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Adolescents in Mojkovac, Berane and Kolasin develop their socio-emotional skills

MOJKOVAC, 7 JUNE 2018 – Thirteen-year-old Lazar likes to play football during the breaks between classes and after school. Besides some new moves, during this academic year he has also mastered the important skill of self-control:

“I used to get really upset when I missed a good shot, but self-control has helped me calm down, count to 10 and regain control”, says Lazar, one of the 35 students of “Aleksa Djilas-Bećo” Primary School from Mojkovac who attended the workshop for developing socio-emotional skills, implemented within the Bureau for Education’s programme titled 'My Values and Virtues'.

Students of “Aleksa Djilas - Beco” Primary School from Mojkovac during the workshop “My Values and Virtues” for developing socio-emotional skills, in June 2018 - UNICEF Montenegro / Dusko Miljanic / 2018

The workshop was led by trainers from the NGO Pedagogical Centre. Participation in the workshop was also an important experience for Lazar’s peer, Isidоra, who learned to recognize the value of tolerance:

“I often used to be intolerant, which estranged me from some friends. I would make amends later, of course. But I realized that I could have behaved with more tolerance from the start if I had developed that trait in me earlier.”

Eleven-year-old Ivana, who attends the fifth grade of the primary school from Mojkovac, said she had learned how to be part of a team:

“When I was in the fourth grade, I wasn’t good at the games we played together. Now, in the fifth grade, I am doing much better, because I’ve learned to listen to other people, listen to those older than myself, to agree on things with others and then do the work,” Ivana said, emphasizing that the workshop had taught her to control and show her emotions.

The workshops helped Andrija, one year older than Ivana, discover his creativity: “Creativity helped me show more imagination in some classes. I used to think that I could not draw, but now I am great at drawing and copying.”

Students of “Aleksa Djilas - Beco” Primary School from Mojkovac in June 2018, speaking about the importance of developing socio-emotional skills - UNICEF Montenegro / Dusko Miljanic / 2018

Mathematics teacher Plana Pejović considers that the workshops, organized in nine stages, have produced results.

“The results are evident: students are communicating better, finding better and easier ways to deal with the conflicts that emerge in school, and are more prepared to ask us for assistance,” she noted. She thought it was most important for the children to share the acquired values and skills with the rest of their peers.

Marijana Blečić, from the NGO Pedagogical Centre, thought that the workshops for developing socio-emotional skills had strengthened the school’s role in building the students’ character:

“I believe this should become a part of the formal education system. Teachers should be trained to implement the programme. We could do that during the weekly homeroom/tutorial class or organize some extra classes to work on “My Values and Virtues” programme.

The NGO Pedagogical Centre is currently also implementing the programme in the towns of Kolasin and Berane. With UNICEF support, the programme for developing socio-emotional skills has been implemented as part of mainstream education in 20 schools in Montenegro since 2015. The students from these schools have learned to recognize their own and other people’s emotions, help each other and solve problems together.



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