Democracy and participation, Civic education

Involved pupils for a better educational system

Creators

Who is behind this?

Constantin - Alexandru Manda

Romanian Academic Society

http://www.sar.org.ro

Romania

Idea

Idea pitch

With 20 pupils involved from small urban and rural areas, we want to bring the advocacy actions of the learners in those places which are insufficiently served. Through a training session, permanent mentoring and coaching at the end of the project we aim to have 20 educational issues resolved after advocacy actions in 20 different localities. Also, as a result of the project, the pupils organizations from the intervention counties will be more involved in insufficiently served areas.

Where will your project idea take place?

The project will take place in rural and small urban areas in Romania.

What is the local challenge?

The regions of intervention will be established through the selection process. The implementation of the project is necessary because the formal education system does not currently foster a sense of participation in civic life and the exercise of active citizenship. The national curriculum does not promote these skills, even if they appear in the training profile of 12th grade graduates as behaviors related to key social and civic competences. Even more affected are young people from underserved areas, small urban and rural areas, among whom civic awareness and involvement activities are less represented.

How does your idea strengthen democracy and active citizenship at a local and community level?

We aim to involve 20 pupils from Romanian small urban and rural areas in our project, who will take part in a training session on how they can participate in civic life and advocate for pupils rights. The group will consist of students who want to be part of the pupils representative movement (school students’ associations and school students’ county councils). After the training session, the participants in the project will benefit from permanent coaching. Also, we will sustain the school students' representative organizations from the intervention counties in their advocacy demarches in the rural and small urban areas.

Who are you doing it for?

The target group for our project consists of 20 pupils from rural and small urban areas, of which at least 3 self-identified as part of the Roma community. The selection will be made with an eye on gender parity. The category was selected according to the issue that the project addresses, the selection being made following an online call. The main criteria will be: motivation to become a vector of change in their community and the identification of a local problem that they want to address, along with potential solutions (in the form of essays). The selection will be made following independent evaluation based on an assessment grid.

The local communities of pupils from where the participants are will also be positively affected, because they will act as vectors of change.

How do you plan to get there?

For implementing the project idea we will use a methodology based on an initial intensive 4 day training session, followed by five months of continuous forming through distance learning and coaching. The participants in the project and local representative pupils organizations from the interventions counties will benefit from weekly individual coaching sessions.
Thus, at the training session, the participants will receive the basic know-how on how local authorities work, on advocacy, community building, blogging. Afterward, they will return to their communities (rural or small urban areas), where they will implement their idea for solving a local problem. Individual strategies will be made at the training session after discussions between participants and mentors.

What are the expected results?

We will have 20 advocacy actions completed in 20 different communities from rural or small urban areas. This means that a problem from the local education system will be solved in 20 localities from Romania, such as the refusal to grant scholarships (legal right provided by the education law) or the breaching of rights provided by the School Students' Statue through internal regulation of the school.

The participants in the project that will act through students representative organizations will become vectors of community empowerment and will be proof that even young people can enact change in their community. At the end of the project, we will have a more powerful pupils organization in the intervention counties, which will be more active in disadvantaged areas.

How does your initiative contribute to strengthening democracy in Europe?

We know that the most important instrument for strengthening democracy is supporting democratic practice from a young age. A teen who stands up and fights for their rights at 15 will be an adult who understands the values of democracy.

The project is a means of helping to implement the objectives set by Council of Europe member states in the Charter on Education for Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education - CM / Rec (2010) 7, according to which states must provide all citizens with access to education for democratic citizenship, and non-governmental organizations are encouraged to make a contribution in this regard.

What is your story?

The school students' movement in Romania had a fantastic evolution in recent years, having successfully implemented advocacy actions at local and national level. Unfortunately, in the insufficiently served small urban and rural areas we see a lack of action of the pupils' representatives, which translates to non-existence of opportunities for teens to get involved.
In recent years, RAS has implemented the Clean Schools project, an opportunity for us to see disparities in the attitude of public authorities from cities compared to villages or small urban areas. Also, through the Clean Schools project we supported the activity of pupils associations and pupils councils, including the founding of such organizations in Valcea and Bucharest.

€ 37000,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

€ 39990,-

Total budget

Major expenses

Personnel - EUR 14,900
Local community building actions - EUR 6,000
Events (training, follow up meeting) - EUR 9,300
Travel and accommodation - EUR 1,700
Promotion (promotion materials, social media, articles etc.) - EUR 2.800
Office expenses - EUR 2,300

Team

SAR Romania

Idea created on May 27, 2020

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