The Institute for Democracy conducted a sub-grant competition to support joint initiatives by non-governmental organizations from the two banks of the Dniester aimed at building confidence through educational activities in the sphere of human rights.
The maximum budget amount that applicants could request for suggested projects was not supposed to exceed 10000 Euros in the first round and 7 000 Euros in the second one. The project implementation term covered a period of up to 6 months (the 1st round) and up to 4 months (the 2nd round).
Small sub-grants program is intended for officially registered NGOs (in partnership with educational institutions or for education projects) from the Transnistrian region and Moldova (one/two NGOs from Transnistria and one/two NGOs from Moldova). The guide, application form and the criteria of evaluation were developed.
During the award ceremony, representatives of the EU Delegation to the Republic of Moldova and the Institute for Democracy wished success to the winners, expressed hope that their projects would achieve practical results important for local communities, and help build confidence between the two banks of the Dniester.
In particular, Fabien Schaeffer, the representative of the Project and Technical Cooperation Department of the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Moldova, congratulated the winners and wished them success in implementing these projects. He emphasized the importance of all the initiatives in education and human rights, as well as the significance of the projects for strengthening confidence-building measures between the two banks of the Dniester for Moldova, noting the quality of the projects selected for funding by the Institute of Democracy.
The specific goal of this sub-grant program was encouraging the development of sustainable partnerships and the prospects of civil society on both banks of the Dniester by means of creating joint cooperation platforms for teachers from the two banks of the Dniester.
The priority of the sub-grant program was supporting joint activities of non-governmental organizations from both banks of the Dniester (in partnership with educational institutions or for educational institutions) in the sphere of human rights education.
All the projects were submitted on behalf of partnerships which consisted of at least 2 organizations from the two banks (i.e. at least one organization from each bank of the Dniester).
In March 2018, within the framework of the first round of the sub-grant program, the Institute for Democracy selected 3 joint initiatives of non-governmental organizations from the two banks of the Dniester, allocating from 6 to 10 thousand Euros to each of the partnerships.
Within the framework of the 2nd round of the sub-grant program, in July 2018, the Institute for Democracy allocated 5 grants in the amount of 4 to 7 thousand Euros to five partnerships consisting of NGOs from both banks.
It should be mentioned that during the award ceremony for winners of the sub-competition, the representatives of the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Moldova and the Institute for Democracy wished success to the winners and expressed their hope that the implementation of their projects would yield practical results important for local communities banks of the Dniester and contribute to consolidating trust between the two banks of the Dniester.
In particular, Fabien Schaeffer, the representative of the Project and Technical Cooperation Department of the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Moldova, congratulated the winners and wished them success in implementing these projects. He emphasized the importance of all the initiatives in education and human rights, as well as the significance of the projects for strengthening confidence-building measures between the two banks of the Dniester for Moldova, noting the quality of the projects selected for funding by the Institute for Democracy.
DESCRIPTION OF THE PROJECTS IMPLEMENTED WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK OF THE SUB-GRANT PROGRAM:
1) NATIONAL YOUTH COUNCIL OF MOLDOVA (CHISINAU) AND UCHASTIE (PARTICIPATION) SOCIAL AND LEGAL INITIATIVE CENTER (BENDER): PROJECT TITLED TEACHING TEACHERS TO USE INTERNET TECHNOLOGIES
The project titled Teaching Teachers to Use Internet Technologies was implemented by the National Youth Council of Moldova (NYCM), which is an associative structure consisting of 61 youth organizations. The Council promotes young people’s rights and represents the interests of youth organizations in the process of developing, implementing, and assessing youth policies. The project partner was Uchastie (Participation) Social and Legal Initiative Center.
The project presented by these organizations was aimed at helping solve the problem of insufficient use of IT methods in the educational process.
In the western countries, school curricula recommend literature which is sometimes available only online, information recorded as video presentations, etc. Unfortunately, teachers from both banks of the Dniester still insufficiently use IT methods in the educational process.
Therefore, the goal of the project was training teachers from both banks of the Dniester in the fundamentals of IT. It perfectly conforms to the needs of most teachers, who understand perfectly well that they simply cannot do without innovative learning technologies in terms of informatization of education, since young people have acquired practical skills in this field long ago.
Within the project, the sub-grantees worked in four areas: 1) information support for education systems (creating databases, information bases, virtual libraries, virtual multimedia clubs, etc.); 2) joint project activities in various fields of knowledge for schoolchildren, teachers, and research staff; 3) various forms and types of online education; 4) free contacts among network users on a variety of issues related to the educational sphere.
Within the framework of the project, three trainings were conducted on the following topics: Construction of a Computer, Historical Development of Information Technologies, and Information and Computer Technologies.
During the training, Word, PowerPoint, Excel, as well as other more complex programs that allow diversifying the methods of teacher education were studied. The teachers studied the standard and advanced functionality of these applications, were trained to create tables, disaggregate data from them, and create presentations, including those which include animation. Besides, the teachers were informed of with Google Docs, Prezi applications, and several cloud storages, and learned to work with documents online.
The coaches used modern equipment such as laptops, a projector, VR glasses, 360-degree cameras, etc. In addition, the coaches used online software resources to conduct interactive and practical courses for the participants.
The objectives of the events were creating a positive psychological climate and positive relations among the teachers from both banks of the Dniester, who were in direct contact with each other; informing the teachers of the benefits and possibilities of information technologies in the educational process, providing teachers with information on the proper use of the Internet for studies and teaching, promoting friendly relations among teachers from both banks of the Dniester, and developing the teachers’ practical skills of using programs necessary for the educational process.
