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“Express yourself through the media” competition inspires secondary school children to be part of the solution for making schools free of violence

From left to right: Mr. Pance Kralev, Minister of Education and Science, Ms. Zaneta Trajkoska, Director of the School of Journalism and Public Relations and Mr. Sheldon Yett, UNICEF Representative at the launch of the "Express yourself through the media"

Skopje, 10 April 2012: The School of Journalism and Public Relations today   joined UNICEF and the Ministry of Education and Science supported campaign to challenge the acceptance of “violent” ways of communicating in schools, announcing that their fourth annual "Express yourself through the media" competition will focus on the topic “Together for Schools without Violence."

Recognising the need for the whole school community to continue working together, the new partnership provides a platform from which to sustain and build on the results achieved in the past year through the UNICEF and Ministry of Education Reduction of Violence in Schools programme.

“Violence against and among children is a multi-faceted problem and change is not something that one person or one institution can provoke alone or overnight – focusing on secondary schools, this partnership provides us an opportunity to  continue to tackle the issue on new fronts,” said Mr. Sheldon Yett, UNICEF Representative.

Through partnering with UNICEF, the 2012 “Express yourself through the media” competition gives youth the channel to express their views on what their school is doing to come together to create a positive and protective environment where the opposite of violence [peace, respect, tolerance, cohesion, harmony] thrives, and where violence does not breed, and where violence is not tolerated and is considered unacceptable by all.

“We believe the project will stimulate secondary students, through developing media stories to express their views on how to overcome violence in and out of schools, and by actively engaging in the behaviour change process promote an increase in tolerance, avoiding violence as a way of resolving conflict, and creating a positive and safe school environment,” said Mr. Pance Kralev, Minister of Education and Science.

The “Express yourself through the media” project is supported by a broad platform of media companies and organizations that demonstrate exceptional social responsibility to support students who publicly express their views on current affairs issues.  Secondary school students graduating in 2012 will have a chance to win one of ten full scholarships provided by Alpha TV,  Alsat-M TV, Radio Channel 77, McCann Erickson, Genesis communications and  PWorld and an opportunity to conduct their internships and work with their sponsor after graduation. 

“This initiative allows us to be socially responsible and also us to contribute to the development of the country, we are also glad that this year’s media partners share these views,” said Ms. Zaneta Trajkoska, Director of the School of Journalism and Public Relations.

The competition also includes prizes - laptop, photo camera or video camera - for students from first to third year high school seniors or fourth year students not looking for a scholarship in journalism or public relations.   Through video, photography or new stories students are being asked to share stories on real life examples of how schools have come together to reduce violence and stories to provoke action.

For more information about the competition "Express yourself through the media – together for schools without violence” visit or

About the UNICEF supported Schools Free of Violence Programme:
The UNICEF supported “Schools free of Violence” communication initiative is one part of a comprehensive programme being conducted with governmental and civil society partners.  To date, UNICEF has supported the development of a national policy, strategy and guidance to help schools assess the problem and address violence in their school communities.  All primary schools – or some 1460 school leaders – will have been trained on how to implement a “whole school approach” to prevent and reduce violence and on how to apply “behaviour for learning” techniques in classroom settings.  In 2011, some 7,800 youth were actively engaged in the campaign (through video making competition, flash mobs in 16 cities, theme song competition). These interventions build on, and complement the Life-Skills Education curriculum developed earlier to enhance communication and conflict resolution.

These efforts have been jointly funded by IKEA as a contribution the national Child-Friendly Initiative and the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women as a contribution to the UN Joint Project “Strengthening National Capacities to Prevent Domestic Violence.”

About the School of Journalism and Public Relations “Express yourself through the media” competition:
In the past three years, the School of Journalism and Public Relations - a non-profit tertiary institution - has organized an annual media competition targeting talented, creative and open-minded high school students with interests in media, journalism, communication or PR and ready to express their points of view on various topics.   The fourth “Express yourself through the media” will focus on the topic “Together for schools free of violence”.   Media partners sponsoring scholarships include Alpha TV,  Alsat-M TV, Radio Channel 77, McCann Erickson, Genesis communications and  PWorld.   The Public Transport Company – JSP, has joined the initiative and will be promoting the competition in all buses.

For further information, please contact:
Suzie Pappas Capovska, UNICEF Skopje (02) 3231-150 (ext:127) or Dejan Andonov, School of Journalism and Public Relations, (02) 30 90 004,



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