Genesis Project and UNICEF BiH cooperation on the project:
«Mine Risk and Small Arms Education in primary schools throughout BiH»

Report on the implementation of the Activity 1: MRE/SALW training for schoolteachers






 

We have conducted MRE/SALW training for schoolteachers in following primary schools:



Short summary:
During this period Genesis Project has organized 10 trainings in 10 primary schools (6 primary schools in Una-Sana canton and 4 primary schools in western part of Republic of Srpska). In total 300 schoolteachers participated in the training.

Part of schoolteachers (100 persons) who participated in the trainings was also included in the Evaluation: pre and post testing activity with goal of measuring the increase of knowledge before and after their participation in the educational activities. The following results have been gathered:



Activity:
Evaluation of the level of knowledge, attitudes and perception amongst schoolteachers on the danger of landmines and small arms and light weapons (SALW)

Pre-testing activities
On each MRE / SALW training for schoolteachers, Genesis Project has organized and implemented pre-testing of levels of knowledge, attitudes and perception amongst group of 10 schoolteachers on the danger of mines and light weapons. In total, 100 schoolteachers participated in this activity. 

Results of pre-testing activities:



Post -testing activities
During first visit to primary schools after the MRE / SALW trainings, Genesis Project has organized and implemented post-testing of level of knowledge, attitudes and perception amongst same groups of 10 schoolteachers on the dangers of mines and light weapons. In total, 100 schoolteachers participated in this activity. 

Results of post-testing activities:



Conclusion of evaluation team:
After comparing the results of pre-testing and post-testing and after observing results of interviews with schoolteachers, we have learned the following:

  • During pre-testing activity participants (schoolteachers) gave 51.8% of correct answers and 48.2% of incorrect answers.
  • During post-testing activity participants (schoolteachers) gave 94.4% of correct answers and 5.6% of incorrect answers.
  • Interest of schoolteachers in work with children on MRE and SALW depends exclusively upon personal motivation of particular schoolteacher. Although, through regular school curricula schoolteachers are obliged to work on MRE and SALW education with children, school practise is the other way around.
  • Majority of schoolteachers possess basic knowledge on mines and UXO’a, no matter if they are from urban or rural primary schools.
  • Biggest mistakes were made on answering the following questions: 
  • In case we spot suspicious object in/on the ground, it will be best to turn around and go back using the same footprints?
  • To be better protected from mines, we should learn about all types of mines and ways of activating and deactivating them?
  • Light weapons are made for?
  • Majority of schoolteachers in targeted primary schools emphasized the need for additional education on MRE / SALW and need for better and more ‘user friendly’ educational material on MRE and SALW.
  • Workshops with schoolteachers on MRE / SALW proved to have a  positive shift in relation to all previous attempts in work with schoolteachers (according to statements of directly targeted schoolteachers)

Following results were achieved:

  • increased level of knowledge among trained schoolteachers about:
    • landmine situation in BiH
    • ways of integrating MRE/SALW topics in regular school curricula and every day school classes
    • necessity to organize continuous education in primary schools on  MRE/SALW topics
    • use of available MRE/SALW materials during regular school classes (HI MRE Handbook, Genesis Project materials, etc.)
    • advantages of peer-education methodology
    • goals of the project, expectance, experiences.
  • increased level of interest among schoolteachers in project selected topics
  • increased level of readiness and willingness to take active role in organization and facilitation of future MRE and SALW education.

During training, schoolteachers received basic knowledge on general didactical–methodical instructions for realization of MR&SALW education in schools. We introduced schoolteachers to the basic and most important facts of peer education and active methods of learning. Through this activity, self-sustainability of project will be achieved. We opened communication channels as to which way teachers can  implement MR&SALW education in schools by utilising their everyday school curriculum,. We showed teachers which way MR&SALW education can be realized in every class.

All these results are confirmed by an external evaluator. According to the external evaluator report, schoolteachers have a very positive opinion about our method of work emphasizing that they have learned a lot in a creative, interactive and non-stressful manner. Please, see enclosed external evaluator narrative report.



