At the school yard of Agias Fylaxeos Lyceum in Limassol
Monday, 5/3/12 1. Discussion of the agenda of the week Changes to be added, proposed by Germany: Delegates should discuss on the following: • Next steps • How to improve communication between teachers and students. • the recent Financial crisis in E.U- increasing hostility between members- future of the Union Germany also proposed that music teachers assist students during the song rehearsal with the specific aim to help build a bridge among them. Max from Italy and Georgia from Cyprus will help. Spain would like to add to the agenda a discussion about cuts in the education budget of the participating countries and the reaction of students. (For the above alterations see agenda) 2. Logo contest Germany suggested that each delegation should appoint 1 teacher and 1 student as members of the jury that will choose the 3 winners. Each delegation should present 3 logos. Greece suggested that an exhibition of all logos is organised before Wednesday so that all students see the logos taking part in the competition. The art teacher from Germany will help with that. The art teacher of Cyprus will establish the criteria to be followed by the jury. The criteria will be approved by all members. Prices will be given to the 3 best logos. The best logo will become the logo of the project. Greece suggested that an article could be written about the logos and the logos can be presented on line. Italy (Nettuno) will prepare a video and Carlo will attend all students’ meetings in relation to the logo contest. Cyprus will prepare the prizes as well special certificates for both the winners and the participants. There will be awards for both the school and the students that win. 3. Evaluation of the meeting in Cyprus Spain will put the questionnaires on line and delegates will fill them out upon their return home. 4. Reports about the work done on the project France Work: poems and video students prepared on special Human Rights questions of their choice. Future involvement of the drama teacher. Focus on situation in France. Problems: difficulty in motivating the students. Students of the European Section of the school are more motivated. Pascal had difficulty in finding students to participate. Italy (Chieti) Work: 3 classes participated in the project. One worked on the history of Human Rights, the other on the situation in prisons in Italy and the third on poems. A member of Amnesty International was invited to their school and spoke about petition against Death sentence. A refugee was also invited to the school and talked to the students about his experience. Problems: involvement of students.
Italy (Nettuno) Work: Questionnaires were given in 10 classes. During the Christmas Concert speech and video about human rights to all students (1000) Greece Work: Questionnaires –diagnostic test – statistical analysis of the results (50 pupils were involved with the test) – communication with Unicef Hellas and participation in celebration of rights of children presentations on the History and violations of Human Rights – 2 stanzas for the common song – logo contest - presentations of Cyprus - all activities on line – Continues technical editing and support of our common blog (website for the dissemination of the project). Problem: The 5 students who came to Cyprus and some more students participate to the project in an active way. These students worked very hard and the results are at high level. So, the number of the active members of the Comenius Team is not great. It's about 15-18 pupils. The teachers’ aim is to help, encourage and motivate more pupils to participate to the project more effectively. Spain Work: Powerpoint on the evolution of Human Rights in Spain – Competition to choose the students for Cyprus –diagnostic tests- invitation of a representative of Dalai Lama who talked about the violation of Human Rights in Tibet and an Afghani woman who talked about her experience in Afghanistan where she had to dress like a man in order to protect herself and her family. From now on Spain will work on poems and music. Germany Work: Invited someone from Amnesty International who talked to 15-years old students of all levels about the violation of Human Rights in Germany and in the world – The students that attend the comenius course worked on a stanza for the common song - students prepared a powerpoint presentation about Human Rights in Germany- In February Italian students visited the German school and worked on ppts with German students. Poland Work: Contest about Cyprus- the group that won came to Cyprus- Presentation on Human Rights in Poland – During an event about Human Rights students chose the issues most important to them and prepared a poster- this activity was connected to a celebration for Janusz Korczak who was the first to fight for children’s rights in Poland. Czech Republic Work: 40 students were involved with the questionnaires- the whole school with the logo competitionsomeone from Amnesty International spoke in several classes about the violation of Human Rights in many countries – Students prepared and distributed to other students cards with photos of people who are fighting for Human Rights on one side and information about how to support these people’s struggle on the other. Problem: There were problems with the questionnaires and it is suggested the host country is not included in them as people do not say what they really think for fear of hurting their hosts’ feelings.
ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION OF THE RESULTS OF THE QUESTIONNNAIRE - what is your sex ? male – 125, female – 145 - do they know about the declaration ? Yes – 225, No – 235 - does your government respect individual liberties ? Y – 273, N – 135 - q.5 – Y -220, N- q.7 – Y 271, N -148, don’t know- 47 -q.8 – Y -222, N- 196, dk- 112 -q.9 – Y – 263, N- 127,dk- 160 - q.10 – Y – 188, N- 137, dk – 60 - q.11 – Y – 134, N- 66, dk – 160 - q.12 – Y – 342, N – 70, dk – 10 - q.13- Y – 261, N- 194, dk – 80 - q.14 – Y – 255, N – 94, dk – 111 - q.15 – Y – - q.16 – Y – 388, N – 56, dk – 28 - q.17 – Y – 313, N- 84, dk – 60 - q.18 – Y – - q. 21 – Y – 56, N- 30, dk – 6 - q.22 – Y – 35, N- 55, dk – 21
Discussion about the results - Will we talk about it in our schools? Importance of it because of lots of wrong responses, need things to be explained to the students , if each country could prepare a report comparing their results with other countries, maybe a graphic and a report on the results. What are the similarities? What are the differences? Comparing the countries results with the whole results. - Feedback is a good idea because the kids could be interested in hearing the results - There could be a problem in communication between kids and teachers, Greece had this problem – no interest- The students would rather be connected to Facebook than look at the blog. Some teachers also had a problem going onto the blog. Suggestion that we could go onto the blog while we’re here and show all the teachers how to do it.
- Suggestion: we should do the survey again at the end of the project to compare the results and to see how the kids’ knowledge on human rights has improved.
COMMUNICATION – Part 1 - We could use Facebook and have a page there to encourage the kids to get involved – so everyone in the group could have access to it. There ‘s already a group on Facebook, created by the Greek team and we could now all use it. So far, 30 students from Greece have joined the group on Facebook. We all need to be invited by Christina (Greek student). The group agrees that Christina will invite the coordinator and then she will invite all the other teachers. - Logo exhibitionEveryone received 2 envelopes- nº one envelope - submit all the logos done by students of that school and in the 2nd envelope – the 3 best ones- names of countries should be written on the back of the envelope. For the contest, names of students should not be written on the logos to avoid prejudice by the judges. Many questions were asked concerning the details of the contest and the exhibition. As the suggestion of having a logo exhibition this week during the meeting was made yesterday, there was not so much time to prepare it and there was some confusion about the procedures to follow, but finally all the envelopes were collected and it was decided that a Cypriot teacher would prepare the exhibition on Thursday together with some Cypriot students. - COMMUNICATION – Part 2 How to improve it? Chat sessions - possibility of change of day and time because some people are unable to make it – it’s only 1 day a month – Possible suggestion : every first Thursday at 19h30 – there’s also a change in time, 1hr ahead, so everyone should prepare for that. People voted on it- suggestions – 18h30 ? 19h30 ? – Vote: 5 countries were for 19h30, the majority. Decision taken : The first Thursday in month at 19h30. - Question concerning usage of social networks- how tolerant are parents towards their kids being on Fb etc. – German kids don’t have that much access or their parents restrict them whereas Italian kids don’t have that problem. France – kids are connected to Fb but not at school, permission of parents has to be gained, especially concerning photos and the ages of the kids. German schools don’t allow the kids to use Fb in school. Italy – disagrees with using Fb as it blurs the lines between students and teachers. Decision taken to check with parents whether the kids would be allowed to access the pages. - Chat sessions between the kids – should this continue? They were encouraged to speak about the topics of the project but it wasn’t successful. What should they talk about? Just make friends with each other or speak about the topic? Unfortunately they aren’t that interested in doing this, they mainly want to socialize. Plus we also can’t make them do what we want them to – no way of controlling what they actually talk about. The younger kids feel much closer to the topic rather than the older kids, they can relate to the topic, especially in Spain – they could identify with the political situation in their country. What is happening in their countries? This could be the discussion for the first chat session. Students could also decide what they want to talk about – good way of checking their understanding of the topic or teachers could decide and prepare something on a topic eg. Bullying, which everyone experiences and they could then give their ideas. We could present them with 2-3 ideas and they decide. Especially since
the incident here in Cyprus on Monday, where students protested the expulsion of 2 students who were accused of bullying. Maybe on Thursday, after the presentation of the violation of Human Rights in the participating countries, we could discuss this.
Arrangements - Programme for this afternoon: the trip planned was moved to Thursday due to the rain. - Plan for tonight – students are included, together with the teachers – a house party given by the parents of one of the students – 19h30 – meeting point at our hotel and the kids will come with their host families separately to the party.
