The aim of the project is to ensure the improvement of knowledge of the EU, better understanding of the process of Serbia’s accession to the EU, and to ensure the creation and adoption of new values that would influence the establishment of a new model of behavior in schools through education of teachers and students. In this way, the main messages will be sent to the society as a whole, and the active participation of citizens will be ensured, especially the participation of youth who represent important social capital and resource.
The results of the research done in 2014 on how well the students of Belgrade secondary schools are informed about the EU reveal their negative attitudes towards the EU, the existence of a significant level of Euro-scepticism, lack of information and adequate teaching of EU topics. All of the above indicates the necessity for taking further steps towards better education of secondary school students about the EU through greater involvement of all participants – schools, NGOs, government and educational institutions.
Encourage by the fact that youth will be a significant age category in the future referendum on Serbia’s entry into the EU, the need for general and continuous education of secondary school students on the EU with the aim of shaping the attitudes of youth has been perceived, based on concrete evidence. In this regard, the main goal of the project is to educate teachers and students in secondary schools on EU topics. After the seminars which are planned to be held as part of the project, the teachers will be able to implement the acquired knowledge in a simple, interesting and accessible way in the subjects they teach. In this way, favourable conditions would be created for the EU subject matter to be implemented in the teaching process without fulfilling the formal conditions, i.e without changing the existing curricula in secondary schools. Such activities, the aim of which is to arouse the interest of teachers and students, would form the basis for enriching secondary school curricula with EU themes in the future.
The objective of the project will be realized through:
- Dissemination of knowledge and information about the EU primarily addressed to teachers and students, but also to general public through the web platform EUTutor;
- Obtaining concrete information on students’ knowledge of the EU and their understanding of the process of Serbia’s accession to the EU, through research that will be conducted in secondary schools (>600);
- Training teachers and raising their awareness of the importance and values of the EU and increasing their motivation for further engagement in presenting EU subject matter to students, through organizing 9 seminar iterations “Towards the EU-Challenges and Opportunities” for ~50 secondary school teachers in 4 regions in Serbia;
- Informing students on the EU topics through the organization of the EU Info Day, which will be held in 9 secondary schools in 4 regions in Serbia (~1000);
- Opening of a dialogue between policymakers, representatives of the civil society, the academic community and secondary education about the benefits and significance of the European integration process for young people and the implementation of EU topics into the secondary schools curricula at a conference “EU for Youth-Challenges and Opportunities”.