Report on the implementation of the Activity 2: MRE/SALW workshops for MRE/SALW Groups

Genesis Project has conducted 120 MRE/SALW workshops for MRE/SALW Groups, in 10 targeted primary schools (above listed).
In selected schools, Genesis Project has conducted following activities:



Short summary:
During reporting period Genesis Project has organized 120 MRE/SALW workshops for MRE/SALW Groups in 10 primary schools (6 primary schools in Una-Sana canton and 4 primary schools in western part of Republic of Srpska). In total 76 schoolteachers participated in the workshops. In total, Genesis Project has conducted 6 workshops for MRE/SALW groups per primary school.

Following results were achieved:
Through 6 conducted workshops, MRE/SALW groups have discussed the following issues and increased their knowledge on the following topics:

  • necessity for intensification of cooperation between schools and local community,
  • sharing of information in relation school-local community and opposite,
  • mapping of landmine situation in local community,
  • integration of MRE/SALW topics into regular school curricula using Genesis Project materials and, HI MRE Handbook,
  • coordination of activities for implementation of future MRE/SALW actions in schools and local communities,
  • organization, coordination and monitoring of activities within primary school with educated peer-educators.  

All these results are confirmed by external evaluator. According to the external evaluator report, schoolteachers have emphasized very positive feelings regarding workshops. They said they learned a lot, in a creative, interactive and non-stressful way. Schoolteachers also reported to the external evaluator that some previously implemented MRE projects had (now they can see with hindsight) the wrong approach since individuals were coming to primary schools and, in some cases, were showing to pupils how to dismantle a bomb or a mine. Schoolteachers explained to external evaluator that in the majority of targeted locations, during MRE/SALW workshops, representatives of local communities were present. In locations where this cooperation was successfully established, a higher level of consciousness about the necessity to jointly resolve problems (together by schools and local community institutions) was developed. In locations where representatives of local communities were not participating in the MRE/SALW workshops, idea about the necessity of a more proactive school role was developed. In general, teachers have developed a higher level of consciousness about the dangers from mines and SALW and have learned useful methods of integrating these topics in regular school activities. Please, see enclosed external evaluator narrative report.

Report on the implementation of the Activity 3: MRE/SALW trainings for students of Teachers faculties

Genesis Project has conducted 10 MRE/SALW trainings for students in 5 following teachers faculties:



Short summary:
During this period Genesis Project has organized 10 MRE/SALW trainings for students of Teachers faculties in 5 faculties. In total 801 students participated in the trainings.

Following results were achieved:

  • increased level of knowledge among trained students about:
    • landmine situation in BiH
    • ways of integrating MRE/SALW topics in regular school curricula and every day school classes
    • necessity to organize continuous education in primary schools on  MRE/SALW topics
    • advantages of peer-education methodology
  • increased level of interest among trained students/future schoolteachers in project selected topics
  • increased level of readiness and willingness to take an active role in organization and facilitation of future MRE and SALW education.

All these results are confirmed by the external evaluator. According to the external evaluator report, students have explained that they were not interested in participating in this training since they found this topic non-interesting, but the method of work that requires significant participation of everyone present has initiated increased motivation of training participants to take active involvement. Beside new knowledge gained, students have also realized that their previous knowledge was superficial and very often wrong. Students have found the interactive and integrative way this topic is covered very useful (one topic is included in several different school subjects) because this method of work is something they learn during their studies but often they are not sure how it should look a like in practice. Students have shared with external evaluator that they have learned in what way and at which level they should do specific messages in order not to be boring, not to repeat itself too often and not to create contra-effect.