Excursion to Nicosia - Lefkara
Monument of Liberty in Nicosia
Thursday, 8th March 2012 At 9.45 we met at the History classroom after a stunning concert by the school orchestra. The colleagues belonging to the logo jury evaluated the logos while the rest of the participants began the discussion about the financial crisis and its consequences in the different countries. The main questions are: What is the situation like in each country? Is there any prejudice against other European countries? Then, after describing the situation objectively we would share any positive ideas or suggestions that may improve the situation in our schools. Greece (Katerina) These are difficult times. Greek people think it’s not a financial problem but a political one. All of them know the previous Government has made many mistakes. Germany and France are seen as selfish and little solidarious. They think austerity is not the way to solve the problems. They pay too many taxes and they think this is not the solution. Politicians should find a solution thinking of people not of Money. Their salaries are being reduced. Their future is uncertain. Students at school are very protected by families. In Athens there is a lot of immigration, poverty and homeless people. There are many volunteers helping them. They are afraid tourists won’t visit Greece. The problem is not very visible yet, but the media sometimes damage the image of the country. Maybe teachers’ timetable is expanded from 18 hours a week to 21. The big problem is their uncertainty for the future. The Greek know their mistakes but cutting off the Money to the people is no solution. Anna says some German politicians are against helping Greece. Others believe in the EC. Poland (Monika) The crisis is a difficult problem which is both political and economical. Fortunately the industry in Poland is rising. We couldn’t solve the problems by cutting the Money for the poorest people. Solidarity should involve rich and poor people, especially the highest classes. There isn’t such atmosphere of fear between students and families. Chieti, Italy (Andrea) This is a global crisis, not an Italian problem. We’re in the Economic Union but we don’t have a political union and this is the problem. In Italy, the government has changed. Monti is not a political leader but a technical leader with a technical government. They decided to do something and establish certain priorities: how to spend the Money. The school is one of the sectors which has paid for this crisis. There are more pupils in a classroom than before. Many teachers have to work in several schools or work in faraway schools from their homes. Students are not much interested in political problems. The Czech Republic (Barbora) The budget is not so high. We don’t speak about the support to other countries. Since we don’t have the euro, we don’t worry about that. The population is divided half and half when talking about the possibility of moving to the euro. Spain (Amparo)
The main problem is unemployment. Many students have unemployed parents. 20% people in Spain are unemployed. Families think our politicians aren’t competent enough. They are cutting a lot of social benefits in education, social benefits, Health, etc. People are angry because they think middle classes are paying for the mistakes of politicians. People are fed up with cuts and think there must be another way to get out of the crisis. Students don’t have this feeling they continue being consumers. That is, they want Internet, brand mobile phones, clothes, etc. We want them to realise it is more important who you are because of your attitude and personal qualities rather than what you have. Many families depend on grandparents economically. Growing prejudice towards other countries? Several years ago immigrants took the jobs Spanish people didn’t want to do. Now it’s a problem because many Spanish people want these jobs they formerly rejected and would like these immigrants to go back to their countries. France (Marie Ange) France is divided into two groups: the left-winged and the right-winged. Right-winged are prejudiced against poorest countries because they believe they will lose privileges because of poorer countries. The left-winged are another story. Sarkozy only made promises. We haven’t done anything in his programme. He only supports Germany because of his image. We’re glad to have elections in a month and a half. There are more and more people with a lot of money and more and more people with no money so she hopes the socialists may balance that One out of two state workers is not going to be replaced in France. There is more and more unemployment. The education System and Health System is going worse and worse. The image you get is deformed by Sarkozy on the means of communication. Students are not concerned they care about themselves. Prejudices? Half of the population is prejudiced while the other one is solidarious. Big brains and graduates go away. We’ll see if there is a change in two months. Decisions are not really political at the moment Cyprus (Viviane) The crisis has affected us too. 9.5% of unemployed. Feelings: crisis is connected to the government which has not been honest to people and has been corrupted. Some people think it’s a global conspiracy so that some economies become stronger than others. We are to blame for the government we elect. Individuals should change their mentalities. Students are pampered and continue being consumers while families are usually overprotective. Any hostilities against Germany or France? It depends on individuals, not generally. Some immature people do and blame others. Educated people think we have a share of responsibility. Germany (Anna) Ms. Merkel has had a strong pressure within Germany because people say they have a lot of debts “we are helping everybody by helping other countries which do not know how to save money the way German people do or think of the future”. She wanted to be elected again and that is why she is so strict to other countries such as Greece or Italy. She is very appreciated in Germany although not in other countries.
