"School Without Violence" programme in Serbia
School Without Violence Programme – Towards a Safe and Enabling Environment for Children
The goal of the programme is to prevent and reduce violence against and among children and to create a secure environment for learning and development. Experiences from implementation of this programme are included in the Ministry of Education Special Protocol on the Protection of Children and Students from Violence, Abuse and Neglect within the Education System.
The programme gives members of the school community (teachers, staff, parents, students) practical knowledge on how to prevent and solve problems of violence when they arise. The programme aims not only to increase their awareness of and motivation for action in this field, but also to influence their attitudes on zero-tolerance towards violence and to teach them communication skills on constructively resolving disputes if and when they occur.
Schools in Serbia – Situation Regarding Violence
The Institute for Psychology at the Belgrade Philosophy Faculty conducted a study in 54 schools in Serbia as one of the components of the School Without Violence programme. The results of the study suggest that violence is ubiquitous in schools in Serbia. The study covered 32,617 people, 28,931 students and 3,686 adults. 65% of students said that they had been affected by some kind of violent behaviour at least once, while 24% said that they had been affected more than once. Verbal violence (teasing and name-calling) was most common, followed by other types of violence like gossiping and intimidation. According to the results of the study, physical violence was the third most common form of violence after verbal and social abuse. It is almost impossible to distinguish between children acting violently and children who have been affected by peer violence. Girls and boys, old and young, are equally guilty of violent behaviour, with the difference that the former tend to practise social violence more and the latter physical violence.
Implementation of the programme started in October 2005. Currently, 196 schools, more than 12,5% of schools in Serbia, are implementing the programme (involving more than 135,600 students and 12,500 adults employed in 64 towns in Serbia).
The School Without Violence programme was launched by UNICEF with the cooperation of the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, the Council for Child Rights and the Institute for Development of Education, while the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry for Youth and Sports of the Republic of Serbia came on board in 2008. A Memorandum of Understanding was signed both between UNICEF and all the partners, and also between UNICEF and each school in the programme.
The application process is open all year round. Once schools submit their application, they are selected according to the geographical distribution of the programme, available resources and the capacity of the school and the local community to implement the programme. Implementation of the programme in a school takes around 18 months.
Programme monitoring is organised at several levels:
• Steering Committee: The chairman is the Minister of Education and the members are representatives of ministries and institutions supporting the programme.
Components and Programme Implementation
1. Research – researching violence in particular schools and presenting results to children, parents, teachers and local communities.
• 58 schools received certificates for successful implementation of the programme (26 in February 2008, 32 in March 2009). They are ready to continue with programme implementation independently and have integrated the majority of programme components into their annual school syllabus and everyday life.
7 steps to a School without Violence:
• HIGHER LEVEL OF KNOWLEDGE AND AWARENESS – accepting the presence of violence in schools
Financial resources for the programme
The programme, School Without Violence – Towards a Safe and Enabling Environment for Children, is financed through the support of the local community, individual donations and sponsorship from the private and public sector. The costs for implementing the programme in one school are estimated at RSD 297,000.
Financial and in-kind support is also provided by UNICEF National Ambassadors, like basketball star Aleksandar Sasa Djordjevic and tennis champion Ana Ivanovic. Thanks to their inspiration, sport and fair play have become important components of the programme.
You Can Join In
The programme, School Without Violence – Towards a Safe and Enabling Environment for Children, is financed through the support of the local community, individual donations and sponsorship from the private and public sector. The costs for implementing the programme in one school are estimated at RSD 297,000.Financial and in-kind support is also provided by UNICEF National Ambassadors, like basketball star Aleksandar Sasa Djordjevic and tennis champion Ana Ivanovic. Thanks to their inspiration, sport and fair play have become important components of the programme.
Some companies – Public Enterprise "Electric Power Industry of Serbia", Banca Intesa, NIS Petrol, PTT Serbia, Al grosso with its productsPez and Chupa Chups, Telekom Serbia, Ivančić i sinovi, Minelpo, Forneti, McDonalds, Frikom, Komercijalna banka, HVB Leasing, Imlek, Uniqa, Delta Generali, MK Komerc, Turket fond, Energoprojekt-Hidroinzenjering, Susila Dharma, Metalac Gornji Milanovac, Raiffeisen Bank, Societe Generale Bank, Jaffa, Municipality Smederevo, Hypo Alpe Adria Leasing and FEFA (Faculty of Economy, Finance and Administration), City Assembly of Belgrade – Secretariat for Education, city public company “Infostan” – have helped by “adopting” one or more schools each. This means that they provide funds for implementation of the “School Without Violence” programme in a selected school which has applied for participation in the programme.
But much more funds are needed to have more schools involved and the programme incorporated into the education system.
Individuals and companies, small and large, can give their support to the programme by:
*By sending an SMS, you'll be charged 100 dinars
Schools Implementing the Programme:
Map of 196 schools in the School Without Violence programme
Lessons Learned - 5 years and 196 schools later