Education, culture, youth and sport
#TheFutureIsYours Education, culture, youth and sport in Europe
Between July 15 and august 19, Europe Direct Valletta and Servizzi Ewropej f’Malta, will be delivering 26 interactive sessions for children in Malta and Gozo during Skolasajf - the government-run summer school.
Through the use of interactive material, children will be engaged in discussions to come up with ideas on how they would like to see their future as active EU citizens. The themes chosen for discussions, namely, child-friendly societies, healthy lives, education for life and protection for security, were derived from the EU Strategy on the Rights of the Child.
The objective of these sessions is to give the space to children to put forward their own aspirations and ideas on the future they would like to live in.
Event reportEurope Direct Valletta and Servizzi Ewropej f’Malta, participated in the government run summer school, Skolasajf, by delivering 26 sessions to 9-14-year-olds, between July 15 and August 19, 2021. The sessions, themed, ‘Building tomorrow… today’, reached some 260 children attending 26 centres in Malta and Gozo. Sessions were based on a poster, developed for the purpose - https://sem.gov.mt/events-and-activities/skolasajf-2021-closing-event/ The conclusions and recommendations of the Skolasajf activities were presented to Minister within the Office of the Prime Minister Carmelo Abela and the Minister for Education Justyne Caruana on September 2. Introducing the activity, SEM CEO Mandy Falzon said that the participation of the agency in Skolasajf is one of its main channels of outreach to children during the year. Being one of the entities promoting the Conference on the Future of Europe at the national level, it was timely to offer the opportunity to children to give their views on how they would like their future to be as European citizens. Two children read a declaration on behalf of all participating children. They said that they would like to live in a society in which they feel safe and protected. They would like to be surrounded by a healthy environment with more open spaces and free time to practice sport and to spend time together. Above all, children would like to live in a society in which respect by everyone and to everyone prevails. Children’s recommendations The following remarks and conclusions were drawn up from the children’s feedback: Children do prioritise values • The fact that children were free to choose an aspect which they liked from the poster, giving the reasons for their choice, remarkably brought out the fact that children do have priorities when it comes to their hierarchy of values. This came out clearly when a number of children pointed to the child bullying another one at the back of the poster. In comparison, the teacher and child with books and tablet was much less highlighted by participating children. This may be due to the fact that education and learning are taken as part of everyday life, while undesired behaviour is something that they would like to be addressed. Children are able to identify what is lacking in the society they live in • It is clear from the responses that care for the environment must be a priority in the future. They not just highlighted what actions need to be taken by the authorities, but they also showed that they are aware of what they can do themselves for a greener future. This also brings out the fact that children have a sense of responsibility to their own future and are ready to act on it as active citizens. Living healthy lifestyles also came out as one of their priorities • Several children pointed out to the need for adopting healthier lifestyles, not only by making healthy choices in their eating habits, but also by growing up in a cleaner and healthier environment, including open and green spaces where they can practise outdoor activities. Intergenerational solidarity • Another positive aspect that came out from the sessions was the desire of several children to live in a society where solidarity between generations is upheld and practised. This is shown by comments like, ‘respect the elderly and help them more’ and ‘inclusion of elderly people to contribute to society’. Living in a welcoming environment • Children in their majority pointed to a general desire of living in welcoming societies where everyone, be they family, friends, animals or different groups, feels safe and protected. Children are ready to treat others as they themselves would like to be treated. All in all, the children’s responses can be summed up in one word – RESPECT – a value that tops and encompasses all other values. Children desire to be respected and protected and are ready to respect others so that their future is one in which acceptance and equality are practised and promoted.
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