The current system of education in Ukraine lacks a properly formulated philosophical and methodological approach to the organization of the educational process, which would help create a safe and positive atmosphere in schools. This absence leaves problems unresolved and contributes to an increased level of violence in schools, bullying, and conflicts. Simultaneously schools face other challenges linked to the new educational reform and decentralization processes taking place in Ukraine.
Current educational system inherited hierarchical structures from the Soviet period. Now it is in dire need of reform to make sure that children’s needs, views and opinions are integrated into the educational process and teachers together with other school staff have a supportive work environment.
With an aim to address these challenges the “Peaceful School” project was started in 2019. The project is supported by the German Government via conjoint contribution of the forumZFD Programme Office in Ukraine and the Civil Peace Service of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH (GIZ) and implemented jointly with the “Institute for Peace and Common Ground” (IPCG), the Ukrainian Scientific and Methodological Centre for Applied Psychology and Social Work and the Institute for the Educational Content Modernization.
Project partners designed “Peaceful School” educational model that helps to create more peaceful, participatory and inclusive school environment. The model consist of 4 core elements: restorative approaches in schools, school mediation, prevention of youth radicalisation, and promotion of inter-cultural sensitivity. Piloting of the model will provide schools with a set of tools that will help them develop a non-violent communication culture, skills for peer mediation, support resilience among the youngsters and promote interethnic tolerance.
10 schools in 5 regions of Ukraine were selected for participating in the project through an open call selection procedure.There are 2 schools in each project implementation region: Chernihiv, Kharkiv, Lviv, Odesa, and Dnipro.
The project foresees a set of capacity building activities for teachers, school administration and students in the pilot schools.As part of the project the pilot schools will create and equip special Centres for Common Ground where children will be able to peacefully resolve conflicts that arise among them. After piloting in the first 10 schools, the model will be evaluated and refined, tailoring it even better to the needs of modern Ukrainian schools.
The ”Peaceful School” model has an educational experiment status at country level, granted by the Ministry of Education and Science as per decree dated 01.11.2019.