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The 4th conference of the "School without violence" network

© UNICEF Serbia/Zoran Jovanovic Maccak
the Serbian Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development and UNICEF presented plaques to the principals of 24 primary schools which had this year successfully developed all the components of prevention of violence in the school environment

Belgrade, 13 December,  2012 – The 4th annual conference of the “School without Violence“ Network was held today. The conference recapitulated the results of seven years of work on preventing violence against and among children in schools and the school environment.  It also presented the results of a survey on children's exposure to digital violence which had been conducted by the Institute for Psychology as part of the project “Stop Digital Violence” with support from the Telenor Company.

The aim of this conference is to strengthen the school’s capacities to manage violence prevention and to support schools so that, through mutual linkage and exchange of experience, they could be strengthened to become leaders in the promotion of a culture of non-violence in the community and examples of good practice in the sphere of education.

At the conference, the Serbian Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development and UNICEF presented plaques to the principals of 24 primary schools which had this year successfully developed all the components of prevention of violence in the school environment, and thus gained the recognition that they could work independently on further developing a safe and stimulating environment for the children in their schools.

“This plaque does not mean that there is no violence in the schools which have been awarded it or that it will not happen there, but it does means that the schools are well on the way to develop and apply appropriate mechanisms for the prevention of and protection from violence.  We do not expect a school to resolve problems of violence on its own, but that it should be the key operator connecting and activating all others involved in the work of the school in the matter of prevention and intervention”, stated Zarko Obradovic, Minister of Education, Science and Technological Development.

During the seven years of its implementation, the “School without Violence” programme contributed to a greater sensitivity on the part of pupils and of local communities as a whole to violence and violent behaviour. Mechanisms of prevention and intervention have been established and have become an integral part of the education system. Rulebooks on supervision and handbooks for children, education professionals and parents have been developed, a Violence Prevention Unit has been formed within the Ministry, and an SOS telephone line has been set up for reporting violence …

UNICEF Area Representative Judita Reichenberg stressed the importance of partnerships in fighting violence. “We have a large number of partners with us. We have brought in all relevant state institutions, the main ministries, as well as the corporate sector – the companies which are the leaders in corporate social responsibility. We would now like to strengthen this rich  partnership network. We want to enable faster and easier connecting between all those who wish to build with us a safe environment for children and young people. This can be done through introducing new forms of work, such as joint research, innovative programmes, improved internet communication and the use of social networks”, she said.

© UNICEF Serbia/Zoran Jovanovic Maccak
From left to right: UNICEF Area Representative Judita Reichenberg, Minister of Education Zarko Obradovic, CCO Telenor Sandra Stajner, Researcher Dobrinka Kuzmanovic

The research on the exposure of children to digital violence in primary and secondary schools in Serbia, which will serve for developing an additional education programme for pupils, school teams and parents on prevention of and intervention in this type of violence, was carried out with support from the Telenor Company.

Telenor’s Executive Director of Corporate Communications and Human Resources, Sandra Stajner, said: “Telenor strives to bring closer to its users all the advantages of telecommunications, and we build trust through, among other things, the safety of our services. To this project we bring extensive international experience in developing projects and mechanisms for protection of children from digital violence and our desire to teach them how to use the advantages of telecommunication services in the right way“.

The survey has shown that:

  • Over 80% of primary and secondary school pupils possess mobile telephones.  Of these, 40% of students from primary school lower grades and 65% from primary and secondary school higher grades access the Internet via their mobile telephones.
  • Over 90% use computers.
  • Nearly half of the respondents from primary school lower grades, about 80% from primary school higher grades and 90% of secondary school pupils access the Internet on a daily basis.
  • About 80% of secondary school pupils and 65% of primary school pupils from higher grades regularly use social networks, while 46% of primary school fourth graders use social networks.
  • Secondary school pupils more frequently than primary school pupils (52% as against 48%) visit sites which it is considered that their parents would not allow.
  • Pupils of primary school fourth grades are those most exposed to harassment through telephone calls and via the Internet, while older pupils are most harassed  or insulted through telephone calls and SMS text messages.
  • About 8% of primary school fourth graders, 9% of older primary school students and 18% of secondary school pupils were victims of photographing by mobile telephones or cameras.
  • Among pupils from primary school fourth grades, 16% stated they had heard or had seen that some of their friends had experienced an unpleasant situation caused by others via computer or mobile telephone, while the percentage of older pupils who had unpleasant experiences was even higher – 26%.

The realization of the “School without Violence” programme started in 2005 in 54 primary schools, and today, seven years later, has been implemented in 251 schools in Serbia. The programme is a package of measures and activities implemented by schools in order to establish and maintain in the best possible way mechanisms for prevention of and intervention in the matter of violence in their school and community.

For more information, please contact
Jadranka Milanovic, UNICEF, Tel. 011/ 3602-100 and 063 336 283; e-mail jmilanovic@unicef.org

Marija Babic, Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development,
Tel. 011/3616-357 and 064/813-46-25; e-mail mailto:dragica.gavrilovic@mp.gov.rs

Marija Beslac, Telenor d.o.o  Tel.  063 430 161, e-mail marija.beslac@telenor.rs

 

 
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