Education professionals from Cahul and Ungheni districts advised about the importance of involving students in decision-making

11 October 2021

Chișinău, 11 October – Over 500 education professionals from Cahul and Ungheni districts participated recently in the online workshop ‘Student engagement in decision-making’, organised by the National Center for Child Abuse Prevention (NCCAP). The event pursued raising awareness about the principle and the right of child participation, as well as analysing the factors that influence the child participation.

The workshop participants were familiarised with the ‘standards that adults should ensure for authentic and ethical child participation, and with the skills needed by an adult to observe, protect and ensure the principle and the right of child participation’.

Iosif Moldovanu, children’s rights consultant and program facilitator, said that ‘student participation in decision-making is crucial for an education system that is responsive to their actual needs. The staff can transform the school into a safe, friendly and inclusive institution only if they take into account the students’ opinion in making decisions concerning them. This way, the students feel like right holders, engaged in a process that is about and for them, and that is developed through them. As a result, they can comprehend at their own pace and ability, and can assume individual and group responsibilities at school and in other contexts and life situations’.

Natalia Ranețcaia, representative of the Education Division from Ungheni, believes that student engagement in decision-making has a great impact on building an enabling and friendly environment. The EVA Project provided training to 22 students from Ungheni – 4 boys and 18 girls. They had thus the possibility to watch and participate more actively in identifying and solving institutional problems. Trained students also engage with their colleagues in workshops related to the participatory development and implementation of the Child Protection Policy. We, the adults, should learn and accept children’s views, which will help us find solutions for different situations’ said Natalia Ranețcaia, representative of the Education Division from Ungheni.

In the opinion of the Head of the General Division of Education from Cahul, Valeriu Baban, student engagement in decision-making is needed to organise the education process in line with both regulatory documents, and students’ expectations. Students’ presence in the school board, in different initiative groups in the education community from Cahul led to innovative ideas that are useful for the development of schools and the settlement of different problems. Students involved in decision-making develop their civic spirit and become responsible citizens’.

In the activities conducted under the EVA Project, the National Center for Child Abuse Prevention supports the actual participation of children by giving them the possibility to express their opinions and participate in decisions concerning them. Their participation is critical for the development of today’s child into a future adult assuming responsibilities and civic commitment’, said the NCCAP prevention program coordinator, Natalia Țurcanu.

According to the UNICEF child protection program coordinator, Gheorghe Trofin, children’s right to opinion and participation is a fundamental right protected by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. ‘Child participation means more than asking for their ideas or opinions. It is about listening to them, taking their views seriously and transforming their ideas and suggestions into reality, and about enabling them to influence the things that affect them. Participation in decision-making helps children learn to consider the needs of others, to build problem solving abilities, and enhances their long-term commitment to make functional decisions. Child participation is key to ensuring the success and sustainability of all activities and processes affecting children’, concluded the UNICEF child protection program coordinator, Gheorghe Trofin.

From March to May, a number of students form Cahul and Ungheni districts participated in eight online trainings on children’s rights, the importance of participating in decision-making, advocacy campaigns, ensuring a safe environment within education institutions by informing about violence and bullying, as well as by participating this autumn in the development and update of the Child Protection Policy in their school.

The online workshop ‘Student participation in institutional decision-making’ is conducted by the NCCAP under the EVA Project – ‘Strengthened Gender Action in Cahul and Ungheni districts’, funded by the European Union and implemented by UN Women in partnership with UNICEF. The opinions presented herein belong to authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of UN Women, UNICEF or of the European Union.

Media contacts

Angela Munteanu
Communication Officer
UNICEF Moldova
Tel: + 373 22 26 91 53


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