Report on the implementation of the Activity 4: MRE/SALW workshops with peer-educators

Genesis Project has conducted 120 MRE/SALW workshops with peer-educators, in 10 targeted primary schools (listed below).
In selected schools Genesis Project has conducted the following workshops, with the following number of direct beneficiaries:




Short summary:
During this period Genesis Project has organized 120 MRE/SALW workshops with peer-educators in 10 primary schools (6 primary schools in Una-Sana canton and 4 primary schools in western part of Republic of Srpska). In each of 10 targeted primary schools, Genesis Project has formed two groups of children/peer-educators.  Each group of children has passed a series of 6 MRE/SALW workshops. In total 235 children/peer educators participated in the workshops.

Activity:
Evaluating the level of knowledge amongst children / peer-educators on landmines and small arms and light weapons (SALW)

One group of 10 children / peer-educators from each of 10 selected primary schools participated in this activity. In total we had 100 children / peer-educators who were pre-tested and post-tested on their level of knowledge on landmines and SALW.

The main goal of this activity was to evaluate effects and impact of project on participating children / peer-educators. For this activity, peer-educators were pre-tested at the beginning of the project and were post-tested at the end of the project. The same group of 100 children / peer-educators have been pre-tested and post-tested after they participated in peer-education workshops.

 

Primary schools covered with pre-testing and post-testing activities:


 

Pre-testing activities
At the beginning of the project implementation Genesis Project in cooperation with principals, school pedagogues and schoolteachers has organized and implemented pre-testing of the level of knowledge amongst a group of 100 children.

Results of pre-testing activities:
In the table below, we have displayed summary results of answers to questions which measure the level of knowledge and understanding on the danger of mines and light weapons (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 13, 14):


Questions 11, 12 and 15 measure values, attitudes and behavior of children in regard to SALW and they are interpreted as follows: 

  • On question 11: Have you ever been close to SALW? In pre-testing questionnaires, 30% of participants answered YES, 42% answered NO and 28% of participants answered I AM NOT SURE.
  • On question 12: Have you ever heard (or do you know) that someone of your friends brought some kind of SALW to your primary school? In pre-testing questionnaire, 72% of participants answered YES. Out of these participants, 32% of them were feeling unpleasant when they faced SALW, 39% of them were scared and 29% of them were curious.
  • On question 15: In your opinion, should you talk and/or learn about dangers of mines and SALW in your primary school? In pre-testing questionnaire, 22% of participants answered YES, and 78% of participants answered NO.

 

* Pre-testing questionnaires are in “Genesis Project” office and they are available upon UNICEF request. 

Post -testing activities
At the end of the project Genesis Project in cooperation with principals, school pedagogues and schoolteachers has organized and implemented post-testing of level of knowledge amongst a group of 100 children (the same group that were pre-tested).

Results of post-testing activities:



Questions 11, 12 and 15 measure values, attitudes and behavior of children in regard to SALW and they are interpreted as follows: 

  • On question 11: Have you ever been close to SALW? In post-testing questionnaires, 78% of participants answered YES, 12% answered NO and 10% of participants answered I AM NOT SURE.
  • On question 12: Have you ever heard (or do you know) that someone of your friends brought some kind of SALW to your primary school? In post-testing questionnaire, 56% of participants answered YES. Out of these participants, 43% of them were feeling unpleasant when they faced SALW, 55% of them were scared and 2% of them were curious.
  • On question 15: In your opinion, should you talk and/or learn about dangers of mines and SALW in your primary school? In post-testing questionnaire, 81% of participants answered YES, and 19% of participants answered NO.

 

Conclusion of evaluation team:
After comparing tables that present results of pre-testing and results of post-testing, we have learned following:

