Periferiako Gymnasio Xylofagou - Cyprus
Project: Passengers on the Same Bus! No Discrimination, Segregation and Inequality!
Working language during the project:
Themes of the Council of Europe campaign “FREE to SPEAK, SAFE to LEARN - Democratic Schools for All” covered:
- Making children’s and students’ voices heard
- Preventing violence and bullying
- Tackling discrimination
- Improving well-being at school
Competences from the Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture (CDC) addressed and where / how they were integrated:
- Valuing Cultural Diversity
An introduction to the issues of Diversity through:
- 1. Workshop: “Race of Life” A role-play
- 3. Workshop: “My pot: different and unique”
- Activity C2: Diversity unites us, it does not separate us!
- Activity C3: Lets uproot bullying
- Openness to Cultural otherness and to other beliefs, world views and practices
- Sociology course connected with games against discrimination
- A campaign against discrimination
Workshop: “We are all Unique”
Activity C4: “I am a refugee- a migrant - Not a Criminal.
Target group age range:
Level of education:
- Lower secondary education
Short description of the project:
Our Project K229 Erasmus+ - Strategic Partnership for school is a 24-month project which began on 1st September 2018 and will end on 31st of August 2020. Our school is the coordinating school of the whole project. It is an ambitious project under the title “Passengers on the same Bus! No place for Discrimination, Segregation and Inequality”. Our project aims to make a bridge, initially connecting four European partners-schools in Cyprus, Finland, Italy and the Czech Republic and then integrating and sharing specific experience, viewpoints, knowledge and best practices on the issues of diversity, segregation, discrimination, inequality, bullying, and on migrant students in the school environment. Our project consists of four activities. Each country has undertaken one of the activities but we all work together to carry it out. The first activity is “Adopting and developing new communication technologies” and took place in Cyprus in November 2018. The participants were introduced to the issues of diversity, discrimination, inequality, segregation, bullying and the issue of migrant students through carefully designed experiential workshops, role-plays, drama, stories, artwork etc.
The second is due to take place in the Czech Republic in March 2019 under the title “Diversity Unites us, it does not separate us!” The third one will take place in Italy in October 2019 under the title “I am a refugee, a migrant - not a criminal”. The last one will take place in Finland in April 2020 under the title “Lets uproot bullying”. Each activity lasts for 5 days and a total of 38 participants from the four schools take part in each activity. Furthermore, all the activities have been carefully designed to meet the needs of the project and make its objectives achievable.
- To secure the feeling of being valued by all our children and to fight discriminatory attitudes
- To promote social inclusion in our school environment
- To grow respect among pupils and an understanding of diversity
- Knowledge and experience gained by pupils and staff as far as diversity, discrimination and segregation are concerned.
- Knowledge, awareness and experience gained by pupils and staff of the problem of bullying.
- Knowledge, awareness and experience of the inclusion of refugees in our school community.
- We expect pupils and staff, as well as participants to gain much knowledge and experience in thinking of ways to prevent and deter discrimination, inequality and diversity problems.
- Improve skills and knowledge concerning the use of new technologies to disseminate information about the work of our project.
So far we have managed to raise awareness among a great number of students-participants from the four partner-countries on the issue of diversity. These students work as ambassadors for the acceptance of diversity, for fighting bullying, for accepting and respecting cultural, social, religious differences and for accepting the right of refugee students to share equal rights in their countries.
Our project consists of 4 activities. We have already carried out the first activity and we are moving on to the second. But we all four schools have observed that after the first activity in Cyprus:
- A great number of pupils have changed their attitude towards discrimination and segregation.
- They know about bullying and have a good sense of awareness.
- The number of cases of bullying has decreased in all four schools.
- With the first activity in Cyprus students have been persuaded in practice that although the students of the four schools have different culture, this cannot ever be a barrier to fostering cooperation and friendship.
- All the participants keep in touch with each other, via social network sites and they share ideas and in some cased have even developed friendship.
Challenges you faced
Before the pupils from the three schools arrived, our students and parents were biased, although they didn’t want to accept this. There were a lot of worries about the differences of these pupils.
On the first day, our pupils expressed their surprise about the different way the hosting pupils behaved. On the third day they were singing and dancing Cypriot, Finnish, Czech and Italian songs and dances. On the last day, they were all crying, kissing and promising to keep in touch.
Another challenge was the communication, since not all participants spoke English. However, our activities placed emphasis on many feelings and fewer words. The workshops were well designed for achieving their goals, irrespective of the level of English. Examples: “The race of Life”, the story with the cracked pot, the clever quiz on the Kahoot , the poster with the pots, which all actually let the participant experience discrimination, segregation, inequality rather than learn definitions and rules.
Time-frame of the project:
The whole project lasts 24 months. Each one of the 4 activities are 5 days long plus two days for travel.
Council of Europe materials on citizenship and human rights education used while preparing or implementing your practice:
- Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture
- All Different – All Equal
- We CAN!
- Human Rights and Democracy Start with Us – Charter for All
- 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”)