Building democratic schools for a better society

“If we want to live in an democratic society we need to start with building a more democratic school!” That is the commitment of the 42 schools taking part in the second cycle of the EWC Schools for Democracy Programme in Ukraine. 

168 participants took part in the five first trainings in February.They came from all over the country to learn more about Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights at the trainings, which took place in Kharkiv, Lviv and Kyiv.

At the trainings, EWC’s National Coordinator Khrystyna Chushak, stressed that the programme is not a beauty contest. In Ukraine schools and their students are often obliged to take part in many contests and ratings. But the Schools for Democracy Programme is about evaluating the schools own strengths and weaknesses in order to improve together. Not to win a prize as the best democratic school.

In fact, there are many different practices of school democratization and these were presented to the participants at the trainings. Participants were also introduced to Council of Europe and EWC study materials and to recent developments in the field. Based on that, representatives from each school had the chance to analyze and conclude whether things back home correspond to the main principles of a democratic school or if more work on values, decision-making processes and the school environment and culture is needed. Back at their own schools, the teams will carry out sessions on self-assessment which will provide the basis for developing action plans in May.

The 32 schools that participated in the first programme cycle last year, are now in the process of making their final school projects presentations. These will form the basis of several stories of good practices which can inspire the democratic work of other schools in Ukraine.

The European Wergeland Centre

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