4.5 Initiatives promoting social inclusion and raising awareness
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In Lithuanian education system citizenship education is a compulsory separate subject at the secondary level. The curricula of citizenship education aims at developing political literacy, acquiring critical thinking and analytical skills, developing certain values, attitudes and behaviours (sense of national identuty, respect, tolerance,), encouraging active participation and engagement at school and community levels. In Lithuanian planning documents tolerance is mentioned in more general terms as one of the values of the National Strategy on Education for 2013-2022. As stated in National Strategy on Education for 2013-2022, education in Lithuania is based on the key values of the nation, Europe and global culture: the unrivalled value and dignity of an individual, love of our fellow, the natural equality of people, the human rights and freedoms, tolerance, and declaration of democratic relations in the society.
Among youth campaigns on diversity and intercultural dialogue dialogue in Lithuania I LOVE PANDA campaign can be mentioned which started in 2014. I LOVE PANDA is the national campaign of joy, which is based upon the values of human rights. It aims at developing friendly and respectful cyberspace and mutual understanding between young people online. Panda has been chosen to become the symbol and the ambassador of the campaign and is encouraging everybody to build up as much joy and kindness in their everyday lives as possible. Panda campaign is part of the NISI project “All different – All equal: Human rights, active participation and variety”, which is part of NGO Programme Lithuania, funded by EEA Grants. The NGO Programme Lithuania, funded by EEA Grants, is thematically focused on human rights and aims to build capacity of non-governmental organizations. Overall objective of the NGO Programme Lithuania is strengthened civil society development and enhanced contribution to social justice, democracy and sustainable development; and strengthened bilateral relationship between Lithuania and the Donor States – Norway, Iceland, and Liechtenstein.
There are also online media resources designed for educators, counsellors, cultural animators etc. aimed at promoting intercultural awareness. The Ugdymo Sodas (Education Garden) website (database) is devoted to video resources and online-lessons for educators, counsellors, cultural animators etc. It is interactive teacher platform in which information and education planning tools and other resources can be fould. These resources are available for all general education subjects including citizenship education. Education Garden website is also intended for students (performing tasks), school administration representatives (viewing and handling their school data) and to local governments and the Ministry of Education Professionals (for viewing data and preparing reports on municipal and national level). The Ugdymo Sodas (Education Garden) website is administered and updated by Education Development Centre which is the biggest institution affiliate to the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Lithuania providing educational support in the field of pre-school, primary and general education.
The Youth Policy Law in Lithuania enshrines four general provisions of youth rights: 1) enjoyment of all youth rights and freedoms; 2) equal rights and protection from discrimination; 3) a proper social environment; 4) all-round education. The National Youth Policy Development programme for 2011-2019 aims to create conditions that meet youth needs in order to become active young citizens. This programme has five focus areas: 1) Social security, education and health care; 2) Developing youth who are capable of being an active part of diverse society; 3) Systems of youth work and youth employment; 4) Fostering youth organisations; 5) Inter-institutional and cross-sectoral cooperation in developing youth policy. The Lithuanian Youth Council (LiJOT) was formed in 1992 and is an umbrella organisation with 64 members representing more than 200,000 young people in Lithuania. The LiJOT,“seeks favorable changes for young people by serving as a platform for dialogue, Lithuanian youth organization interests and initiatives.” LiJOT is a full member of the European Youth Forum and the Baltic Youth Forum. As the national agency, it coordinates EURODESK Lithuania and supports Lithuanian engagement in the EU Structured Dialogue process. A ‘special state subsidy’ has been allocated to the Ministry of Social Security and Labour for ‘Children and Youth Rights’ (see Chapter 1, Youth Policy section on youth policy funding). In Lithuanian education system citizenship education is a compulsory separate subject at the secondary level. The curricula of citizenship education aims at developing political literacy, acquiring critical thinking and analytical skills, developing certain values, attitudes and behaviours (sense of national identuty, respect, tolerance), encouraging active participation and engagement at school and community levels.
Among the key initiatives to safeguard democracy against and prevent radicalisation which lead to violent extremism in Lithuania the Public Security Development Programme 2015-2025 has provisions aimed at preventing youth radicalization (section 25.2). The Action Plan of the Public Security Development Programme 2015-2025 Implementing Measures has measures aimed at population views radicalization process monitoring, prevention and deradicalization efficiency of the system to include residential areas, communities, municipalities and non-governmental organizations.