“Safe environment for children in divided and segregated schools in Middle Bosnia canton”
Phase I – Research






 

Background:
The education system in BiH is divided and decentralized on administrative and political grounds. Whereas minimal coordinating power lies within the state Ministry of Civil Affairs, the executive powers lay with the central MoE in the RS and with cantons in BIH Federation, with Federal MoE having weak coordinating role. The systematic reform of the education system in BIH was initiated in 2002 with the Education reform strategy adopted by MoEs and the international community. Despite progress made within the reform process, difficulties and obstacles to the reform are numerous, and are particularly affecting the access to and quality of education. Because of its close relation to issues concerning identity and ideology, the education sector is the most politicized social sector in BIH and easily and often falls victim of ethnic and national interest. As a result, BIH is characterized by the phenomenon of divided schools, most visibly symbolized by the “two-schools under one roof” phenomenon where children are segregated based on their ethnicity or nationality in mixed cantons and areas of BIH. This unique form of apartheid, as it is often called, emerges from national distrust and fear fuelled by irresponsible nationalist politics. The divided schools represent the most explicit form of the divisions within the BiH education system. The complex structure of the education system in Bosnia and Herzegovina and a Constitution that allows for education to be requested in one of the three languages of the ‘constituent peoples’ contributes to the fact that cultural and ethnic isolation is built into the education system. Such segregation is in sharp contrast to existing human rights treaties which have been signed and ratified by the country, in particular the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

Three different studies on discrimination and division in BiH education system (Open Society Fund Soroš, Save the Children and UNICEF) conducted in 2007 and 2008, have shown the existence of an imbalance between hope that Bosnia and Herzegovina society could be better and fear that BiH society could be even worse if anything changes. Save the Children Norway study indicated that one in eight students regularly avoids any kind of joint activities with students from different ethnic groups, whilst every tenth teacher thinks that separate schools should be formed for members of different ethnic groups. Research conducted by Open Society Fund Soroš, “Education in BiH – what we teach our children?” has shown that education in BiH does not prepare young people for life in a multi-cultural society, in the spirit of respect for human rights and is not in accordance with the principles of democracy and equality. Research “Divided schools in BiH”, conducted by UNICEF BiH, show that, in the school curriculum, greater emphasis should be put on the development of tolerance and understanding as generally accepted ethical values. Results of UNICEF research also show that there is a high level of ethnic separation and that this is a clear indicator of fear.

At the content level, there are no school violence prevention programmes or integrated life skills content within the formal primary school education systems. The experience which our NGO Genesis gained working with children and schoolteachers in primary schools during the past 12 years, has taught us that children, in conflict, react with aggression, insults, humiliation and dishonor. Also, our previous experiences tell us that pupils do not have developed communication skills and a culture of dialogue. Furthermore, the research, conducted by Genesis Project team members in primary schools in during year 2007 and 2008 have shown that pupils do not recognize lack of communication skills, culture of dialogue and aggression as problem and as an obstacle in their every day school life.


2. OVERVIEW OF THE PROJECT
Middle Bosnia canton is one of the three Cantons in the Federation of BiH with the phenomena of Two Schools Under One Roof. While working in the Middle Bosnia Canton schools and local communities, Genesis Project staff realized that communication and dialogue hardly exist between children of different ethnic groups and those conflicts are the most prevalent way of solving the problem. We have also identified that the same distance exists between schoolteachers and that no one feels responsible for resolving these problems.
Cantonal Ministry of Education of the Middle Bosnia Canton has recognized Genesis Project as serious and reliable organization with rich field experience and relevant expertise and has sent us official letter seeking our support in planning, organizing and implementing specific programmes in Two Schools Under One Roof in Middle Bosnia Canton.
Genesis Project then discussed and requested support from UNICEF in implementation of this project.
The project was designed in two phases.
The first phase of the project implementation focused on the research in identified 12 primary schools. The purpose of the research is to establish levels of understanding and skills, problem perception and readiness to take action with regards to peaceful conflict resolution among MoE representatives, teachers, pupils and parents with the aim to develop relevant models for school intervention.

