On 17-18 December 2018, a Turkish delegation headed by Mr Mustafa Safran, Deputy Minister of National Education, attended a series of meetings with the Education Department as part of a study visit organised in the framework of the joint EU/CoE project “Generation Democracy: Strengthening a Culture of Democracy in Basic Education Institutions”. The Project was officially introduced to the main stakeholders and the general public at a Launching Event on 13 December 2018 in Ankara. It aims to integrate a democratic school culture into the Turkish national education system.
Among the officials met were Mr Matjaz Gruden, Director of Democratic Participation, Mr Sjur Bergan, Head of Education Department and Ms Sarah Keating, Head of Co-operation and Capacity Building Division. Mr Kaan Esener, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Turkey to the Council of Europe was also there to welcome the delegation.
The main objective of the study visit was to enhance knowledge of the members of the delegation about the CoE work in the field of education policy and practice, and to ensure a spirit of partnership throughout the three-year project.
In his welcoming address, Mr Gruden underlined the importance of the CoE flagship project the Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture to overcome the main challenges faced by our societies.
Mr Safran thanked everyone who was involved in the development of the project and expressed his confidence in this co-operation to achieve exemplary results. He underlined that children should be equipped with competences for democratic culture in which they will treat everyone as equals regardless of their color, language, nationality or religion.
During the remaining part of the visit the delegation were hosted by the Zurich University of Teacher Education. They visited schools to observe how competences for democratic culture are applied in the daily classroom and school practises. They also met experts in the field of textbook development and discussed the importance of a participatory approach to involve students in the development of text books.
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