All the workshops were organized by the project team, which consisted of people from both sides of the Dniester, as well as the 2 coaches (one from each bank).
Throughout the project, the organizers encouraged the participation of both sexes, thereby providing a similar impact for them. Efforts to provide gender balance have positively affected the significant yet balanced presence of women in the project.
It was obvious that the relations among the teachers were becoming friendlier after each workshop held, and many good wishes and words of gratitude sounded.
The initial level of knowledge and skills in using IT technologies was quite low among the teachers, as they themselves noticed, but thanks to the coaching, they had an opportunity to grow professionally and contribute to the development of the children they teach.
The workshop participants’ degree of knowledge was rather different: some of them were very advanced in this field, while others were newcomers.
At the initial stage, some restraint was observed in cooperation and interaction of teachers from different banks of the Dniester. To eliminate it, the coaches used the methods of team building and strengthening relationships; as a result, the teachers established close relationships and shared their contact information. The Transnistrian participants welcomed this event and invited the project team and the teachers from the right bank of the Dniester to similar workshop sessions in their area.
As a result of the project activity, 58 teachers and volunteers improved their knowledge of using IT technologies in the educational process. The teachers developed their skills and diversified their teaching methods, incorporating advanced and modern technologies. The level of knowledge and interaction among the teachers from both banks of the Dniester increased, too.
The teachers have left a number of comments regarding the workshop. For instance, Artem Vornicoglo, the mathematics teacher, shares his impressions, “The workshop turned out to be very useful for me, because I learned a lot about the functionality of Word and Excel programs. I was surprised to learn that PowerPoint allows making interactive presentations. It looks beautiful, and you can embed videos directly from YouTube. It was unbelievably helpful, and I liked the idea of involving children in studying educational materials by solving crosswords, which can be easily created online. The coaches explained everything very clearly, I wrote everything down in a notebook, and I will practice it at home. I really hope I will attend the following workshops”. Another teacher, Maria Mihailenco, notes, “I was a participant in the workshop on IT technologies for teachers. It was very interesting and informative for me, because now I can apply this knowledge in my work. Currently, I can perform the tasks much faster than I used to. The coaches presented the information in a very coherent way, and it was not boring. In general, I am very pleased! I would be happy to take part in such workshops again”.
2) TIGHINA ASSOCIATION OF PSYCHOLOGISTS (CAUSENI) AND ZHENSCHINY SEGODNYA (WOMEN TODAY) NON-PROFIT PARTNERSHIP (PARCANI VILLAGE): PROJECT TITLED TEACHERS FROM BOTH BANKS OF THE DNIESTER TEACH DEMOCRACY
The project titled Teachers from Both Banks of the Dniester Teach Democracy was implemented by Tighina Association of Psychologists (Causeni) together with Zhenschiny Segodnya (Women Today) Non-Profit Partnership (Parcani Village).
The project provided for joint training in the sphere of human rights. This project is important because teachers are eager to change the methodological approach to education for democracy and the attitude towards this process.
The goal of the project was strengthening the skills of teachers from both banks of the Dniester River in order to promote democratic principles in the educational environment and in the communities where they work.
As part of informal participation, it provided for sharing experiences in the sphere of promoting democratic values through teaching civic education, strengthening competencies in developing project proposals for introducing innovations in the educational environment for the development of communities on both the left and right banks of the Dniester River, and developing strategies for active interaction among teachers from both banks of the Dniester on the basis of modern proactive methods of citizen participation.
The project was aimed at improving the skills of teachers in Transnistria and Causeni District in the sphere of modern proactive teaching methods of human rights education. The goal of the training was learning to organize informal education among teachers and young people in the sphere of human rights and democratic values.
The classes were conducted in an interactive format with various training activities in accordance with the participants’ training styles. During the workshop, they were familiarized with and involved in a variety of strategies and teaching methods, such as problematization, tasks including a large number of methods of implementation, brainstorming, role-playing, and analysis of school learning situations in teaching schoolchildren democracy and fundamentals of law.
All the events involved the beneficiaries from both banks of the Dniester. They provided an excellent opportunity to share modern interactive teaching methods.
The project was launched in Causeni on March 25, 2018.
On March 31, 2018, in Parcani Village, Slobozia District, a workshop entitled Modern Approaches to Democratic Principles in the Educational Environment was held. The teachers shared information on the most important problems they needed to solve in order to effectively educate young people, noting that they were in charge of the future of our common Moldova. During the event, the teachers discussed how to introduce modern proactive pedagogical methods at school, and which resources and how should be used to help today’s young people want to be better, motivated, and strive for self-development.
The teachers shared information about the resources used and the most successful methods of work popular with young people in studying human rights. They shared their opinions of the quality of textbooks on democracy and human rights and the opportunities for further studies in the country and abroad.
During the workshop, the teachers discussed such issues as implementing democratic principles at school; human rights education through children’s rights; methods of pupils’ involvement in the educational process; the Celtic Wheel exercise; teacher interaction strategies based on proactive learning methods. They examined the role of civil society in the process of teenagers’ learning activities, and shared their experiences in teaching civic education at school.
The participants made a description of the modern schoolchild’s model, taking into account an understanding of the pupil’s role in the educational process both on the left and the right bank, and determined the modern teacher’s needs for working with children at school. The exercise revealed teachers’ basic needs at schools, which differed significantly on the right and left banks of the Dniester. The exercise titled School Seen by a Teacher / Parent was of great interest to those present; teamwork revealed a different understanding of the role of the school by teachers and parents.
