On 21 November 2018, the Council of Europe and the European Union in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, Sports and Youth held the first National Anti – Bullying Day in Albania. Organised for the first time in Albania as an achievement of the joint action “Fighting Bullying and Extremism in the Education System in Albania”, the National Anti-Bullying Day aimed at raising awareness and improving knowledge of the consequences of bullying at school, community and central levels, as well as by the media.
In Tirana, five pilot schools of the Action joined efforts to organize a common programme with the participation of 250 students and teachers who said “NO TO BULLYING”. The event was welcomed by the Head of Council of Europe Office in Tirana, Olsi Dekovi and the representative of the Ministry of Education Tatjana Vuçani, an active member of the Steering Committee of the Action. Ms. Vuçani emphasized the importance of building an inclusive, safe and democratic school culture where diversity is respected, appreciated and celebrated. The entire awareness raising educational programme designed by the schools for the day was intended to disseminate messages promoting values: peace, tolerance, unity and respect for diversity as a means to prevent and reduce the bullying phenomenon in schools.
The event culminated with the planting of 21 trees as a symbol that marked the day of 21 November and the work of 21 pilot schools involved in the project. The trees were planted in the public space entitled “Garden of Friendship” within the Great Park of Tirana.
In addition, multiple awareness raising events were organised in the 21 pilot schools and their communities throughout the country in Dibra, Kukës, Lezha, Durrës, Shkodra, Tirana, Elbasan, Gjirokastra, Vlora, Fier, Berat and Korça. The events gathered school children, teachers, parents, other schools and community representatives to spread the general message that bullying and extremist behaviours are not tolerated among school peers. Information sessions with teachers, students and parents, class activities, screening of anti-bullying movies, discussions with the local media, open debates, comedy sketches, artistic shows and performances were some of the activities organised simultaneously in the 21 participating schools. The events were closely followed and reported by the main media channels in Albania.
The event was organised within the Action “Fighting Bullying and Extremism in the Education System in Albania”, part of the 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.