5.7 “Learning to participate” through formal, non-formal and informal learning
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There is not a specific national strategy which applies to social and civic competences and their development.
Social and civic competences are incorporated in curricula for general and vocational education at upper secondary level. The citizenship education is not a separate subject. Instead it is integrated into the subjects of Greek Language (1st, 2nd and 3rd class of upper secondary education) and History (2nd and 3rd class of upper secondary education). As mentioned in the curriculum of Greek Language and the curriculum of History the main learning objectives of the citizenship education are cultivating values, adopting attitudes and demonstrating behaviours that make up the modern democratic civilization. By teaching the lesson, students are encouraged to become responsible and active citizens capable of helping reconcile and foster mutual trust among people and promote fundamental values such as democracy and freedom.
Also, The CitiZEN! Program of the Network of Corporate Schools UNESCO Cyprus, was presented on 4/10/19, at the Laniteio Lyceum in Limassol, for the school year 2019-2020. The main aim of the program is to provide students with the necessary supplies both for their personal development and for the cultivation of the skills required so that they, as integrated personalities and active citizens, can bring about positive changes in the society in which they live.
Moreover, within the framework of the program, a training seminar was organized for Primary and Secondary General Education teachers who participate in the Network of Corporate Schools of UNESCO Cyprus (ASPnet), on "Sustainable Cities-Sustainable Communities". The seminar took place on 28/11/2019, at Athalassa Environmental Education Center in Nicosia. The purpose of the seminar was to familiarize teachers with the concept of sustainable cities and communities and to emergence the role of active citizenship to improve the quality of life in cities. The 43rd Pancyprian Symposium did not take place due to the pandemic and was postponed for next school year 2020-2021.
Participative structures within formal education settings (e.g. pupils' participation in school councils)
The “Regulations for the operation of upper secondary schools” require pupils'/students' participation in decision-making in their educational institution. More specifically, each class is entitled to elect a class council with 5 members who then elect the school students council.
There are not any top-level or large-scale programmes aimed at training school staff and pupils to enhance their skills to participate in decision-making structures.
Partnerships between formal education providers, youth organisations and youth work providers
There is not a policy/legal framework for partnerships between formal education providers, youth organisations and youth work providers. There also no public funds available to support the formation of such partnerships.
Supporting non-formal learning initiatives focusing on social and civic competences
The Youth Board of Cyprus and the National Betting Authority launched in 2020 the “Young Cities” program. Young Cities is a holistic approach that aims to empower young men and women to become agents of positive change in their city. The aim of the program is to create youth-friendly cities, through an innovative and highly participatory process, which focuses on the creativity and dynamism of young people. The first Young Cities programme run with the participation of the Municipalities of Athienou, Aglantzia and Deryneia participate.
Following the success of the programme and the enthusiastic response of young people, the two organizing bodies, the Youth Board of Cyprus and the National Betting Authority, decided to re-launch the programme in 2021. The communities that participate in the second phase of the programme are the community of Agios Theodoros in the province of Larnaka, the community of Pachna in the province of Limassol and the community of Evrychou in the province of Nicosia.
There are no existing system of quality assurance of non-formal learning activities/projects.
The “Teacher’s manual for cultivating volunteering and active citizenship in schools” supports the educators training to the development of social and civic competences. This manual outlines key concepts and definitions and suggests concrete sessions or campaigns that can be done at school.