Peer - Mediation Program

 

NEW ACTIVITY !

 

School mediation project "Education for peace and social responsibility"

TCMC in cooperatin with forumZFD and OSCE mission to Skopje has just lounched a school mediation project in which a new group of school mediators will be produced in six cities: Skopje, Tetovo, Gostivar, Struga, Kicevo and Prilep. JOIN NOW, APPLY ONLINE !

More information on the projet: MK / AL

 

STATUS OF THE PROGRAM

School mediation program has started with pilot program that covered 6 most violent schools in the capital of Macedonia. Twenty four pedagogues of the six schools were trained on peer – mediation in set of 5 trainings (120 academic hours). Now they are recognized as the mediators in their school, and they are constantly “producing” peer mediators in their respective schools by recruiting and training larger groups of students. 
TCMC and Forum ZFD has succeeded to place mediation at the list of the so called project activities of the schools. Now mediation officially become institutionalized and recognized as working topic at the secondary schools in Macedonia. Teacher that select to use Peer-mediation topic as “project activity” can count the activity within their working hours (something that teachers in Macedonia are obliged to do / 2 hours per week they must work on project activities)  

At this stage TCMC with help of Forum ZFD has started new two groups that are interested on Peer mediation. The first group is composed of teachers in two cities of the South – western part of Macedonia, Struga and Kicevo. The other, second group is composed of interested people that have shown interest in getting involved in such activity through out the implementation of the project. These is group composed of representatives from the ministry of education, Municipalities, Government representatives, NGOs, Religious groups and some other schools in Skopje.  With these two groups we are also planning to organize a set of 5 trainings (120 hours) for each group.

Both implementers of this project are committed to incorporate mediation within all schools in Macedonia, because we are convinced that it helps and it will further help in improving the climate in schools by reducing violence.

 

PROJECT OUTLINE

Extract

The proposed project is focusing on eliminating violence in the schools and promoting of culture of peace through introducing school mediation as tool for conflict resolution. Basic and advanced trainings are going to be organized for the selected teachers that want to take the role of school mediators in the future. After acquiring the knowledge on mediation and facilitation, they the teacher will than act as school mediators who mediate the potential conflicts among students. The project also envisages a stage where the trained teachers will serve as educators on mediation for students and as multipliers. Additional component of the project is the connection of the secondary schools in the twined cities of  Skopje and Nunberg.

The whole project idea is build upon the existing program of Training Center for Management of Conflicts (TCMC) named as Youth Leadership Program (YLP). This program was running since end of year 2002 and it was focused on providing Leadership and conflict management  skills for students in the secondary schools that are ethnically mixed, mostly in western part of Macedonia. For the same one there is existing external evaluation that points out that the program has high positive remarks but we also must look for other alternative ways to make the project more efficient and sustainable (See attachment nr. 1) . At this stage considering that the project must move in higher operational level we propose a project that we consider it is fro high relevance for the development of the Peacebuilding processes in Macedonia.  

Context

Schools in Macedonia are and always have been a sensitive instrument to measure tensions. During the conflict of 2001 education was one of the main issues. Until today schools are highly politicised. Political parties are using school children for their political aims. Party politics are present in the schoolyards and youngsters act out what their parents do not dare to voice loudly. Every so often outbreaks of violence occur, sometimes schools are closed down for a while.

 The current  educational system does not do much to cope with this situation. It even  reinforces ethnical division. Violence in schools – be it ethnically motivated or not – is increasing.  The incidents during the elections in May 2008 again gave proof that violence is still seen as a legitimate tool to reach political aims.

On the other hand the educational system has the potential to overcome ethnical division Students, teachers and parents have to learn new ways how to deal with conflicts. There is a need to change the overall climate in schools and find ways to prevent violence. With the project we expect a significant reduction of violent incidences in schools which are recorded by the Ministry of Education and police.

Project Objective/s

The main objective of the project is to establish culture of Peace and Tolerance in the schools in Skopje by introducing and institutionalising mediation as a tool for conflict management.

Additional objectives connected to the projects are focused on:

1.      Contribution towards peace processes and reduction of the violence in the secondary schools in Skopje throught providing sustainable supportive mediation systems that will be used by teacher (Schools mediatiors)

2.      Institutionalization of mediation in the selected schools trought making attempts to incorporate the Mediation in the school curricula;

3.      Spreading the knowledge among politicians, teachers, psychologists, parents and students we raise awareness, change the overall climate in schools, and contribute to the reduction of violence in schools.

4.      Stimulating the development of interethnic relations among teachers, students and parents.

5.      Exchange of expiriance and knowledge on mediation in the schools amo the two partner cities Skopje and Nunberg;

Taregt group

The direct target group of the project are: teachers, school pedagogues and sociologysts from the secondary schools in Skopje region who will be trained as mediators and who will further on transfer the knowledge to their students and the paretns of the students.

Indirect target group of the project are: The Ministry of Education ans science, the selected Schools, Involved Municipalities (The city of Skopje, Gazi baba, Skopje sever, Centar, and Cair), police, 

There are two important components that we should stress when talking abot education of our selected target group, the first is that Teacher will be trained to become mediators so they will mediate real cases; secondly they will act as educators on mediation which means that they will be a constant resource in the schools that will provide trainings on mediation for the students and for their teacher coleagues. The selected teachers will act as school mediator and this is why thay will neeed the support from their stdudents in order to provide peer mediation oportunities for the conflicting sides. This would mean that in the end the students will have the oportunity to mediate conflicts among their peers.

