National meeting of principals within the 'Every student will be a winner" project was held on 12-13th of February in Sofia

  On 12th and 13th of February over 150 highly motivated principals of schools, included in the "Every student will be a winner" network, took part in the national project meeting in Sofia. The event was supported by the Trust for Social Achievement. Striving to help every child to become an excellent student, the principals discussed and shared ideas and experience about their best achievements and failures. The common opinion for the "Amalipe" networking was that one could share his experience and receive "help from a friend".

                The two- day event included intensive work in groups about sharing and solving different cases from the school life. The topics were concerning the elements of the project: Student parliaments, Parent clubs, Students at risk of dropping out and Exchange visits. The topic about the early marriages was also revised. The participants shared many achievements from their school life. Each school had succeeded to prepare a clear methodology to detect the students at risk and to attract all the stakeholders to overcome the danger of dropping-out - other students, parents and teachers. "The most important is that all of us understand how important is to fight for saving every student! And we do it!"- said Petya Rusinova, principal of the Primary School in the Selanovtsi village.

Here are some of the conclusions made within the group work:

  • Students, participating in the Student parliaments, are self-driven. They give ideas for different activities and work for attracting the parents in the school life. The Student parliament serves as a corrective of the behavior of students at risk;
  • The Parent clubs contribute for improving the communication process between students, parents and teachers by organizing seminars, meetings, campaign, etc. The organized activities have bigger success, when formal and informal Roma leader parents take part in the Parent club;
  • The schools take care for the students at risk of dropping out. The children are provided with free transport, food and to be involved in extracurricular activities. The schools prepare School prevention programs and work with the following institutions: the Department of Child Protection, the Social Assistance Directorate, the local Mayor or Mayor deputy, the local police, the Resource center, the Center for Social Support;
  • The exchange visits work very well for opening of the Roma groups to each other, hence to the rest of the society. The visits have positive effect over reducing the capsulation of the more conservative Roma groups. The high schools visits contribute for raising the number of students, continuing their education in 9th grade. This is especially effective over the Roma girls.

                The topic about the early marriages was very actual for the participants in the meeting. A part of the shared practices and suggestions were as well: creating virtual group for supporting the girls, common trainings with parents for overcoming those attitudes in the community, engaging education mediators, local formal and informal leaders, etc. Teodora Krumova presented the "Early marriages - culture or abuse" project, financed by the European Commission (General Directorate "Justice"). The main purposes of the project are aimed for researching the situation with the early marriages/cohabitations, early problem detecting within the Roma community. Also, the project provides to test educational modules in schools about overcoming the aggression, recognizing and respecting the differences between the people, recognizing and controlling the emotions, recognizing the problem with the early marriages, aiming to inform the teenagers and children to raise their self-respect. There are materials about 5 topics with rich video and pedagogical data, prepared within the project, to which the schools are interested. Learn more about the project at www. amalipe.com

                The participants thanked the organizers and said they would look for future contacts.

"Very helpful and information in advance were altering during the two days. The experience exchange, the case discussions and the solution search were the foundation of the group work, which in fact was continuing even in the coffee breaks."- opinion of the directors of the schools from South-Western Bulgaria.

Support for Center "Amalipe" is provided by the Trust for Social Achievement Foundation. The statements and opinions expressed herein are solely those of Center "Amalipe" and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Trust for Social Achievement Foundation or its affiliates.