Educational trainings for pupils and professional staff of elementary schools in the area of 12 local communities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which from the beginning of the school year were realized by the Genesis Project ended with a two-day training held in Kreševo. They included a total of 39 schools, 240 pupils and 60 pedagogues, psychologists and other members of school professional services.
The aim of the training was to empower the professional staff of schools, present the “Manual for peacebuilding and social cohesion trainings of adolescents”, and to present educational methods that will enable them to spread the ideas of dialogue in their everyday work with pupils, peace, coexistence and respect. The trainings were realized in the following local communities: Banja Luka, Bijeljina, Brčko, Bugojno, Busovača, Doboj, Kiseljak, Kreševo, Novi Travnik, Travnik, Trebinje and Vitez.
“We are satisfied with the response of professional staff from schools and their activity in training. We were impressed by the activity of pupils and their need to participate, share experiences, suggest and express their views. The pupils have shown that they are ready to make decisions, that they have developed creative and critical thinking as well as responsibility for their actions. And all the participants were inspired by the methods of work and the offered topics,” said Azra Talić from the Genesis Project. In her words, the trainings indicated that the educational practice must be such to help students’ progress and develop their specific strengths and abilities.
The pupils who participated in the training said that they felt extremely comfortable during the activities.
“I like the fact that we have freely expressed our opinions and attitudes without being criticized, evaluated or graded”, said Mirsad, a pupil from Bugojno. His peer, Rebeka from Kreševo, felt also comfortable, saying that thanks to the training, she understood what could be her problem in social interaction and socializing with other children.
“Diversity provides opportunities and truly represent an opulence of community,” she concluded. Đorđe, a pupil from Banja Luka, said that he essentially agrees with all the offered topics, but that the expected outcomes of this activity must be such that each individual adjusts the topic offered, for example the humanization of gender relations, to its social environment and attitudes shared by its community.
Professional staff of the schools, where the trainings were conducted, also agrees that additional education is always motivating and necessary.
“The pupils are “saturated” with teachers and school figures. Every activity that is realized by the active engagement of students inevitably leaves a trail in their further lives, understandings, actions. And the manual presented in the training is accessible, usable and useful, “said Jasminka Lisica, a pedagogue in the Primary School” Travanik “.
Her colleagues from other schools also point out that the educational content of such workshops advocate positive changes and complement the activities planned in regular teaching contents.
“This kind of training is very important because the pupils have become motivated to discuss and work together to find a solution to the problem situation. Some of the pupils proudly emphasized that certain difficulties in communicating with their peers were resolved precisely thanks to the guidelines and skills acquired during the training. “From this I can conclude that they have recognized the value of the training and that the acquired skills are applied and practised in everyday life, “explains Gordanka Janjić, a pedagogue at the Dositej Obradović Primary School in Banja Luka. The pedagogues especially emphasize the fact that the manual itself is very well didactically-methodically designed with the outcomes and goals, that the home room teachers can use many of the attached activities in order to make the home room classes more successful and interesting for the pupils. “Unlike similar seminars, where such workshops are conducted with seminar participants, these workshops were specifically realized with the pupils where the pedagogues and psychologists had the opportunity to observe the practical realization of the contents from the manual, which is a much better variant than having the manual presented only theoretically. The workshops were very interesting, the pupils were maximally engaged and involved in the work, which was the goal of the workshops, and to adapt the contents of the manuals and transfer them appropriately to the pupils”, concluded Milena Vuković, a pedagogue at the Primary School” Sveti Sava” from Doboj .
“Manual for peacebuilding and social cohesion trainings of adolescents” can be found on the Genesis Project website at:
Two-day trainings were implemented within the project Promoting Social Cohesion and Diversity in Bosnia and Herzegovina”, was developed on the initiative and under the auspices of the BiH Presidency, and jointly implemented by UNICEF, UNDP and UNESCO, and is funded by the United Nations Peace Building Fund (PBF). The project intends to increase the inclusiveness of governance at the local level – bringing together local leaders, civil society, young people, religious leaders, women’s organizations and relevant local authorities. The dialogue platforms will be established in order to create cooperation with various stakeholders who will have the opportunity to fulfil their skills necessary for successful dialogue in the community, and those are a leadership based on cooperation and a set of skills to achieve better results in the process of building long-term stable social relations. The objective of the dialogue platform will be to encourage communities to discuss (joint) challenges and common solutions to problems through mutual cooperation.