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Conflict resolution for children in schools through mediation and restorative dialogue

February 1, 2014

The participants discussed the prevention of conflicts through the provision of mediation and conflict resolution education and training for children in schools. The main aim of this activity was to promote development of an inclusive strategy, endorsing prevention and promoting effective strategies to reduce conflict and violence in schools and contributing to safer school environments for children and communities. 

“It is true that school violence is present, but action plans with line ministries are under implementation. It is important to put emphasis on collaboration and inclusion to facilitate and orient new responsibilities which aim to produce a strategic partnership. I am convinced that the partnership parent-teacher-student-community and government will provide a new communication and will engage all school stakeholders in solving this problem. as the more projects and such activities are organized the more they will enhance the work of the partners and the commitment of all stakeholders to reduce violence and conflicts in schools” said Minister of Education Mrs Lindita Nikolla during her speech. 

According to data and surveys in Albanian schools, conflicts among children in school environments are increasing. In many cases, extreme forms of conflicts including violence and crime are increasingly evident. According to statistics from the Ministry of Justice, during 2012: the number of 14-18 year old juveniles in contact with law and convicted by the justice system was about 800, while in 2011 the number of juvenile prisoners was around 656.AFCR analysis of surveys and observations made in the primary and secondary schools of Tirana, during the second quarter of 2013, showed that the rate of conflicts has been increasing from 6% to 8% compared with previous years.The most recent survey conducted nationally by the State Inspectorate of Education, published in January 2014, showed that students now feel less safe in school settings. From 1435 students surveyed, 28% of them said they have conflicts with other students and about 42% of respondents said they did not feel safe in school settings. 

During the round table, Save the Children called to authorities to incorporate conflict resolution strategies and approaches in the school curricula and to give children appropriate tools to deal with conflicts.

“Legislation is an important part of reducing violence and conflicts in schools, communities and families. But most important is not just to ban violence in schools, but to provide children with tools and understanding on how to reduce violence and strategies to avoid conflicts within school settings. Save the Children and AFCR’s work has been successful in a number of schools, empowering children to create safer school environments and building crucial life skills. It is important that these approaches are institutionalised by the Ministry of Education incorporating mediation and conflict resolution teaching into national school curricula; complementing academic learning with skills which will help these young people contribute to a democratic and safer future society” said Helen I’Anson, Save the Children Country Director during her speech.

Read the full article.


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