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Mediation in Ukrainian schools: plans and achievements
  • Written by Ella Petrenko, Belozerka Center for Regional Development
  • Published in Events
  • 0 comments
Mediation in Ukrainian schools: plans and achievementsPhoto from Google

In July, the project "Development of School Services of Understanding within the framework of Legal Development Network" was launched in five oblasts. The plans are to train trainers from the coordinators of the existing school services, children-mediators and representatives of NGOs. Trainers then have to prepare about 160 children-mediators in schools during the training of skills.

Disciplinary methods for resolving interpersonal conflicts in schools are no longer effective

School statistics indicate that there has been a recent increase in the number of offenses committed by schoolchildren. The growth of violence among students makes them look for effective ways to overcome it. The problem is that the use of disciplinary methods for solving interpersonal conflicts in schools is ineffective.

Mediation as a non-violent method of resolving conflicts began to be actively implemented in Ukrainian schools. Since 2012, the members of Legal Development Network joined this process, which are working hard to promote and implement mediation in the partner schools of NGOs. As a result of this activity, the School Services of Understanding (hereinafter - SSU) started working in 16 educational institutions of Kherson, Kharkiv, Vinnytsia and Volyn oblasts, which already covered more than 4 thousand children.

Implementation of mediation in educational institutions has shown good results

Creation of outreach teams, conducting "circles of values" among students, experience of conducting first mediations and responses from both parents and school administration, reducing the level of aggression and conflict between pupils, improving the atmosphere in educational institutions, mobilizing student youth to independently settle conflicts between peers through non-violent means are a reason to consider the process of implementation of mediation in pilot schools successful and important, and also necessary for implementation in other schools. That is why since 2016 the introduction of restorative practices became one of the priorities of the Legal Development Network.

During 2017-2018, mediation will be implemented in 22 other schools

Within the project "Development of School Services of Understanding within the framework of the Legal Development Network" during 2017-2018, a number of measures will be implemented to promote the implementation of mediation in 22 other educational institutions.

Thus, coordinating regional meetings of project participants will be organized to ensure the sustainability of the SSU activities, the definition of the roles and responsibilities of the parties involved (the Legal Development Network, SSU coordinators, local education departments, teachers and heads of educational institutions, parents and children), activating and supporting the work of the pages and groups of the SSU in social media.

To inform the community and methodically support the participants, the project team will prepare and disseminate methodological and informational materials on the activities of the SSU: a presentation booklet, mediator memorial, video presentation.

Trainers will prepare 160 children-mediators

To ensure the continuity of the implementation of mediation in schools, it is planned to prepare its own trainers within the existing school services coordinators, mediator children and representatives of non-governmental organizations. And then trainers will prepare about 160 children-mediators in schools during the skill training.

The project "Development of School Services of Understanding within the framework of the Legal Development Network" is implemented by NGO "Belozerka Center for Regional Development" in partnership with the members of the Legal Development Network – NGO "Podillya Human Rights Center", NGO "Pravo", NGO "Communities Growth Center", NGO "Human Rights Roma Center", NGO "Dvorichanshchyna Rural Communities Foundation",NGO "Skadovschina is my native land",IRC "Legal Space" with the support of International Renaissance Foundation.

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