The members of the initiative group from Stanislav school. From left to right: social teacher Svitlana Bezrodnya, coordinator Nadiya Kvadritsius, psychologist Galyna Chernichenko
In April-May school services of understanding was formed in 3 “pilot” schools of Bilozerka region.
Teenage conflicts, misunderstandings between teachers and children – these are the usual things in school life. Can these troubles be avoided? Not completely, but it is possible to minimize the risks and to learn how to end troubles without quarrels and bad consequences. How can it be implemented? Almost every school has its own social teacher and psychologist who try to form comfortable atmosphere in the community. But they usually rely on their adult experience and on methodical recommendations. Children do not always understand it as they have personal opinions and “suffer” from teenage nihilism. Specialists on school mediation know how to combine children’s abilities to contact with peers with professionals’ experience.
The practice of forming school services of understanding is successfully introduced in many regions of Ukraine. There are successful examples of school mediation in action. Now this experience is being studied in Bilozerka region of Kherson oblast, where services of conflicts solving are created in three “pilot” schools. Bilozerka gymnasium was chosen for the first meeting of initiative groups from two schools of the district, where teachers and students wanted to learn how to solve conflicts without quarrels and fighting. On April 25, psychologists, social teachers, future coordinators of services and representatives of Bilozerka Community Law Center met to discuss how to present school service of mediation to the students and how to choose future children-mediators. It was necessary to find the most effective way of giving information and to attract children to such important activity as mediation among peers.
The work continued. On May 8, in Stanislav local school, the model of presentation of school mediation service was formed. Then teachers and social workers started “agitation” in schools among the students of 6-10 grades to find children who want to become mediators. A survey was conducted among children.
As speech therapist Yuliya Kolisnichenko who gave presentation in Bilozerka school #2 said, the presentation was given during the first mediation stage. 15 students who wish to become mediators have been found. During the second stage, surveys were analyzed, and 5 potential mediators were chosen.
- Now the group of 15 students from 3 regional schools is formed, - Community Law Center’s head, Ella Petrenko, says. – In June children will participate in the training “Basic skills of the mediator”. In the next study year mediation services will start functioning in schools. They will look at conflict situations in children community and between school administrations and students, as well as try to solve problems via mediation and to avert them. The experience of mediation services in these schools will be taken into account and extended to other schools of the region.