On April 29, 2018, in Causeni, the workshop titled Interactive Methods of Teaching Democracy and Human Rights at School was held.
During the event, the teachers were taught the ability to make topics related to civic education, democracy education, and tolerance education interesting and exciting at each lesson. This is very relevant, since upbringing young people in the spirit of democracy and the observance of human rights depends largely on the human factor, on teachers’ skills and abilities to present such topics in an interesting interactive form. As part of the workshop, a variety of strategies and methods were analyzed and assessed by the participants.
On May 12, 2018, in Parcani Village, Slobozia District, a workshop titled Promotion of Ethnic Culture as a Democratic Value was held.
The participants of the event studied such issues as teenagers’ involvement in the Internet space and teachers’ participation in the process of obtaining information; the importance of family traditions and values; parents’ and teachers’ involvement in the process of raising a child; the impact of society on children with disabilities (including the issue of their attending separate institutions or creating conditions for their socialization in educational institutions); the role of civil society in educating the younger generation.
On May 20, 2018, the workshop titled Take a Step Forward – Promote Non-Discrimination! took place in Causeni. This event brought together teachers from both banks of the Dniester to discuss various aspects of discrimination in everyday life, and ultimately in the educational environment. During the interactive conversation, the workshop participants discussed the aspects of discrimination, learned the criteria by which discrimination could be detected, and mastered practical methods of promoting tolerance among young people at school. The teachers analyzed videos, real-life situations, and discussed the legal provisions of the law on opposition.
According to Elena Blidari, the teacher from A. Mateevici Theoretical Lyceum (Causeni Town), “everyone should know how to promote their rights and be able to protect oneself in case of discrimination”. “Our duty is to teach young people to recognize and prevent discrimination”, she emphasizes.
On June 2, 2018, a workshop titled Developing a Curriculum for Informal Human Rights Education was held in the town of Causeni. During the event, the beneficiaries were informed of the components of the curriculum and developed action plans that were supposed to be implemented together with young people in the community. The main result of the activity was a sample curriculum compiled by the participants using various models presented during the workshop.
This event allowed the audience to share their own experience in developing a curriculum for further activities and supplement their archives with materials which could be used during the events for teachers and young people.
On June 15-17, 2018, a workshop titled Preparing Project Applications for Community Development, organized as a summer school, was held in Vadul-lui-Voda.
During the summer school, 25 people from both banks of the Dniester gathered; for three days, they were drafting projects within the framework of the established working groups. The participants were informed of various models of applications for funding and jointly developed mini-projects for implementation in communities. The summer school contributed to successful communication among the beneficiaries from the two banks of the Dniester, establishing contacts and, therefore, promoting trust among teachers for working together after the project was over.
On June 30, 2018, in the village of Bulboaca, Anenii Noi District, an excursion took place to one of the most beautiful places in Moldova – the Mimi Castle located near the Dniester. None of the beneficiaries had visited the castle before the tour. During the joint excursion, the beneficiaries were overwhelmed with emotions from visiting this museum, appreciating the initiative to conduct this tour. This cognitive and entertainment component was very important at the end of the project, bringing together the participants from the two banks of the Dniester.
The tour was attended by the teachers from both banks of the Dniester, who learned about the traditions of Moldovan winemaking of the past centuries and modern wine making technologies. The program included a tour of the castle and its whereabouts accompanied by a guide, as well as wine tasting.
Over 200 people took part in this project, including 175 women; it also had more than 1000 indirect beneficiaries. During the events, about 40 teachers acquired skills in using modern methods of teaching democracy, 25 teachers were trained to develop projects for implementing them in their communities, over 30 teachers adopted the partners’ experience as a result of sharing best practices, etc.
The project had a great impact on strengthening confidence-building measures among the teachers from the two banks of the Dniester. During the joint activities, the teachers got to know each other, found out the problems faced by their colleagues from the other bank of the Dniester, and started having better attitude towards each other. Working groups were created to develop partnership projects, project applications were prepared to solve public problems related to promoting young people’s youth rights, and best practices of teaching democracy and human rights in pre-university education were shared.
After the summer school, the teams of participants from both banks of the Dniester created initiative groups to implement certain activities and projects in their communities. Based on the experience gained, 4 teams decided to develop volunteer action plans / projects in the community involving volunteers of different ages. During the 4 meetings that took place in the village of Parcani, the project team offered consultations on implementing such projects, which were to be submitted to the financing competitions in Moldova and the international donor organizations. In addition to on-site consulting, the project team continued consulting on project development by phone, via Skype and e-mail. As a result, 3 project applications were submitted to competitions for obtaining grants.
On August 28, 2018, a round table on the results of the project was held in Causeni. During the discussions, the most important quantitative and qualitative results of the project to promote education in the sphere of democracy and human rights were identified. About 40 teachers were trained to use modern methods of teaching democracy, improved skills in developing projects to be implemented in their communities, adopted the experience of their partners as a result of sharing best practices, took part in developing strategies for citizen participation in community development activities, and created a professional network involved in promoting democratic values in Moldova.