Results obtained from this research would inform development of comprehensive project proposal that will focus on the initiation and implementation of the joint activities between two divided ethnic groups.

Second phase of the research will be work in 12 segregated schools on the specific activities designed after detailed research analysis. This phase of the project will be implemented during the period of one school year.

It is important to note that all project activities will be designed and developed with participation from the Middle Bosnia Ministry of Education.

See below for more detailed description of the project activities.

3. DESCRIPTION OF THE NGO/CBO

Genesis Project has continuous cooperation with UNICEF BiH since 1999 year and it is well know UNICEF implementing partner. NGO Genesis has successfully passed the HACT micro assessment, conducted in 2006. NGO Genesis have successfully implemented projects with different international organizations as European Commission, CIDA, UNHCR, IOCC etc

4. PROJECT GOAL AND EXPECTED RESULTS

Overall objective of the project is to create safe school environments in 12 segregated schools by implementing social inclusion models specifically designed to facilitate dialogue, communication and joint action among students, teachers, school management and parents. .

Specific objectives of the first phase of the project are:

  1. To assess readiness of MoE representatives, schools, pupils and parents from 12 segregated schools in Middle Bosnia Canton to participate in a project for peaceful conflict resolution
  2. To assess what is the level of awareness and understanding of the problem in “Two Schools Under One Roof” by respective MoE representatives, teachers, children from 12 segregated schools and their parents.
  3. To analyze data from the research and recommend specific school based programme intervention(s) focusing on the skill development for peaceful conflict resolution

This project contributes to UNICEF Education Annual Work Plan for 2009 –Participation for good Governance Programme.

4.1. Direct output results:
I Phase of the Project

  • Methodology for the research on the levels of understanding and skills, problem perception and readiness to take action with regards to peaceful conflict resolution in 12 segregated schools.
  • Developed (questionnaires and protocols) and tested among children in selected primary schools. Questionnaires and protocols will be developed jointly by Head Researcher and Local Expert (both very experienced in these type of actions).
  • Interviews held with 24 school principals and pedagogues.
  • Focus groups with 96 teachers, 120 children and 120 parents held.
  • Opinion polls/questionnaire for 600 children and 600 parents held.

4.2. Outcome results:

I Phase of the Project:

  • Research report with analysis and recommendations for programme model interventions in 12 segregated schools prepared. Results of the research will show the capacity and readiness among all 12 targeted, segregated primary schools to accept participation in and to allow implementation of the recommended programme models for peaceful conflict resolution and development of communication skills.

4.3. Impact:
I Phase of the Project:

  • Cantonal Ministry of Education from Middle Bosnia Canton is using the research data and recommendations for planning appropriate interventions in segregated schools.

5. RESULTS AND LESSONS LEARNED FROM PREVIOUS INITIATIVES

Since 1999, Genesis Project has implemented many educational projects throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina. During past three years we have been very active in primary schools in Middle Bosnia canton where we have implemented the following educational projects:

  • Year 2006: Thanks to the funding from CIDA, we were in a position to conduct major research (in 39 primary schools from Middle Bosnia canton, Zenica-Doboj canton and western part of Republika Srpska) with the goal of finding out how are gender roles and gender stereotypes formed among children. Among other schools, we have visited 6 primary schools in Middle Bosnia canton (in municipalities Donji Vakuf, Bugojno, Jajce, Vitez and Travnik). Through this research we established our first cooperation with educational institutions from Middle Bosnia canton.
  • Year 2007: Since Middle Bosnia canton Ministry of Education showed significant interest in Genesis Project educational projects implemented in primary schools in Una-Sana and Zenica-Doboj canton, they kindly asked us to start implementing educational projects in their canton. During y 2007 we established cooperation on a couple of different projects (funded by Delegation of European Commission to BiH and UNICE BiH: “Colourful world”, “PAR on SALW” – spring 2007, “PAR on SALW” – autumn 2007) and, in total, we have worked in 20 primary schools among which, some were “two schools under one roof” (P.S. «Vitez», Vitez, P.S. «First primary school Bugojno» Bugojno, P.S. «13. rujan» Jajce, P.S. «Busovaca», Busovaca, P.S. «Kiseljak» Kiseljak).
  • Year 2008: Successful cooperation with Middle Bosnia MoE and primary schools continued also during 2008. During the current year, we have implemented two educational projects (funded by Delegation of European Commission to BiH and UNICE BiH: “Colourful world 2” and “PAR on SALW follow up activities” – spring 2008). In total, 32 primary schools were included in these projects and, again, we conducted some of our educational activities in, so called, “two schools under one roof” (P.S. «Treca osnovna škola» Bugojno, P.S. «Kacuni» Busovaca/Kacuni, P.S. «Kacuni» Kacuni, P.S. «Berta Kucera» Jajce).