Germany has a lot of debts and people are worried about the future. People are very critical about European countries which are corrupted or have much more debt than Germany. Students are partly involved in the political discussion. They know that Germany has taken a lot of advantage by being in the European Union and exporting their goods but they criticise the help to other countries. Andrea: The real problem is they system. We must change the system. Georgia: we’re European. We must teach our students that whatever happens in one country concerns to the others. The questions all the participants ask themselves are: What could we do in our lessons, at school? Can we start any activities to make them aware of the financial problems in the EU? These questions need further reflection and discussion in our project. The Logo contest While we were talking about the global economic crisis, a student and a teacher from each delegation acted as juries of the logo contest to choose the representative logo for our Comenius project. The results of the voting will be attached to this minute. Cyprus won the contest while Spain and the Czech Republic were in the second and third position respectively. The PowerPoint presentations about human rights and the violations At 11.20 we met at the Assembly Hall and students from all the delegations presented a PowerPoint presentation about “Human rights in my countries and the violations” The Czech Republic, France, Germany and Greece began, and then after the break, Italy, Poland, Spain and Cyprus proceeded. After the presentations and the departure of students, Holger congratulated the delegations on the quality of the presentations and the hard work done by students. Then he went a step further and launched several questions to be discussed on Friday. Although it is important to know the development of human rights in all the countries in the project, is this the right way to talk about human rights? Is the method effective? Holger says students will have probably forgotten 90% of what they’ve heard in the presentation when leaving the assembly hall. How can we make these presentations more meaningful for them?
1. Logo Contest – Award Ceremony Headmistress of the Cyprus school handed the prizes to the students who won - the first prize went to a pupil from Cyprus, - the second – Spain, - the third – Czech Republic,
The other schools participating in the logo contest got certifications. It was suggested that logo that won should be put on the documents connected with the project. Greek delegation has to put the logo on our project website.
Presentation of the videos made by German and Italian students during their meeting in Nettuno.
3. Discussion on yesterday's presentations of the history of human rights in all participating schools. Students talked about: - Democracy, unemployment, xenophobia, - Racial problems at schools, bullying, -They showed a very critical approach to their own countries.
-Cyprus: “A lot of immigrants come to Cyprus, they are not treated well by people. We shouldn't do this way. We should solve the problems and help them to live in dignity. We should respect them.” - CR: “Racial problems at their school. Jewish students aren't respected. Pupils don't treat students from other countries with respect.” -Italy- “ We should remember about our history, about immigrants who were building different countries and contributed to the development of many of them. Now, we should help the immigrants to create the new reality” - Poland - “We have bad memories connected with Germany, but now we should look ahead to the future. We should forgive each other and work together to built the new reality” - Greece -” We must understand that we are equal” - Italy - “ We should forgive to built the new world and be united” - Cyprus -” We shouldn't discriminate other people, we should respect immigrants, their culture and traditions.”
4. Chat for students on Facebook They have to make up the topics they would like to discuss.
Preparation of the third meeting in Chieti (Italy) – May, 2012
Students programme - 3rd, working on theatre (drama) scenes and song on the human rights, guided tour through Chieti,, - 4th, the Irish teacher: karaoke, - 5th, Poem contest – ceremony, - 6th, guided tour to the mountains, - 7th, working on the theatre scenes – final event,
Teachers programme - Preparation of the 4th meeting in Poland, - Evaluation of the first year of work, - Next programme steps until October, - What can we do to protect human rights? – discussion (teachers + students)
Other propositions -Presentation of the poems created by students (5- 10), creating pictures connected with poems, each country has to send the poems to Chieti till 20th April – the jury has to read them and asses. - Italy (Nettuno) wanted to finish the song which was written during the meeting in Cyprus, - Spain – wanted to work on the anthem of our project, - Drama- students may write the story and bring the text to Chieti to be prepared there and acted -Bring movie with the drama to Chieti, because it's impossible to bring there all the students taking part in the drama, - The best poems may be converted into songs and presented in Poland, - Czech Republic - Create a magazine with the products connected with the project, - Number of students – max 3 per delegation, if somebody wants to bring more has to pay for a hostel for the students.
6. May/June – each school has to send to Germany a short report concerning school activities connected with our project on HR. 7. Proposition for the 4th meeting in Poland. - excursion to the concentration camp in Oświęcim - sculpture workshop
8. Evaluation results for the meeting in Celakovice prepared by colleagues from Spain. Students liked the most: atmosphere at their Czech homes (69,2% - excellent) atmosphere at the Czech school (50% excellent, 27% - very good), working in international groups (61,5% excellent, 23,1% very good), art workshops, tour to Prague, the presentation of each country, most of them feel that the meeting has opened their mind and may benefit all the community. They liked the least: Discussion about the declaration of HR, the tour round Celakovice, the music activity, communication between teachers and students. 30.8% think the meeting was excellent, 30.8% - very good, 34.6%- good and 3.8% not good. Teachers liked the most: the welcome by the host partner (80% excellent), they answered a lot of open questions (--> the power point presentation made by Spanish team).
9. Evaluation of the meeting in Cyprus. Pluses: Fruitful work, helpful and hospitable people, good organization, good food, pupils' parents are very much involved in the work of school, great excursions, moving history of the country. Minus: poor acoustics in the assembly hall