3) LEGAL CLINIC (COMRAT TOWN) AND MEDIA CENTER (TIRASPOL TOWN): PROJECT TITLED IMPROVING LEGAL KNOWLEDGE OF FUTURE TEACHERS FROM BOTH BANKS OF THE DNIESTER
The project titled Improving Legal Knowledge of Future Teachers from Both Banks of the Dniester was implemented by the Legal Clinic (Comrat). The project partner was the Media Center (Tiraspol).
The main goal of this project was increasing the level of legal literacy among future teachers from both banks of the Dniester to use the knowledge gained in the process of educating young people in their future career. Besides, within the framework of the project, it was supposed to strengthen cooperation and establish friendly relations among teachers and students from Gagauzia and Transnistria.
The main activities included hold 8 trainings titled Legal Knowledge of Future Teachers in the Educational Process in the territory of Gagauzia, development and distribution of information materials Legal Knowledge of Teachers in the Educational Process, as well as organizing two meetings for trained and selected students from the Transnistrian region and Gagauzia in order to share experiences and consolidate the knowledge gained.
The activities implemented within the project involved 759 beneficiaries, including direct beneficiaries – 559 persons(students of Comrat State University and students of M. Ceachir College), indirect beneficiaries – 200 persons (teachers from educational institutions where the workshops were organized; beneficiaries who received information about the project activities from the media, Internet resources, journalists, citizens who learned about the content of the information brochure through their colleagues, friends, etc.). The beneficiaries were equally from Gagauzia and from the Transnistrian region.
The workshops for students of pedagogical specialties of Comrat State University and M. Ceachir College students. were held on March 22, 2018, March 23, 2018, March 28, 2018, April 4, 2018, April 25, 2018, April 26, 2018, and May 3, 2018.
During the workshops, the beneficiaries gained knowledge about the rights of educating staff, the specificity of regulating their work, were informed of the Code of Professional Ethics of Teachers, discussed typical breaches of teachers’ rights and ways of protecting the breached rights, and studied children’s rights in the educational process, paying particular attention to their breaches.
During the workshops, such methods as providing information orally, group work, discussion, and individual work of each beneficiary with the subsequent presentation of its results were used.
Besides, within the framework of the project, two round table discussions were organized in Comrat and Tiraspol. The event was attended by 32 persons from Gagauzia and the Transnistrian region. The round tables were organized as discussions, during which the participants shared information on the status of teachers’ rights in the territory of both banks of the Dniester, the situation in the field of training future teachers in the territory of Gagauzia and the Transnistrian region, and covering issues related to the protection of teachers’ rights in local and regional media.
During the round table discussions, the experts from Gagauzia and Transnistria presented their reports on this topic, sharing information that covered a specific aspect of the topic under discussion, and made presentations of the regulatory framework, photo and video materials.
The first round table discussion was held on May 28, 2018, in Comrat, with the participation of teachers from the two regions, students, human rights activists, and journalists. The participants from Gagauzia shared their opinions of the difficult situations faced by teachers in the region with their colleagues from the Transnistrian region, and talked about the media coverage of teachers’ problems and their rights.
The participants from Transnistria expressed their interest in acquainting themselves with the regulatory framework governing the rights and duties of teachers, and the observance of ethical norms and rules by teachers in their activity.
The second round table discussion was held on August 7, 2018, in Tiraspol. It was attended by teachers representing the two regions, human rights activists, and journalists. The participants discussed media coverage of issues related to the violation of the rights of teachers and reviewed innovative methods of education.
Nicolai Buceatchi, the roundtable participant, Chief Editor of Chelovek i ego prava (Man and His Rights) newspaper, the member of the Public Chamber of Transnistria, noted that the low level of teachers’ earnings resulted in the fact that highly qualified teachers were leaving the republic, which inevitably affected the level of education.
The report Innovative Methods of Education was presented by Natalia Colesnicenco. The teachers from Gagauzia learned that, thanks to her public activity in 2014, elementary classes working according to the methods developed by V. I. Zhokhov appeared in Secondary School No 7 in Tiraspol.
An information brochure titled Legal Knowledge of Teachers in the Educational Process (400 copies) was published for teachers from the Transnistrian region. It presents information materials containing excerpts from the legislation of the Transnistrian region, defining the responsibility of teachers in the educational process, regulating their rights and obligations, and listing the ways to protect the breached rights of teachers.
The main beneficiaries these materials are intended for are Transnistrian teachers, students of pedagogical specialties, etc.
The information brochure contains the following paragraphs: Teaching Staff, The Concept of the Rights and Freedoms of the Teaching Staff, Duties and Responsibilities the Teaching Staff, Typical Violations of Teachers’ Rights and Ways of Protecting Them.
During the project, legal awareness among future teachers as qualified specialists of educational institutions was raised. The legal knowledge gained by the beneficiaries during the project has become the basis they can apply in their future work activities. The beneficiaries (future teachers) received the information about their rights and the rights of other participants of the educational process (pupils and their parents), and learned about the ways to protect teachers’ rights in the Republic of Moldova. During the joint meetings held in Comrat and Tiraspol, the participants from Gagauzia and Transnistria learned more about each other, their confidence increased, and they shared their experiences in protecting and promoting teachers’ rights.
Therefore, as a result of the implementation of the project activities, partner organizations were able to strengthen the legal potential and knowledge of future teachers in this sphere (by conducting the workshops for students of pedagogical specialties at Comrat State University, and students from M. Ciachir College (Comrat) and distributing the brochure containing the information on the rights and duties of teachers in the Transnistrian region), and establish closer friendly relations among the participants from both banks of the Dniester (by organizing joint round table discussions in Comrat and Tiraspol).
4) NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF EUROPEAN COACHES OF MOLDOVA (CHISINAU) AND CAR RURAL ASSISTANCE CENTER (TIRNAUCA VILLAGE): PROJECT TITLED DEVELOPMENT OF COMPETENCE IN EDUCATION FOR EFFECTIVE INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION
The project titled Development of Competence in Education for Effective Intercultural Communication was implemented by the National Association of European Coaches of Moldova (NAECM) located in Chisinau. The project partner was CAR Rural Assistance Center (Tirnauca Village).
The project provided for developing a database of didactic materials consisting of a curriculum, a collection of fairy tales and stories, as well as a collection of songs and poems for 20-25 teachers belonging to different ethnic groups from both banks of the Dniester for cultural and linguistic promotion and improving these teachers’ qualification. For this purpose, 3 workshops were organized for the teachers from both banks of the Dniester. During these events, the participants had an opportunity to share their knowledge and experience in customs and traditions, art and culture, new innovative training programs, and modern teaching methods and techniques, taking ethnic diversity into account. Before the start of intercultural workshops, a round table discussion was organized for the beneficiaries from both banks of the Dniester in order to establish links among the project participants and identify common aspects and needs of intercultural communication. An important aspect was cultural immersion for the teachers from both banks of the Dniester, during which they expanded their knowledge of Moldovan customs and traditions.
42 persons (including Romanian language teachers from both banks of the Dniester) took part in the project activities.
During the round table discussion, which took place on August 15, 2018, and was dedicated to creating a platform for teachers from both banks of the Dniester, the teachers received sets of Romanian language textbooks for children of preschool age as a gift. In addition, they listened to reports on promoting civic, socio-cultural, and professional integration and inter-ethnic tolerance by learning and creating a favorable language environment, as well as the issues of integrated language teaching and learning.
The participants discussed the needs of secondary schools and preschool institutions in the process of learning languages, and cases of prejudices towards teachers discussing these questions on the left bank of the Dniester were considered. During the event, the need to modernize the educational process by introducing new information technologies and modern teaching methods and methods was emphasized.
The NAECM specialists presented the concept and methodological aspects of simultaneous education, didactic materials and models of organizing the educational process based on distance learning, as well as teaching methods for different age groups.
On September 22, 2018, the Distance Learning Opportunities workshop for teachers from both banks of the Dniester River was held, during which 27 participants, including the teachers from both banks of the Dniester, learned more about new innovative distance learning opportunities and modern teaching methods and techniques. They received information on planning the process of remote work and providing an interactive part of the tutor and pupil contact.
On October 20, 2018, a workshop titled Methods of Teaching Adults for teachers from both banks of the Dniester was held, where 19 participants enriched their knowledge of methods of teaching adults.
On November 3, 2018, the Simultaneous Language Study workshop was held for 26 participants, including the teachers from both banks of the Dniester, who learned about the specificity and methodology of the simultaneous language learning program.
On November 11, 2018, a cultural immersion was organized for 20 teachers from both banks of the Dniester. The event was based on visiting several traditional places of Moldovan culture, such as Casa olarului (The Potter’s House) and Casa mierii (The Honey House).
By participating in interactive activities and sharing advanced teaching experience, the teachers from both banks of the Dniester established the first connections and enriched their knowledge of intercultural dialogue and the methodology of teaching the Romanian language. Most of the project participants noted in their questionnaires that due to the workshop they had learned more about the technical and organizational aspects of the educations process and new methods applied to different types of learners, such as children, young people, and adults.
5) VESTA REGIONAL PUBLIC ASSOCIATION OF MULTI-CHILD MOTHERS AND FEMALE ENTREPRENEURS OF GAGAUZIA (COMRAT) AND ZERKALO-TV NON-PROFIT MEDIA (BENDER): PROJECT TITLED EQUAL RIGHTS AS SEEN BY YOUNG CIVIC JOURNALISTS: NEW INSTRUMENTS FOR TRAINING YOUNG WOMEN TEACHERS PROMOTING DEMOCRACY AND HUMAN RIGHTS
The project titled Equal Rights as Seen by Young Civic Journalists: New Instruments for Training Young Women Teachers Promoting Democracy and Human Rights was implemented by Vesta Regional Public Association of Multi-Child Mothers and Female Entrepreneurs of Gagauzia (Comrat). The project partner was Zerkalo-TV Non-Profit Media (Bender).
The project provided for creating and promoting the work of two clubs for young civic journalists (in Bender, on the basis of Zerkalo-TV media, and in Comrat, on the basis of M-Liga Volunteer Center at Vesta NGO). After creating the clubs, they were scheduled to hold a 3-day workshop titled The School for Civic Journalists, including visits to Gagauzia and Transnistria to share experiences and develop joint action plans, as well as train facilitators and volunteers for young civic journalist clubs.
The project also provided for creating a platform for long-term cooperation among teachers from the two banks of the Dniester in order to promote the activities of clubs for young civic journalists through an annual competition for the best article in the media and organizing a conference for civic journalists from the two banks of the Dniester.
The goal of the project was increasing the level of competence and abilities of young teachers from the two banks of the Dniester in teaching young people human rights and preventing all forms of discrimination, using modern informal education tools to work with pupils by creating and activity of clubs for young civic journalists. This goal was achieved by teaching young female teachers from the two banks of the Dniester the fundamentals of civic journalism, methods of providing and spreading information, methods of forming public opinion regarding the observance and protection of human rights, and youth participation in decision-making.
