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Building a culture of tolerance and participation in schools
Sovata, 1-10 July 2010

In 10th July has ended the training organized by the CEMO in human rights education field, entitled: "Building a culture of tolerance and participation in schools" Fostering democracy through the inclusion of human rights education within the formal education system. The training has been founded by the European Commission, Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency, Europe for Citizens Programme.
There were 28 participants from 3 countries: Hungary (8 people), Slovakia (8 people) and Romania (12 people). The training participants were mainly teachers and educators who are strongly motivated to introduce the human rights within their teaching curricula, and who want to consolidate their professional skills, acquire new skills, and who are firmly convinced that tolerance and mutual respect build the basis of a democratic society. Additionally, young motivated persons were present at the training who work at NGO's, deal with social questions and are interested in human rights, tolerance, and mutual respect and are willing in enlarging their knowledge in these areas as well as trying out and implementing new methods and techniques.
The trainers and facilitators used different approaches for group dynamics, the participants worked in mixed groups. The training modules were learner - centered and based on the experiences of participants and the principle of mutual learning, taking into consideration the personal responsibility for learning, supported by a strong group dimension and a collective approach and will enable participants to apply and transfer into their work practice what they learnt.
The persons involved in the Training will become multipliers and they were provided with new teaching methods and this will help to bridge the existing methodological gaps between formal and non-formal education.
The participants have forfmulated their conclusions: "I have learned here that we have to live with our rights and use them in our daily lives, because those -on paper formulated rights- will become realities only if we, ourselves take them very seriously. I am intending to teach my students this." (Printz Ágnes, Áprily Lajos High school, Braşov).
We believe that our training has reached its goal: many teachers, social workers, NGO members have realized the importance of the human rights and they have acquired new techniques and methods in teaching human rights, tolerance, mutual respect, diversity and solidarity.

Civic Engagement Movement











Round table discussion on education
29 April 2010










The Training for Public Life Foundation, Transindex and Erdély FM organized a round table discussion that dealt with the new Romanian Education Law and more in depth with education in primary schools and high schools. The participants at the round table discussion were: Batizán Emese Emőke - sociologist and CEMO activist, Bartos Miklós - principal of the school group from Erdőszentgyörgy, Bodolai Gyöngyi -redactor of the Népújság (a local newspaper), Beke Tünde - geography teacher from the Erdőszentgyörgy school group, Csegzi Sándor vice-mayor of Marosvásárhely/Tirgu Mures, Horváth Gabriella - vice-principal of the Bolyai Farkas High School, Kacsó Erika - school psychologist, Kupán Edit - principal of the Bălcescu School, Pethő László - teacher, engineer at the Elektromaros High School and Szigeti Enikő - the Executive Director of the Civic Engagement Movement. The discussion was moderated by Kósa András László - sociologist and researcher at the Training for Public Life Foundation.
Next to the structural transformations in the public educational system, the participants have discussed about the specific issues, problems related to the education of children belonging to the Hungarian minority population:

Szigeti Enikő: - In Maros/Mures county the alternatives for Hungarian children have immensely narrowed, they practically can choose between two schools, the Bolyai Farkas High School and the Art School, and when speaking about the vocational education - this means studying for years in Romanian language even though theoretically there are Hungarian vocational classes.

Pethő László: -  In Marosvásárhely/Tirgu Mures there has become a real problem the lack of a Hungarian Vocational School. The atmosphere is totally different in a school where there are Hungarian inscriptions, where people, children can and do speak publicly Hungarian. Presently, in the bilingual vocational schools Hungarian children are dominated by a second-hand feeling.

Horváth Gabriella: - When we, teachers, children from the Bolyai Farkas High School visit other schools, we can hardly imagine how our colleagues can exist in these, so called bilingual schools. In class breaks Hungarian children are lying snug in corners or in the courtyard, in worse case they do not even go out from the classrooms, because they cannot, do not dare to speak publicly Hungarian. From this reason, the idea of a Hungarian vocational school is a very good and useful idea. 

Szigeti Enikő: - In "normal" cases segregation of children is not a viable idea, moreover, is much better if Hungarian and Romanian children are together so that they can learn from each other. But because the experience shows that even in these bilingual institutions happens a strange and hierarchical segregation, it is worth to think on the idea that the Hungarian community should build up a strong educational institutional system. In these conditions there would be respected the language rights of Hungarian children and they personality would develop better as well, in a psychical atmosphere that could be characterized as being more secure for the children.

Kupán Edit: A Hungarian child feels herself/himself in a different way as a Romanian child when going on the corridor of the so called bilingual school: he/she is surrounded only by Romanian inscriptions, advertisements, attends events organized only in Romanian language. This is the responsibility of those people who are directing the school, however they often do not realize how important these tasks would be."  (Transindex)
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