City Assembly of Belgrade, City Public Company “Infostan” and Belgrade Citizens Help Belgrade Primary Schools Fight Violence

© UNICEF Serbia
School principal Sonja Stamenovic; UNICEF Area representative Judita Reichenberg; Belgrade Deputy Mayor Radmila Hrustanovic and Mrs. Svetlana Guduric of "Infostan"

Belgrade, March 17. 2009 - Today 19 Belgrade schools have joined the “School without violence – Towards Safe and Enabling Environment for Children” programme  at the ceremony organised in the Old Palace of  the Belgrade City Assembly, and thus have joined the big family of 156 schools from 54 Serbian  towns who are already implementing this Programme.

The Belgrade City Assembly’s Secretariat for Education made it possible for 14 primary schools from the Zvezdara and Stari Grad municipalities to join the programme. Three schools from Zvezdara municipality have earlier begun with the Programme implementation („1 300 kaplara“, „Bosko Buha“ and „Jelena Cetkovic“). They were today joined by primary schools „Cirilo and Metodije“, „Desanka Maksimovic“, „Despot Stefan Lazarevic“, „Dragojlo Dudic“, „Ivan Goran Kovacic“, „Marija Bursac“, „Pavle Savic“, „Stevan Sindjelic“, „Vlajko Dugosevic“ and  „Vladisalav Petkovic Dis“.

The City Assembly’s Secretariat for Education has also secured funding for printing of the Manual for parents of the children attending these schools. In addition, this institution will provide expert and administrative support for monitoring the Programme implementation and will also work on the introduction of all Programme components into the educational system. And this is the ultimate goal we are aiming at – a systemic response to violence.

The contribution of the City Assembly’s Secretariat for Education is of crucial importance for the comprehensive treatment and prevention of violence. It has provided an opportunity for all children in a municipality to increase their sensitivity to violence and gain more knowledge and more skills to react in a non-violent manner. This means that non-violence will become inherent for children of certain age not only in schools but also in parks, on playgrounds and in the entire local community. The prevention of violence and creation of protective environment for children is a concern of both local community and of its citizens, and good cooperation between them is a guarantee for the success of the “School without the Violence” Programme.

© UNICEF Serbia
Principals from 19 Belgrade schools with representatives of UNICEF, Belgrade City Assembly and "Infostan" company after signing agreement on joining the "School without Violence" programme

A good example of the private and public partnership is manifested through the generous contribution by the public company “Infostan” and the citizens of Belgrade who, through their donations during the last year, have secured funds for the inclusion of five additional primary schools in Belgrade into the Programme (“Vasa Carapic“, „Stevan Dukic“, „Radivoje Domanovic“, „Jovan Ducic“ and  „Ljuba Nenadovic“). Thanks to the Belgrade citizens’ donations, 22,000 Manuals will be made available for parents whose children are included in the Programme. In this way they will be able to adequatly partner with children and schools in response to violence.

Social responsibility expressed by the City Assembly’s Secretariat for Education, public company “Infostan” and the citizens of Belgrade is of invaluable importance for children’s development and the creation of safe and protective environment. Fight against violence in schools is a long process in which everybody, not only schools and children, has to be involved.

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