The Association Sunce become part of GOOD initiative

United for the introduction of systematic and high-quality education for human rights and democratic citizenship into the educational system.

At the end of 2021, Sunce joined the GOOD initiative. Since 2008, this initiative is bringing together civil society organizations that deal with informal education and human rights, as well as advocacy for the introduction of systematic and high-quality education for human rights and democratic citizenship into the educational system.

As a member of the initiative, we participate in the exchange of information and publications related to GOO topics, we create networks, exchange contacts and find partners for new project applications, we receive information about education and other activities offered in the area of ​​GOO, and we participate in the exchange of experiences. Last year, we participated in an introductory meeting with the coordinator of the GOOD initiative, who introduced us to the work and informed us about the upcoming activities.

Through the activities we participated in, we slowly began to realize that a lot of our work belongs to the domain of Civic Education, such as: implementing programs for service-learning and volunteering actions (participation of young people and active involvement in the local community). Therefore, inspired by new knowledge, we set out to further educate and inform ourselves about this topic. Thus, our employee Miranda Šimac participated in the Expert Meeting: Creative approach in teaching in Civic Education organized by the Forum for Freedom in Education, where through a series of creative workshops she got acquainted with different approaches, methods and tools that can be used in teaching processes in Civic Education.

In Zagreb, 1st of June, at the conference Croatia can do better: Where there is a will – there’s a way, we heard the results of an interesting research on political literacy of high school students (https://wwwadmin.idi.hr/uploads/Prirucnik_pp_2021_7741679a63.pdf) and the preliminary results of the research on cross-curricular implementation of GOO in Croatian schools.

It is interesting to emphasize that the majority of participants in the research see the motive for involvement in political parties as dubious – about 60% believe that among the members of political parties are the people who get involved with the goal of getting a (good) job. Following this, the conclusion is that the majority of young people believe that the political engagement of the party members is motivated by personal and not public interest. The attitude of young people towards associations and unions is more positive. More than half of the participants agree that associations are important for the development of democracy and solving problems in society, and they do not agree that members of associations are idle people, whose goal is to complain.

In the panel discussion: GOO from kindergarten to college: Where there is a will – there’s a way, we heard about the challenges of introducing and implementing Civic Education in educational institutions, and examples of good practices were presented. There was also discussion about the School and Community curriculum (so-called ŠiZ), which is implemented as a pilot program in the First High School of Rijeka, and there is great interest in whole Croatia as well. Lana Golob from the Department of Education of the City of Rijeka shared her many years of experience in implementing Civic Education and introducing it to primary schools (from 5th to 8th grade).

Another interesting panel discussion was on the topic of prevention of Early school leaving. The SKOCKANO system, which was developed through the project of the same name, was presented. It is a system of ensuring the quality of non-formal educational programs, which constitutes a set of standards and criteria, through the implementation of which the organization guarantees the quality of its non-formal educational programs.

As a member of the GOOD initiative, we participated in the activities of the SKOCKANO project and contributed to the achievement of the goals:

• increase the influence of CSOs in the field of non-formal education through the establishment of a sustainable quality system of non-formal education,

• strengthening the capacity of CSOs for the implementation of informal education and the establishment of a quality system,

•  deepening sectorial and inter-sectorial cooperation and strengthening the visibility of the sector.

In addition to the presentation of the system, SKOCKANO received a reward mark of the civil society organizations and individual non-formal education programs. This year, we hope to pass the quality assessment process of non-formal education and receive the SKOCKANO quality mark at the next conference.

The last activity we participated in was a meeting of members of the GOOD initiative, where we had the opportunity to get to know each other, share our experiences, hear what is happening in certain parts of Croatia regarding the introduction and implementation of Civic Education, get acquainted with current projects and examples of good practice of implementing informal educational programs related to Civic Education topics.

The conference and gathering were an opportunity for us to meet colleagues from outside the sector that deals with nature and environment protection, as well as motivation to continue activities related to civic upbringing and education.

Tagovi: