“What Happened in School Today?” – Manual for Parents
Belgrade, 2 October 2008 – The Ministry of Education of the Republic of Serbia, UNICEF and Hypo Alpe Adria Leasing company have presented a manual for parents “What Happened in School Today?” The manual has been devised within the UNICEF’s programme “School without Violence – towards safe and enabling environment for children” which is being implemented in primary schools in Serbia.
Violence is a problem that society is struggling against in all phases of its development. On one side there is violence, and on the other side there are efforts to overcome it. The “School without Violence” programme contributes to the behaviour change and reduction of violence - primarily by means of learning and accepting new knowledge and skills, by applying them in all life situations, both at school and at home. Parents are directly or indirectly faced with violence in their children’s schools - directly if their child is a victim or a perpetrator of violence; indirectly if their child is witnessing violence against his or her peers. In both cases parents’ intervention is essential.
Reduction of violence is a long process, therefore it is important for schools not to feel forlorn when it comes to violence. Experience so far has shown that parents’ support and improved communication between parents and schools is of crucial importance.
The goal of this Manual is to help parents to bring up their children in the right way, to cooperate with them in a case of violence, and to direct parents towards closer cooperation with school. The Manual provides basic information on what violence is and offers practical guideliness on how to recognise it and how to help children - those who are exposed to violence, children who are perpetrating violence and children who are witnessing violence. The “What Happened in School Today?” manual is meant to stimulate parents to ask their children this question more often, but also to carefully listen to the answer - especially the part that is not about the curricula and grading.
The “School without Violence - towards safe and enabling environment for children” programme is implemented in Serbian schools thanks to the donations by citizens and corporate sector. The manual underlines the importance and the need for joint and coordinated actions by school, family and local community in the efforts to reduce violence against and amongst school students.
Hypo Alpe Adria Leasing company has financially supported printing of the initial 10,000 copies of the Manual.