The project included creating two clubs for young civic journalists (in Bender, on the basis of Zerkalo-TV non-profit media, and in Comrat, on the basis of M-Liga Volunteer Center at Vesta NGO and N. Tretiacov Theoretical Lyceum) consisting of female teachers from the two banks of the Dniester, 9 persons from each region. In September-October 2018, 11 club meetings were held in the Transnistrian region and Gagauzia.
The first meeting of the club of young journalists was held on September 12, 2018. The teachers from urban and rural schools of Transnistria, as well as a teacher of the Russian language and literature from the Transnistrian State University attended it. During the meeting, a video about the new professions of the 21st century was viewed; it became the starting point for the discussion on the topic Why Should a Teacher Have Skills of Civic Journalism? Further, having discussed and found common points between the professions of teacher and journalist, the audience started discussing how pupils could express their opinions and defend their rights by publications in social networks. At the end of the meeting, a brainstorm was held to find the name for the Transnistrian club for young civic journalists.
Besides, during the first meetings of the club for young civic journalists in Comrat (N. Tretiacov Lyceum) questions about the duties of the club members and creating a newspaper (distribution of responsibilities, search, collection, and analysis of information, selection of materials for publication in the newspaper, working with printed materials, creating a newspaper layout, designing an issue of a newspaper, i.e., presentation of the results of such work in a school newspaper) were discussed.
During the regular meetings of the Transnistrian club of young civic journalists, the volunteers familiarized themselves with the book by Grigoriy Oster titled Kids’ Rights. The Convention on the Rights of the Child Translated into the Children’s Language. The participants read all the articles on the rights of the child one by one, sharing their impressions and real-life stories, mentioning difficult situations related to the violation of human rights they had encountered. They also discussed the way the information on human rights should be properly applied in social networks and for creating a school newspaper.
The members of the club for young civic journalists tried to decide on choosing the genre of works for the contest (essays, posts, or articles), and understand what they planned to choose for themselves, and which particular genre they considered to be more convenient to work in while writing journalistic materials and why.
In the form of a game, they studied the work of a correspondent, operator, editor, tried to interview their classmates and correctly formulate questions, assuming various options for answers in advance.
The participants of the meeting had an opportunity to use video cameras, a microphone, and telephones for taking photos and shooting videos in order to try to independently shoot videos from various angles.
Snejana Goncear, President of the Club for Young Civic Journalists, conducted a series of dynamic practices, during which a group of volunteers actively portrayed the game show participants (actors), while another group (operators and producers) recorded this dynamic “program” using photo and video media.
The members of the club for young civic journalists from Dubasari talked about the most obvious cases of breached human rights, in particular the rights of the child, from their teaching practice.
From 14 to 16 September 2018, The School of Civic Journalists, a 3-day training course was held for the members of the club in Comrat, where they studied the fundamental national and international legislation regulating the observance of human rights and the development of democracy, and were trained to create pages in social networks of the Internet and write articles in print media aimed at preventing discrimination and violations of other human rights.
During the workshop, the participants from Transnistria visited Comrat educational institutions (M. Ceachir College and N. Tretiacov Lyceum), where they were joined by their colleagues from the capital of Gagauzia. They paid a joint visit for sharing experience to the offices / studios of TV and radio companies in Comrat to study the work of the journalists in Gagauzia at their workplaces.
After that, Ecaterina Terzi-Barladean (a journalist from Moldova 1 Channel in Gagauzia) taught the training participants the basics of journalism, journalist ethics and skills civic journalists needed. The next day, the topic of the event was studying the role of civil society in enhancing citizens’ public activity, the involvement of young female teachers in protecting human rights, ensuring gender equality, and discussing creative methods and forms of civic participation through media and social networks. Besides, future young civic journalists were taught to organize and conduct information sessions on human rights for pupils, to conduct workshops on creating pages on social networks on the Internet during human rights classes, writing articles for print and online media aimed at preventing discrimination and human rights violations and promoting democracy (coaches: Ion Oboroceanu and Antonina Volcova). Snejana Goncear spoke about the skills necessary for publishing a school newspaper, and also taught participants how to write and post articles, posts, and comments on social networks on the Internet properly.
During the whole learning process, group work was very intense. Many questions were asked on the topics discussed.
During the workshop, the participants visited two educational institutions in Gagauzia.
The second visit to the Transnistrian region for sharing experiences and developing joint action plans took place on October 28, 2018. It included an excursion to the Bender fortress for a practical workshop on photographing and learning more about the work of such media as Zerkalo-TV.
As a result, the project generated a platform for long-term cooperation among teachers from the two banks of the Dniester, aimed at promoting the activities of clubs for young civic journalists, promoting informal (including pre-school) education in the sphere of human rights in educational institutions.
A contest for the best article, essay, and post in social networks on the topic of the project was held in order to motivate young people to actively participate in such clubs, as well as promote human rights and democracy by writing articles, essays, and posting on social networks.
On October 28, 2018, the final conference was held: the leaders of the clubs from Transnistria and Gagauzia made presentations on the results of the clubs’ activities. The results of the competition for the best article, essay, and post on social networks were announced, the award ceremony for the winners and laureates of the competition was held, and diplomas and prizes were awarded. The participants also discussed their plans for further joint activities, an action plan for lobbying for the development of human rights education programs in educational (including pre-school) institutions.
