Students of the 5th lyceum of Patras prepared a draft "Declaration for a Democratic School" and presented it in the international conference on "Janusz Korczak's pedagogical ideas", organised in Patras on October 24-25 2019 by the Department of Educational Sciences and Early Childhood Education of the University of Patras. Academics, educators and specialists on children's rights took part in this conference.
The students worked together to prepare the draft Declaration, with the support of their teacher Sophia Sideris and George Moschos, founding member of InArt12. They were first informed, during their lessons, about the work and the ideas the Polish-Jewish doctor and educator, the pioneer of child rights, and the International Convention on the Rights of the Child.
They were based on relevant texts and 4 axes of rights:
- Education - attractive school
- Free expression of opinion - participation in decision making
- Non-discrimination - equal treatment
- Protection against any form of violence and internet risks.
A delegation consisting of 15 students from 5th Lyceum presented the draft Declaration containing 30 articles. This was followed by comments by the president of the Institute of Educational Policy Gerasimos Kouzelis and other participants, who linked this action to the principles of Korczak, who insisted on the obligation of adults to respect to children and listen to them.
InArt12 plans to collaborate with the Directorate of Secondary Education and high schools in the region, to complete the consultation on the Declaration, involving students from various schools. They will be asked to contribute to the final formulation and adoption of the Declaration, which will happen during an event to be organised during the current school year.
The draft Declaration presented during the conference begins with the following words:
"We are dreaming of an attractive school, a school that we love and that loves us. A school that will emphasize on the cultivation of values and critical thinking; in communicating, collaborating and gaining positive experiences.
We want a non-discriminatory school, with a friendly atmosphere of cooperation, with good relationships between students and teachers. That will include us all, regardless of our abilities and characteristics, without any kind of discrimination.
A school that will treat us as equal members, that will listen to us and respect our opinion and personality, protect and inform us and provide us with interesting and interactive learning.
Where all of us will have an active rather than decorative role, and feel real joy in it .... "