Promoting child rights with teachers of North Ossetia - Alania
History knows many examples of how different societies, having created conditions for personal growth and self-fulfillment of each society-member, would shortly set out towards rapid development. The extent to which a particular individual could realize his or her potential was often times directly linked to the wellbeing level of families, communities and the state as a whole. A system of social relations, which values human’s creative nature and is based on the principles of uniqueness of each individual and provision of equal opportunities for all, creates an environment favorable for most positive social and economic changes. The sense of security and assurance in protection of basic human rights revitalizes communities and prompts even the youngest citizens to pursue personal development. Thus removing the obstacles on a child’s path and ensuring his or her rights for education, equal opportunities, protection from abuse and violence, society invests in its own future.
But how do you protect your rights without being aware of them? Where do you find and how do you apply these child rights? It was for this very purpose to provide as many children and adults living in the Republic of North Ossetia-Alania with answers to these questions, that UNICEF and the Republican Teacher Re-training Institute in Vladikavkaz launched their joint initiative. With financial support from IKEA – one of the key partners of UNICEF – a programme was implemented to introduce new approaches in child rights teaching methodologies for education workers throughout the republic.
“It is very important that the legal culture is fostered among young people from the earliest stages of their development. The more so, as the Convention on the Rights of the Child is not just a mere declaration of internationally accepted norms and standards, but rather a valid instrument for promotion of positive social changes,” said Ludmila Isakova, Rector of the Institute.
Within the framework of cooperation between UNCIEF and the Teacher Re-training Institute, there was organized a series of workshops on the Child Rights Teaching Methodology for education workers, which was developed jointly by UNICEF and the Dagestan State Pedagogical University back in 2008. Training activities were organized in various stages. The first workshop covered more than 40 participants, including educators and specialists from the Institute, who eventually started training their colleagues and students on how to use the new child rights manual. The second workshop gathered together over 70 education workers from different districts of the republic.
At the present stage, the special training course on child rights teaching methodologies has become an integral part of the republican programme for teacher professional development. A separate module on the Convention on the Rights of the Child has been developed and introduced specifically for social studies and history teachers. The UNICEF-developed training manual is also widely used by the students of the North Ossetian Pedagogical University in course of their mandatory school-based practical trainings. During the programme implementation more than 2000 high school students have received basic knowledge on child rights.
“I hope that our joint efforts will result in emergence of a new generation of dynamic young people, who know their rights, fulfill their obligations and act as good agents for positive change and further prosperity of their republic,” Ludmila Isakova said.