I the beguning of the project a special selection phase of the best motivated teachers to becaome school mediators will take place. For this purpouse a special critiria will be developed and they should serve as guidlines for selecting the best possible future mediators. In order for this process to be more effitient we have planed a number of consultations with the directors of the schools, the misnistry and the rpresentatives of the municipalities that are responsible for the secondary schools in Skopje.

Geografical Coverage

Ther project will cover the region of Skopje woith aim that in the future we continue spreding the spirit of tolerance and undertanding thrrought using the resoults that are going to come out of the project. This would than mean that the next phase will be to focus on providing similar system for the schools in Tetovo and Kumanovo, and futher more to spred the idea in National level. The selected schools that this project will cover in Skopje are carefuly choosen based in internal confidential research of the schools focused on the level and causes of violence of violence. This means that the selected schools have shown to ve very violent and in this schools are mostly recorded violent acts across ethnick lines.

Project Activities

Activity no. 1 - Preparatory Activities

In order to establish good working relationship between all actors involved in the project, i.e. the implementing organisations (TCMC, forumZFD, Medjashi, Loja, Doverba), the Ministry of Education and Science,  Municipalities of the City of Skopje, police authorities, the five selected high schools with directors, parent counsels, teachers, pedagogues we will:

-         presentation of the project to all stake holders

-         leaflet to promote the project idea

-         special presentation of the project and mediation to teachers and parents

-         Lobbying within the Ministry and in the schools for institutionalisation of mediation in the curricula.
Activity no. 2 - Translating, Printing and Distribution of training material

Within the frame of the project we plan to translate the training material that was compiled by GTZ in Serbia, titled “Manual for Workshop Facilitators in the field of Education on Mediation”.  In addition the participants get another manual on peacebuilding that has been produced by TCMC in Albanian and Macedonian language. The manual can be obtained by interested teachers that have not been part of the project as well.
Activity no. 3 - Basic Communication and Mediation Training for Ministry of Education and Science and Municipalities

Two day training with 12 members of the ministry and municipalities to introduce the subject to them and get them acquainted with the method.

Activity no. 4 - Establishing good working relations between schools in Nürnberg and Skopje
There will be exchange trips of teachers and other persons working in the field of education to exchange experience and establish working relations on mediation, violence in schools and related topics.

Activity no. 5 - Basic conflict management training for teachers

Twenty teachers and pedagogues of five schools in Skopje get a six days training in team building, communication and basic conflict management skills.

The aim of the workshop is to establish functional working teams across the ethnic lines. The teachers will have to clarify their own stereotypes and prejudices to be prepared to train others and act as mediators.

Activity no. 6 - Advanced mediation training

There will be a six days training on mediation where teachers are trained to be certified school mediators. International and local trainers will be engaged in designing a seminar which in a most efficient way will transfer the main skills and experiences on school mediation. The methods applied will differ from the ones normally applied by teachers. (In role play, work with video recording practical experience).

Activity no. 7 - Facilitation training
One facilitation weekend training with teachers to strengthen their skills for implementation of multiethnic activities in schools (multi ethnic clubs). This training will provide the core group of schoolmediators with skills to design and conduct trainings on their own.

Activity no. 8 - Supervised Schoolmediators’  trainings

Teachers from all five school conduct one training on mediation with groups of 18 students (ethnically mixed).This will be the first training where the core group of school mediators will apply their newly obtained skills. The trainings will be supervised by experienced mediators. The trainings will be held in Skopje.

Activity no. 9 - Securing support for teachers (supervision) for the real mediation processes, and project ideas the teachers think necessary
A certain amount of money will be reserved for each school and the teachers can apply in competitive procedure for the project money.

Activity no. 10 - External evaluation of the project

The project will be evaluated by an external expert on mediation. This person will make an assessment of the outcomes.

Methodology

Besides the fact that the mediation is nothing new in civil society, the system that we offer presents a new approach to the conflicts in the schools in Macedonia and especially in Skopje, where the project is implementing. The experiences of the European countries and especially the experience of the surrounding countries is just an advantage for the project on that we can have use.

With this project the implementing organizations are implementing a long term system which will help to decrease the violence in schools and resolving of conflict situations, always when it’s needed. Just because of that the project will focus on teachers and pedagogues/psychologists.

The tendency of the project is to institutionalize the mediation and to implement it in the working programs-curricula of the schools. The aim is to understand the mediation as a helpful everyday tool to solve conflicts. In this occasion our activities will be focused on the schools in Skopje in which the violence among students is a crucial problem.

In the project there will not be only given a special attention given to the promotion of the mediation as a tool but also to the exchange of experiences between the partner towns Skopje and Nurnberg

The implementing organisations have experience in training on non violent conflict management. Since 2002 we have been implementing the Youth Leadership Programme.  New about our approach now is the consequent integration of the Ministry of Education, municipalities, schools administration,  teachers, and parents with the clear aim to institutionalise mediation in the educational system. Training of teachers in  methods of non violent conflict management will be an integral part of on the job trainings. Teachers that completed this specific trainings will get official recognition.


For the time of the project after completion of the basic training, we expect the teachers to dedicate a lot of time to train and teach others. They will have to do a great amount of extra work. Therefore we think it is necessary to compensate the teachers with a small amount of money. We are aware of the pros and cons of such stimulation. As above mentioned we will work towards an official recognition.