Saturday , 24 February 2024

Loud 'NO' of pupils and actors in school and cyber bullying

For the 8th year in a row, the digital school competition "We say no to school and cyberbullying" took place. This year, the eighth year of the competition, was a particularly difficult year due to the pandemic we are experiencing, where teaching was done for a long time with teleeducation. Despite all the difficulties, we had 139 entries – a very large number given the health crisis. 70 groups consisting of 211 students of the fifth and sixth grades of the Gymnasium, 69 artistic creations consisting of students of all classes of primary school, and 35 teachers from 25 cities and villages of Greece worked together to give us their own perspective on how they perceive the phenomenon of school bullying and how it could cease to be part of our daily lives. This competition is the product of a joint initiative by the International Olympic Truce Centre and the British Council.

At the same time, it carries the approval of the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs, while for its implementation has proved decisive the contribution of the members of the Association of Greek Olympians.

The present at the award ceremony, which this year, in respect of the security measures, took place online, was given by the Minister of Education and Religious Affairs, Niki Kerameos, the Deputy Minister of Education and Religious Affairs, responsible for primary and secondary education and special education Zetta Makri, the Deputy Minister of Sport Lefteris Avgenakis and the MEP and Vice-President of the International Trade Committee of the European Parliament , Anna-Michel Asimakopoulou.

Each member of the 12 best entries (video/presentation & visual creation teams) and the responsible teacher of the team/participation will be awarded with commemorative gifts from the International Olympic Committee. Each member of the winning team, together with the responsible teacher, as well as the students who won the first and second prizes in the "artistic creation" section together with their guardians, will visit the European Parliament in Brussels. Students will have the opportunity to present their work, to tour the premises of the European Parliament, and to get to know the functioning of the European Union and its institutions.

The trip is offered by the MEP and Vice-President of the European Parliament's Committee on International Trade, Anna-Michel Asimakopoulou, and will possibly take place in September 2021, subject to instructions from the European Parliament, due to the coronavirus pandemic

Education Minister Niki Kerameos said: "It is a great pleasure to be with you today. I would like to congratulate the organisers but even more so all the students who participated in the competition, because participation matters more than discrimination. It is important to give a strong message to tackle the morbid phenomenon of school bullying."

The Deputy Minister of Education and Religious Affairs, Mrs. Zetta Makri, stressed that the Ministry of Education, with multiple targeting, is in the fight for information and prevention in the face of phenomena of school violence and intimidation, both in terms of their traditional expression and in terms of their online dimension. In closing he stressed "We stand by our children in every way. We want to keep away anything that can pose a threat to the mental and physical health of children and adolescents. We are uniting our forces for a better and safer future for the new generation."

The Deputy Minister of Sport, Mr. Lefteris Avgenakis, congratulated the students and teachers for their participation and referred briefly to the initiatives of the Ministry of Sport against intra-school violence and against all forms of abuse in sport, school, stadiums, as well as the actions of the innovative Live Sports programme in this direction. He closed his greeting with the message "Break the silence. Speak up, don't put up with it."

Mep and Vice-President of the European Parliament's Committee on International Trade, Anna-Michel Asimakopoulou congratulated all participants in the competition, students and teachers. He stressed that the fight against cyber bullying is at the heart of the European Union's strategy. She was delighted to offer all the distinguished commemorative gifts from the European Parliament, to the winners of the educational trip to meet the European Parliament and wished a good reward with the winners at the European Parliament in Brussels!

The Director of the International Olympic Truce Center, Dr . Konstantinos Filis stated that "Everyone who participated is a winner. They defeated the adverse conditions created by Covid-19, expressed themselves creatively and sent a clear and strong message in all forms of racism and non-acceptance of diversity. The children, assisted by teachers, teachers, parents and guardians, defused part of their accumulated energy in imaginative tasks, worked as a team to overcome difficulties and achieve a unique result. They therefore deserve warm congratulations and our respect." He closed his speech by underlining the great importance of the competition and the intention of the players to maintain it for some time and why not to enlarge it.

British Council Director Anastasia Andritsu said the efforts of pupils and their teachers were commendable. Despite this year's adversity, they cooperated in an exemplary and creative way and sent through their work an essential message against school and online bullying. And we as organizers undertake to help them convey this message to all schools in our country and to contribute together to the creation of more open, tolerant societies.'

The event was also honored with their digital presence by the Olympic gold medalist and President of the Association of Greek Paralympists Grigoris Polychronides, the President of the Association of Olympic Games Participater and silver medalist Voula Kozo manolis, the President of the Association of Olympians and silver medalist Evi Moraitis, the bronze medalist and vice-president of the Association of Olympic Games , the Olympic champions Dimitris Miteloudis, Grigoris Hatsaturian and Dimitris Kafatos.

The presentation of the event was undertaken by Dora Palli, Deputy Director and Head of Educational Programs of the International Olympic Truce Center. He welcomed – online – students, teachers from all over Greece who participated in the digital school competition "We say no to school and cyberbullying" and thanked the leadership of the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs and the Ministry of Sport for their presence at the event. He added that "we are here for the eighth year in a row to applaud children with social concerns and conscientiousness. Children who are not heterogeneous by stereotypes and groupings. Children who want each and every one of their classmates to enjoy the same respect they demand for themselves. What we all need to understand is that bullying is not found in the realm of students' imaginations, but is highlighted every day in a battle of the "next school hall".

The 6th Intercultural Primary School of Eleftherios-Cordelios Thessaloniki took first place with the stop bullying animation team.

They were distinguished in the following order, the 8th Primary School of South Philadelphia, the 9th Primary School of Heraklion Attica, the Greek-German Education and the 1st High School of Kos.

In the artistic creation section the first place was won by Anastasia Tsioutsia from the 2nd day High School of Amaliada, the second place is Fay Stavropoulou from the Greek-German Education, primary school and the third place is Stamatia Galouzi from the 1st High School of KO.

Honorary prizes were awarded to the Greek-German Education for the most artistic work, to the Board of Directors of Astypalaia for the most documented work, to the Stega Schools for the most creative work and to the 6th Intercultural Primary School of Eleftherios-Cordelios Thessaloniki for the most original work.

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