School and Peer Mediation in Bosnia and Herzegovina
The pilot project “School and Peer Mediation in Bosnia and Herzegovina” carried out in school year 2017–2018 brought up outstanding results especially in terms of outputs achieved. In the period concerned 9 teachers were trained for school mediators whereas 90 children attended peer mediation workshops in their schools led by trained school mediators. The pilot project performed on a sample of three preselected elementary schools in Gračanica, Doboj, and Brčko has showed that there is a need for mediation tools to be applied in the school environment. Following also the interest and commitment by the target schools’ directors and teachers it has been decided in joint consent to plan project activities for a consecutive year.
With the support provided by the Republic of Slovenia and the Republic of Korea funds have been allocated to continue with project activities in the school year 2018–2019. ITF successfully signed Memorandum of Understanding with altogether 9 elementary schools from Gračanica, Doboj and Brčko – “Hasan Kikić” Gračanica, “Druga Osnovna Škola” Gračanica, “Stjepan Polje” Gračanica, “Sveti Sava” Doboj, “Milan Rakić” Bukovica Velika, “Milan Rakić” područno odjeljenje u Kotorskom, “Druga Osnovna Škola” Brčko, “Četvrta Osnovna Škola” Brčko, and “Treća Osnovna Škola” Brčko. In August 2018, a 4-day Train of Trainers program has started attended by 9 school mediators that have participated in the pilot project last year. In the same month the first set of mediation seminars and workshops for 18 teachers from new partner schools has been successfully carried out. The second part will follow in the period 29 October–2 November 2018.
After a successful conclusion of Train of Trainers program and two parts of seminars for school mediators the third phase of the project will kick off with the scope to start mediation workshops in the partner schools with the purpose to provide at least 60 pupils mediation workshops in order to educate them for peer mediators. This third phase will take place approximately in the period from October 2018 to March 2019.
Mediation seminars and workshops focus on conflict, conflict dynamic, necessity of mediation and the role of discussion. All this is carried out in local language and conducted under the strict supervision of international expert for mediation Mr. Jernej Šoštar from the European Centre for Dispute Resolution based in Slovenia. The project has significant implications for the society and their beneficiaries. It empowers teachers and provides them mediation skills and tools, which they later apply to pupils in classroom in order to independently solve conflict situations among their peers and thus strengthening tolerance, peaceful dialogue and equality. In addition, mediation provides invaluable experience and knowledge, which helps teachers in optimizing their workflow.