Therefore, within the framework of the project, two clubs for young civic journalists (in Bender and Comrat) were founded, and 18 young teachers from the two banks of the Dniester attended a 3-day training course and visits to study creative methods of teaching pupils how to promote human rights; they also were involved in the activities of the clubs for young civic journalists; in addition, 15 volunteers were trained in the fundamentals of civic journalism, methods of providing and spreading information, forming public opinion on the observance and protection of human rights. A platform for interaction among teachers from the Transnistrian region and Gagauzia was created on the basis of the clubs for young civic journalists to share experiences in human rights education and promoting the principles of democracy.
In addition, the level of competence in the spheres of human rights and democracy development among young teachers and students from the two banks of the Dniester increased (including through writing articles promoting the observance of human rights and introducing an interactive approach to teaching in educational institutions, access to information, analyzing information, etc.).
6) AFINA NGO (BALTI) AND TIRASPOL SCHOOL OF POLITICAL RESEARCH (TIRASPOL): PROJECT TITLED TEACHERS FROM THE TWO BANKS FOR EFFICIENT AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF THEIR COMMUNITIES
The project titled Teachers from the Two Banks for Efficient and Sustainable Development of Their Communities was implemented by Afina non-Governmental Organization (Balti), which specializes in promoting informal civic education. The project partner was Tiraspol School of Political Research.
The relevance of the project is caused by the fact that it is extremely important to raise awareness among teachers from the two banks of the Dniester about the unequal opportunities in society related to certain minorities or groups, the inadmissibility of discrimination against women, and teaching tolerance in educational institutions (if we really want to live in a country ruled by democracy where the rights of every person are respected). To achieve this objective, pupils have to be taught at school using innovative and proactive methods.
The goal of the project was developing and promoting mutual understanding among the communities of teachers and educational NGOs from both banks of the Dniester by participating in joint activities and mutual visits, as well as creating a platform in order to popularize modern proactive educational methods and facilitating human rights and interaction among teachers from the two banks.
On August 25, 2018, a workshop titled Dialogue through Education and Mutual Understanding was organized in Tiraspol; on September 22, 2018, a workshop titled Human Rights through Education and Mutual Understanding was held in Balti; on October 20, 2018, another workshop titled Developing the Parent and Child Community through Proactive Forms of Interaction was held in Tiraspol.
The first workshop was attended by 28 persons (16 women and 12 men), the second one by 29 (24 women and 5 men), and the third one by 26 (19 women and 7 men). The approximate number of indirect beneficiaries is 1300 (students, parents, colleagues, residents of local communities, and online viewers watching press releases and video reports).
The participants of the workshops were teachers of social sciences, history, language, educational psychologists, and lawyers from schools and universities from Balti, Tiraspol, and Bender, and such villages as Nezavtertailovca, Pervomaisc, and Novocotovsc (Transnistria). The workshops were attended by the representatives of various ethnicities.
The workshops included interactive games aimed at acquaintance, team building, presentations (lectures), discussions, group work, presentation of the results of work in groups and discussion, and reflection (debriefing). To organize the above activities, electronic presentations, video materials, presentation of literature on the subject of the speech, etc. were used.
The participants studied human rights using proactive techniques: listened to a course of public lectures, and then, they discussed the recently obtained information. Regional cases were examined: they were shared by experienced teachers and coaches.
Proactive teaching methods were supplemented by an informal communication session: it was decided to organize a tour to the Bender fortress on the bank of the Dniester which preserved the historical heritage of our region.
The workshops demonstrated that the topic of human rights was relevant to residents of both banks, who were often insufficiently informed about the possibilities and mechanisms for the protection of their rights and freedoms. During the workshops, the organizers tried to teach the participants to understand and enjoy their rights by using interesting, simple, and accessible methods. The workshop participants were involved in games, played different parts, situations, and shared their impressions.
They were involved in the project and took an active part in it at all its stages. The direct beneficiaries of the project were teachers and active citizens who aim to develop and maintain relationships among their communities.
Teachers from different towns focused on getting to know each other and talking to each other. Tiraspol and Balti are rather far from each other, and the teachers had to travel thrice for the sake of working together and learning. During the workshops, human rights were viewed through the prism of the educational process, using didactic methods. The aspect of informal communication became an important factor in creating a positive atmosphere and building confidence.
Liudmila Bondarenco, a teacher from the Transnistrian village of Pervomaisc, liked the versatile and rich program of the workshop, “I would like to express my gratitude to the organizers of the project for the excellent professional program, friendly atmosphere, and new contacts. I admired the project, my knowledge has widened considerably! The atmosphere of live communication and discussion is the highlight that helps attend to and understand another person with a different point of view better. I guess everyone got answers to their questions. There was a lot of interesting and useful information; the organizers’ professionalism was felt throughout the project”.
As a result of the project, the workshops became a platform for the popularization of modern proactive educational methods and facilitation on the topic of human rights. The project became a platform for interaction among teachers and representatives of public organizations. The participants shared their contact information for future cooperation. The project also resulted in the fact that on both banks of the Dniester, the cycle of workshops continued for the pedagogical community and a new platform was created in the regional context of Tiraspol and Balti.
7) INNOVATIVE AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT CENTER (TIRASPOL) AND THE ASSOCIATION OF INTERNATIONAL LAW (CHISINAU): PROJECT TITLED TRAINING INTERNATIONAL LAW TEACHERS
The project titled Training International Law Teachers was implemented by the Innovative and Social Development Center (Tiraspol). The project partner was the Association of International Law (Chisinau).