Lesson learned from our previous projects are as follows:
During the implementation of these projects, Genesis has noticed that communication and dialogue hardly exist between children that belong to different ethnic groups while conflicts are often appearing between these children. We have also identified that the same distance exists between schoolteachers and that no one feels responsible for resolving these problems. In separated schools we have identified fear from joint actions and programs and suspiciousness that joint actions would lead toward loss of identity. We have also identified that school management, schoolteachers and students do not posses necessary skills that would allow them to conduct joint actions leading toward conflict prevention. Deep distance that exists between schoolteachers prevents communication and does not contribute the creation of safe environment in segregated schools. Schoolteachers that maintain distance toward “other” ethnic group (unconsciously) become role model to their students who than accept un-cooperation as behavior model.

6. GENERAL APPROACH/STRATEGY

General approach of Genesis Project within this project is to work simultaneously on several levels: authorised representatives of Middle Bosnia canton Ministry of Education, school workers, pupils and their parents.

Strategy is to use participatory research and involve all relevant target groups (MoE representatives, children, teachers and parents) and different instruments in order to create relevant and acceptable basis for programme interventions.

7. GEOGRAPHIC FOCUS AND TARGET GROUPS

This project has the following geographical focus:

  • Municipality Kiseljak, Middle Bosnia canton
  • Municipality Busovaca, Middle Bosnia canton
  • Municipality Vitez, Middle Bosnia canton
  • Municipality Bugojno, Middle Bosnia canton
  • Municipality Jajce, Middle Bosnia canton

In these 5 communities there are 12 schools (6 + 6) under 6 roofs.

Target groups are as follows:

  • 12 school principals – participants in the Activity 1 “Interview”
  • 12 school pedagogues – participants in the Activity 2 “Interview”
  • 96 schoolteachers – participants in Activity 3 “Focus groups”
  • 120 children – participants in the Activity 4 “Focus groups”
  • 600 children – participants in the Activity 5 “Opinion poll/questioner for children”
  • 120 parents – participants in the Activity 6 “Focus groups”
  • 600 parents – participants in the Activity 7 “Opinion poll/questioner for parents”

8. TIME FRAME

Project is composed of the following activities:

  • Preparation activities
  • Activity 1 “Interviews with school principals”
  • Activity 2 “Interviews with school pedagogues”
  • Activity 3 “Focus groups with schoolteachers”
  • Activity 4 “Focus groups with children”
  • Activity 5 “Opinion poll/questionnaire for children”
  • Activity 6 “Focus groups with parents”
  • Activity 7 “Opinion poll/questionnaire for parents”
  • Reporting activities

9. DESCRIPTION OF ACTIVITIES

Project will be developed in two stages, each lasting approximately 8 weeks. During the first stage (February – March 2009) all planned project activities in 6 selected primary schools will be conducted. During the second stage (April-May 2009) all planned project activities in additional 6 selected primary schools will be conducted.

Preparation phase:

  • development of the questionnaire for children
  • development of the questionnaire for parents
  • development of interviews (with principals and pedagogues)
  • structuring of group interviews for work in focus groups (children, parents and teachers)

Activity 1 “Interviews with school principals”

  • Half-structured interview that will have list of basic questions (each principal will be asked the same questions). In total we will conduct 12 interviews with 12 principals.

Activity 2 “Interviews with school pedagogues”

  • Half-structured interview that will have list of basic questions (each school pedagogues will be asked the same questions). In total we will conduct 12 interviews with 12 pedagogues.

