The project “Democratic School Culture” has been actively raising awareness of the importance of inclusive education and democratic school culture in Montenegro. The Ministry of Education of Montenegro has joined these efforts and decreed the celebration of an “Inclusive Day” on 11 October.
This year’s celebration took place at the Central Square (Trg nezavisnosti) in Podgorica. Around 200 students, teachers, parents, members of the teams from the 25 pilot schools and volunteer students from the Teaching Faculty gathered together for the celebration.
The event started with welcome speeches by Arijana Nikolić-Vučinić, Director General of the Directorate for Pre-School, Primary and Inclusive Education of the Ministry of Education, Plamena Halacheva, Head of the Political, European Integration and Trade Section at the EU Delegation to Montenegro and Angela Longo, Head of Operations of the Council of Europe Programme Office in Podgorica. The speakers welcomed the participants and emphasised the importance of learning about democracy and of fostering respect for diversity at school level.
“Zvjezdice”, a popular children choir, performed well-known songs on friendship and childhood. The students delivered a performance with appealing messages written on posters. All the performers were dressed in four colours (red, blue, green and orange) to symbolise values, attitudes, skills, knowledge and critical understanding – the four types of competences included in the Council of Europe’s Framework of Competences for a Democratic Culture (CDC).
A great number of citizens visited the stands of the pilot schools where students and teachers presented their community projects on the CDC Framework, publications, artistic items and videos, and performances. Teachers and schoolchildren discussed with visitors of their stands and engaged in peer exchanges with representatives of other schools.
In addition to the celebration in Podgorica, many pilot schools celebrated the day at their own premises.
This project is part of the framework Horizontal Facility for Western Balkans and Turkey, co-funded by the European Union and the Council of Europe, and implemented by the Council of Europe.