. The students received recommendations from the members of Tsalenjikha District Election Commission.
Student in Tsalenjikha District Commission
The second activity was implemented by the upper secondary school students (class 10-12)
Topic: Knowledge and critical understanding of the world: politics, law, human rights, culture, cultures, religions, history, media, economies, environment, sustainability ;
Objectives: to understand the meaning of law, human rights, media, to understand the difference between basic political concepts, including democracy, freedom, citizenship, rights and duties.
Steps: video watching, discussion, presentations, creating election slogans, producing brochures with guidelines on school principal election.
May- Day of governance. In an election, students elected a 10th grade student as a school principal.
Democracy in the children's hands
Election Day at School
The third activity was implemented by the lower and upper secondary school students (class 8-12).
Topic: Responsibility; Human rights / Children’s rights
Objectives: to express willingness to take responsibility for their own actions.
Help students to find their self-confidence, to know how to deal with unforeseen situations with their own resources , to understand the meaning of human rights and children’s rights; raise students’ awareness of the importance of human rights protection; make recommendations on human rights protection; develop cooperation and communication skills.
Steps: debates, group role play, group presentations presented and reflected on in class, creating dioramas and making exhibitions at school. The school was transferred to the control of the students. For a week the students performed their duties while the school principal and teachers were in the role of students.
The school is in the students' hands
- To create a positive environment at school;
- To increase the motivation of teachers and students;
- To build a student-centred environment;
- To develop democratic competences at school.
As the result of this project, about 250 students from the primary and lower secondary schools:
- Developed critical and analytical skills;
- Developed observation and empathy skills;
- Developed flexibility and adaptability skills;
- Developed communication and conflict resolution skills;
- Were made aware of cultural diversity and human rights;
- Became more tolerant and responsible;
- Gained knowledge of other related issues.
- Filmed 5 videos on democratic values and made 3 thematical posters.
- The dates of certain activities.
- Improvement in relations between teachers and students as they work together on problem solving.
- Communication with the community within the project.
Challenges you faced
- When selecting a candidate for the classes, many students expressed a desire to be included in the list of winning candidates.
- When the school moved to student management, many students expressed a desire to adapt to the role of teacher.
- How to persuade ourselves – the teachers - to stand behind and give more space to the pupils.
Time-frame of the project:
Council of Europe materials on citizenship and human rights education used while preparing or implementing your practice:
- Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture
- Democratic governance of schools
- Human Rights and Democracy Start with Us – Charter for All
- Freedom(s) - Learning activities for secondary schools on the case law of the European Court of Human Rights
- How all Teachers Can Support EDC/HRE: A Framework for the Development of Competences
- Multimedia Material (ex. video “Beat Bullying”, series of cartoons “Democracy and Human Rights at School”, video “Corporal punishment at school: how two parents decided to change things”)