Activity 3 “Focus groups with schoolteachers”

  • Each focus group will have 8 members. Questioner for teachers’ focus groups will have solid structure in order to enable us gathering of key information. In total we will conduct 12 focus groups meetings in 12 primary schools (96 schoolteachers will participate).

Activity 4 “Focus groups with children”

  • Each focus group will have 10 members. Questioner for children focus groups will have solid structure in order to enable us gathering of key information. We plan to conduct 12 focus group meetings in 12 primary schools. In total 120 children will participate in these meetings.

Activity 5 “Opinion poll/questionnaire for children”

  • Questioner for opinion poll, for children: We will enter 20 classes (600 children in total) and we will ask children to answer serial of questions (in written form).

Activity 6 “Focus groups with parents”

  • Each focus group will have 10 members. Questioner for parents’ focus groups will have solid structure in order to enable us gathering of key information. We plan to conduct 12 focus group meetings in 12 primary schools. In total 120 parents will participate in these meetings.

Activity 7 “Opinion poll/questionnaire for parents”

  • Questioner for opinion poll, for parents: In total 600 parents will be included in this activity and we will ask them to answer serial of same questions (in written form).

Reporting activities: During the month of June 2009

10. PROJECT MANAGEMENT
This project will be implemented by following Genesis Project key-personnel:

  1. Project Manager in charge of overall project management. Project Manager has the obligation to develop plans of all project activities, to make sure that the project is being implemented as stated in project description.
    Project Manager will write monthly reports. It will be the responsibility of Project Manager to regularly inform all key-partners about plans of project activities. Project Manager will contact and liaise with: UNICEF, Middle Bosnia canton Ministry of Education, primary schools (their principals and pedagogues), etc. Project Manager will be in charge of project finances and will make sure that funds are used in full accordance with the approved project budget.
  2. Head Researcher in charge of conducting all research activities in primary schools. By profession, Head Research is professor of psychology and pedagogy and she will make sure that all methods used through this project are adapted to the context of the targeted communities and the situation in segregated schools. It will be the duty of professor of psychology and pedagogy to take an active role in organizing and facilitating all above listed project activities. Head Researcher has significant experience in working in primary schools in Middle Bosnia canton (as well as throughout BiH) and has already gained the trust of authorised representatives of Middle Bosnia canton Ministry of Education. All instruments used during this project will be constructed and developed by Head Researcher, in close cooperation with local expert for research activities.
  3. Head Researcher Assistant will be assisting during organization and implementation of all planned project activities. It will also be the duty of the Head Researcher Assistant to drive Head Researcher to all targeted communities and selected primary schools.
  4. Expert consultant from Middle Bosnia Canton Ministry of education:
    Authorised representative of Middle Bosnia Canton Ministry of Education will be in charge of liaison between Genesis Project, Ministry of Education, and targeted primary schools. It will be his duty to help us prepare the meetings in the schools, to conduct monitoring of implemented project activities and to intervene when necessary in case of any obstacles. We expect his presents during interviews/meetings with schoolteachers and pedagogues.
  5. Local expert – will assist Head Researcher in the process of development all instruments used during the project (half-structured interview, focus group solid structure interviews, questioners for parents, questioners for children, etc.).

11. MONITORING AND EVALUATION

Monitoring will be done on a monthly basis, through field trips organized by Project Manager, in order to do a follow up / monitoring during different project activities.
Representatives of donor agency (UNICEF) will, on a regular weekly basis, receive detailed schedule of all project activities and therefore will be invited to conduct independent and unannounced monitoring controls. Also, during project implementation, monitoring will be done through regular meetings with project coordinators and UNICEF project officer, field visits and local evaluation.

12. REPORTING

Genesis Project will provide UNICEF BiH with final narrative and financial report at the end of the project (report will be submitted by the end of June, 2009).

In addition, Genesis will submit regular monthly reports to UNICEF.

ANNEXES
Budget Excel
(other annexes (budget narrative, M&E framework, HACT assurance plan) will be submitted additionally)


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Divided schools 2009 report ENG


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