Bilingual Education in Poland
Given the current political regime in Poland, education of young people has become ever more important to those who wish to uphold democratic principles and encourage critical thinking. At the same time, to remain competitive, schools such as Splot must innovate and provide attractive options. Bilingual education is recognized as an important way of preparing youngsters for a future in Europe. This project organizes workshops for bilingual teachers from all over Poland as well as supports bilingual education at Splot.
PA Revival in Kharkov Region (Ukraine)
For many years, MTO and Action for Sustainable Society Advancement (ASSA) have jointly implemented several projects in Eastern Ukraine. One of the most successful and significant was Public Achievement (PA) and culminated in a PA Fair in Kharkov in 2008. PA lived on in several schools. The idea for this project came from a recent email from a former participant of the PA project which shows the impact PA has had and the need for its revival.
Over three years ago, John Zola from the American non-government organization Citizens for Engaged Communities, presented Socratic Seminars methodology to a group of local teachers at the Educational Society for Małopolska in Nowy Sącz. Since September 2014, a team of passionate educators, trained by John and his wife Jaye, have been promoting the methodology among teachers in the region.
Before It’s Too Late
Polish and Israeli students aged 14-18 participated in the project. It was initiated by MTO trainers meeting with teachers and students of all the Polish schools named after Jan Karski. The meetings were of paramount importance, as the students were to create a videobook of interviews with the “Righteous of the Nations” or with Holocaust Survivors. All interviews were to be conducted and recorded by the students themselves. This required a high level empathy and patience as well as good camera skills. In the summer, two MTO coaches visited Hakfar Hayarok school in Israel to prepare its students for the project.
In October, a gathering of all the Polish schools named after Jan Karski took place in Nowy Sącz. The teachers and students of Middle School No 14 in Ruda Śląska, Integrated Middle School No 4 in Kielce, Public Middle School No 18 in Łódź, Middle School in Wiśniowa Góra, Technical Vocational School No 8 in Warsaw, and Middle and High Independent School Splot in Nowy Sącz met with the representatives of Hakfar Hayarok school from Tel Aviv, whose honored citizen is Jan Karski.
Anenii Noi: Destination - the European Union
Anenii Noi district is an agricultural region which struggles to engage, challenge and motivate young people to understand the many challenges facing Moldova as it moves closer to integration with the European Union. According to a 2013 Council of Europe report, "A change in culture is needed to ensure that ... youth participation becomes fully embedded in all the different settings of Moldovan society relevant for ... young people”. To address this crucial situation, MTO worked in partnership with the Moldovan NGO “Genesis” on the project “Anenii Noi: Destination – the European Union”.
Public Achievement Workshop
The first activity of this project was a workshop entitled “Public Achievement” hosted by Anenii Noi District Council from May 21–24, 2015. Public Achievement (PA) is the name of a program which in a very practical and natural way makes young people active and helps them to become social entrepreneurs and responsible citizens. In PA people of all ages learn the skills of public life, and discover how, with democracy, ordinary people have the power to do extraordinary things. With the decision to take action and work with others, it is possible to have real, important and lasting impact.