  • During pre-testing activity children (participants) gave 28.8% of correct answers and 71.2% of incorrect answers.
  • During post-testing activity children (participants) gave 90.75% of correct answers and 9.25% of    incorrect answers.
  • Comparing results from pre-testing activity and post-testing activity we can conclude that a significant increase in the level of knowledge has occurred amongst children after they have participated in our peer education workshops.
  • In pre-testing questionnaire 30% of participants answered that they have been close to SALW. In post-testing questionnaire that number were 78%.  This significant change in percentage of correct answers occurred because of children’s wrong perception of the term ‘light weapon’ (In pre-testing activity, on question: Light weapons are:, 89% of participants gave wrong answers (e.g. pocket knives, swords, iron bar, chains…).
  • On question: Have you ever heard (or do you know) that someone of your friends brought some kind of SALW to your primary school? In pre-testing questionnaire, 72% of participants answered YES and in post-testing 56% of participants answered YES. This decrease in percentage, also occurred due to the children’s wrong perception of the term ‘Light weapons’. 
  • On question: In your opinion, should you talk and/or learn about dangers of mines and SALW in your primary school? Significant change of attitude occurred in answers on this question. In pre-testing activity, 22% of participants answered YES, and in post-testing activity 81% of participants answered YES.
  • After having insight to the above mentioned statistical data, we can conclude that our educational activities with children (peer/educators) have accomplished the goals we set at the beginning of the project.

Following results were achieved:

  • increased level of knowledge on the danger from mines, UXO’s, SALW, safe life styles
  • increased level of knowledge on the peer-education skills and methodologies
  • through this method of work / education we provided children with detailed educational information
  • through this method of work / education, we enabled personal participation and engagement of all participants
  • this method enables self-sustainable MRE education in school through educated peer-educators

Educated peer-educators have also participated in the Evaluation: pre and post testing activity with the goal of measuring the increase of knowledge before and after their participation in the educational activities. Following results have been gathered:
All these results are confirmed by the external evaluator. According to the external evaluator report, pupils are highly motivated. On each question raised they were, almost competitively, trying to give the correct answer. Workshops facilitators fully adopted themselves to the needs of the children, they followed the atmosphere and provided necessary energy, and also they stimulated pupils to give maximum emotional and social involvement. Also, according to the external evaluator, it was very interesting to see how this project fits well to local cultural environment, tradition and local system of values. High point of all workshops is joint presentation (story told in serial of pictures) used to enter that classrooms in which educated peer-educators had the opportunity to show their creativity and express their ideas. All pupils interviewed have told how much they learned and in which ways they will transfer that new knowledge to other pupils through workshops which they will facilitate on their own, but also to their parents and friends. By talking to them, it is obvious that they have an increased consciousness about the dangers from mines and SALW and that they know practical ways of behaving in dangerous situations.
Important:
Thanks to long term cooperation between Genesis Project and humanitarian foundation “Balkan Aid Relief Foundation” (B.A.R.F.) from Great Britain, we have distributed significant amount of educational equipment, educational tools and children’s clothes to children in need in 10 primary schools targeted through this project. Commercial value of this donation was estimated 4000 BAM.

Report on the implementation of the Activity 5: MRE/SALW puppet show

Interactive, educational MRE/SALW puppet show (total duration of 40 minutes) educated children (age from 7 to 11) on danger possed by Mine Risk and SALW.
Genesis Project has conducted 25 MRE/SALW puppet shows, in following primary schools:



 

Short summary:
During this period Genesis Project has organized 25 MRE/SALW puppet shows in 25 primary schools (18 primary schools in Una-Sana canton and 7 primary schools in western part of Republic of Srpska).
In total 2055 children/audience of MRE/SALW puppet theatre performances have participated to puppet shows performances.

Following results were achieved:

  • increased level of knowledge and awareness about MRE and SALW
  • educational messages reached a large  number of children
  • children are educated in an  adequate and creative way
  • interactivity enables the establishment of direct communication and participation of all beneficiaries / children

All these results are confirmed by the external evaluator. According to the external evaluator report, a puppet show is one of the most effective way of educating children aged from 7 to 11 years because it leads to emotional, cognitive and social inclusion. Puppet shows are highly professional, with good quality stage, puppets and very good acting. During the whole show, the audience is actively participating by answering questions raised. Since children of this age are very receptive to this type of education, expert evaluator believes that everything learnt they will be taken to their homes and used  to inform parents.



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