This project was aimed at developing teaching international law in higher educational institutions by training law teachers from the two banks of the Dniester who lecture or are about to start a course on international law in higher education institutions.
During the project, the teachers were trained in new methods of teaching international law and standards for human rights protection; a methodological practical guide that will be used for universities at the two banks of the Dniester was also published, etc.
On November 5, 2018, a workshop titled Training and Interaction among International Law Teachers was held in Chisinau. The total number of participants exceeded 45 teachers. During the workshop, the teachers were trained in new methods of teaching international law and standards for human rights protection. The importance of studying international law, the use of active, problem-based, and other teaching methods and techniques, the practical orientation of teaching international law, the general legal, special legal, and ideological aspects of teaching international law, the features of the constituent elements of civic education in teaching international law, and solving tasks of civic education in the process of teaching international law. During the workshop, conclusions were drawn that neglecting the methodology of teaching legal subjects had negative results: graduates of law schools had poor language skills and insufficiently mastered other types of oral and written forms of legal techniques, but the most important thing is that the level their legal competence still remained rather low.
During the discussion, the participants had an opportunity to ask their questions, as well as share their experiences in teaching international law.
The participants expressed their hope for further cooperation and joint activities among teachers: such meetings contributed to sharing experience, acquiring new knowledge and skills, and promoting interaction in general.
Therefore, interaction among the experts from the right and the left bank is useful for sharing information on the subjects they teach. This gives them an opportunity to master new interesting interactive teaching methods and share their professional experience.
On November 23, 2018, a workshop on writing international projects in the sphere of education was held in Chisinau. The event was attended by over 30 beneficiaries.
On November 2, 2018, an additional workshop titled Studying and Teaching Human Rights. Experience of Legal Clinics was held in Chisinau (outside the project plans). It was attended by 16 teachers from the two banks of the Dniester.
A manual Public International Law was prepared within the framework of the project. Its authors are Alexandr Burian, Doctor Habilitat of Law, Professor, and Vladlena Lisenco, Doctor Habilitat of Law, Professor. This publication is a textbook on the course of International Law included in the curricula of all higher educational institutions that provide training for students in the specialty of jurisprudence. The manual covers general theoretical issues of public international law, its basic principles and sources, provides a general description of its main branches and institutions, and reveals the nature of international legal norms in the areas of human rights protection, security, resolution of armed conflicts, and activities of international organizations. The manual also considers the role of the European Union, the current integration processes, and includes a topic on gender issues and elimination of all forms of discrimination against women.
The total number of participants in the project activities was 91 persons, 49 of whom were women and 42 were men from both banks of the Dniester. Indirect beneficiaries include over 300 students and teachers of the Faculty of Law of T. Shevchenko Transnistrian State University and over 500 students and lecturers of the Faculty of Law of the European University of Moldova.
8) INSTITUTE OF LAW AND CIVIL SOCIETY (TIRASPOL) AND THE CENTER FOR THE CIVIL PARTICIPATION PROGRAM (CHISINAU): PROJECT TITLED INTERACTION AMONG TEACHERS FROM BOTH BANKS OF THE DNIESTER IN STUDYING AND PROMOTING SOCIAL RIGHTS
The project titled Interaction among Teachers from Both Banks of the Dniester in Studying and Promoting Social Rights was implemented by the Independent Institute of Law and Civil Society (Tiraspol). The project partner was the Center for the Civil Participation Program (Chisinau). Comrat State University (Comrat) also took part in the project.
The main goal of the project was the interaction among teachers from both banks of the Dniester in studying and promoting social human rights.
Joint activities of the project contributed to acquaintance, communication, and interaction among teachers from the right and left banks of the Dniester; as a result, trust among the project beneficiaries increased.
On October 25, 2018, a workshop for teachers on social rights and teaching them was held in Comrat. The topics of the workshop allowed discussing the issues of protecting women’s rights in the social sphere and ensuring gender equality in terms of enjoying the rights related to bringing up children, considering the issues of social protection of the elderly and minority representatives, and analyzing the integration of gender aspects into the curriculum courses on social rights.
A joint discussion among the teachers and the experts from both banks of the Dniester during the workshop helped them establish cooperation and share their experience.
Finally, the workshop participants thanked the organizers and expressed their eagerness to continue cooperation within the framework of academic contacts to improve the quality of human rights education in Tiraspol and Comrat.
The main participants of the project were the lecturers from T. Shevchenko Transnistrian State University and Comrat State University: 29 men and 36 women, including 20 representatives of national, linguistic, and religious minorities. Lecturers from the universities on both banks of the Dniester (about 80 persons) were an indirect target group.
During the project, a study was conducted on social human rights; it was titled Social Human Rights: Domestic and International Legal Regulations. Its results were published in Russian, Romanian, and English.
The publication will be used by teachers on both banks of the Dniester for teaching courses in legal subjects.
The project also included a methodological analysis of curricula and work programs on legal subjects in order to determine the scope of legal and theoretical materials on social human rights. Taking into account the results of this monitoring of observance of social rights and the practice of the supervisory authorities, the essential topics of the developed educational course in Comparative Social Law were identified.
The developed curriculum in Comparative Social Law will serve as the foundation for expanding the institutional basis and modernizing teaching methods in the sphere of human rights on both banks of the Dniester. The results of the study of social rights will be the foundation for creating and strengthening the regional prospects for the continuous development of lecturers from both banks of the Dniester in the sphere of modern proactive methods of human rights education.