12 November 2021
Learning the experience of project partners in Lithuania
To find out the successful experience in the fight against emotional and physical violence among young people, the team of Zemgale Planning Region project LLI-506 “Safe School” and representatives of schools involved in the project went to Joniskis “Saules” Basic school in Lithuania.
Since 2011, Joniskis “Saules” Basic School has been implementing the world-renowned Olweus Bullying Prevention Program, which is designed to improve peer relationships and make schools safer and better places for students. The goals of the program include the reduction of existing problems of student violence and the timely prevention of new situations. The essence of the program is to teach all school staff to notice and recognize violence, as well as to respond accordingly. In Joniskis “Saules” Basic School, not only the school staff but also the students and their parents are involved in the implementation of the program. When the program was launched, the level of violence at school was 28.1%, but a survey of pupils in 2020 showed that it had fallen to 2.9%.
As Joniskis “Saules” Basic School also has a special education department for children with moderate and significant mental disorders, the school operates in the International program for children with special educational needs: “Zipio Friends”. This program teaches how to overcome everyday emotional difficulties such as rejection, loneliness, violence, etc. It helps to understand and encourage to talk about feelings and find ways to deal with them. Children learn empathy, friendship, asking for help and accepting it.
The school also works on the implementation of other programs aimed at the physical and emotional health of students, personal growth, and the preservation of a safe school environment. The goals of the Safe School project are not only to create a safe environment at school, but also to provide students with the knowledge they need outside of it – on the way to and from school, when using internet and learning to develop personal safety skills. Zemgale Planning Region as the leading partner of the project is happy to visit and establish cooperation with an educational institution that cares for the emotional, physical and mental well-being of young people and that works to ensure an appropriate environment and increasing students’ skills.
All project activities are aimed at increasing the understanding, knowledge and practical skills among students and teachers in preventing or reducing various security threats, which in general allows to create a safe and friendly school environment in each of the municipalities. The total funding of the project is 452,585.75 euros, including ERDF funding – 384,697.86 euros.
This article has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The contents of this article are the sole responsibility of Zemgale Planning Region and can under no circumstances be regarded as reflecting the position of the European Union.