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Youth express their views on violence free schools in the media

The winners of the "Express yourself through media" competition

Skopje 10 May 2012 - The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and partners from the Ministry of Education and Science and the School of Journalism and Public Relations announced the winners of the "Express yourself through the media" competition.  Fourteen awards, of which ten include scholarships to study journalism or public relations, were awarded to the best videos, essays and photos submitted by secondary students on the theme "Together for schools without violence."

“It is wonderful to see so many secondary school students joining the  thousands of young people in this country who - over the past year – have been inspiring discussion and provoking change to ensure  schools  are safe and protective environments,” said Sheldon Yett, UNICEF Representative.

Recognising the need for the whole school community to continue working together, the  2012 “Express yourself through the media” competition gave youth a new channel to express their views on what their school has been doing to come together to create a positive and protective environment where violence e is not tolerated and is considered unacceptable by all.

“The project has succeeded to stimulate students, through essays photos and videos, to express their views on how to overcome violence in and outside of school,” said Ms. Natasha Janevska, State Councellor, Ministry of Education and Science.  “They sent a clear message that students need to be tolerant and to avoid resolving conflict situations through violence.” 

Among the 167 media products were stories about how individuals are provoking change.  One tells of a teacher who initiated a programme to buddy-up children who are usually in conflict so that they can learn each other.  Another tells of a Roma girl who battled through years of discrimination and rejection from her peers.  Others talk about the role of parents in setting positive examples and the role of media in ensuring their stories have the correct tone and are accurate and responsible. 

“Violence in schools has no single cause. What  is important is that violence in schools is counterproductive and must be stopped,” continued Mr. Yett.

Since 2011, UNICEF has been supporting the “Schools free of Violence” communication initiative as  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.  Teachers and staff in all primary schools and in one third of the secondary schools –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.”

Click on the links to view the winners “Express yourself in the media” competition:

Winners of prizes awarded to 1-3 year students and group submission:
• High school "Josif Josifovski" - Gevgelija
• Aleksandar Mitrevski
• Pepita Parcanska
• Stefan Nedelkovski

Winners of the 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.
• Sarah Ferro
• Georgi Kamov
• Sara Taushanova
• Flamur Ebibi
• Ana Maria Nakeva
• Dragana Paparova
• Elena Danova
• Mario Dodovski
• Novica Kocev
• Emilija Petreska

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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