February 2011 | “Right 2 Learn?” Workshop 1 A Fruitful Success!

Yes, you heard it! Workshop 1 kicked off the season amazingly, with more than a full house and lots of activity. Here are some of the beautiful people who came along and took part:

More photos here…

We also got some lovely press releases out, summing up the whole beautiful weekend which you can read by viewing this whole post🙂

An inspirational group of young people voiced their views on education last weekend in a creative workshop organized by the μηλιά group at the Polidinamo Cultural Space of Nicosia near Famagusta Gate.

While  the Ministry of Education trains its teachers for the curriculum review, and launches the National Educational Fair in Nicosia this weekend, the  µηλιά workshop showed just how much the students themselves have to say and contribute to these changes, through open exploration and expression on their own learning experiences. Participants’ proposals were characterized by an overpowering desire to feel comfortable to express their opinions in the kind of environment they enjoyed at the µηλιά workshop.

The young students stressed that they would like their schools and teachers to be more  approachable and  adaptable to their needs as learners, and for there to be more choices in their education system. Interactive lessons that would accommodate a range of learning styles and support apparently ‘weaker’ students to shine as well, were thought to be lacking in our schools. The two-day workshop was led by Cyprus Youth Council trainer Polymnia Tomasidou, who quotes an African proverb to explain the group’s motivation for running the workshops: “if you want to know where the shoe hurts, ask the person wearing it!”

Ms. Tomasidou skillfully facilitated the young participants to engage with education as a human right, as well as to explore their individual  learning and thinking styles. Teamwork was encouraged for the participants to make their own proposals for changes in education through promotional campaign film clips on the right to learn. The young people also had the opportunity to hear about real case scenarios in a range of  educational environments around the world from guest speakers Nicholas Papachrysostomou  – who has just completed a seven-year journey around the globe, teaching and learning in a diversity of circumstances- and Joseph Varughese,  the Director General of the Nicosia based UNCRC Policy Centre, “Hope For Children”. Organizers said they were overwhelmed by the interest for the workshop and by the young people’s potential.

“We could only accept 20 participants for this workshop, but so many more showed interest”, said  µηλιά project leader Maria Papagapiou.  “It was really inspirational for us to see these young people so stimulated and creative on this theme. We’re even more motivated now to provide such opportunities to as many young people as we can across the island.”

The µηλιά project is made up of a group of young people motivated to create alternative and community experiences that enrich the individuals involved and society as whole. They plan to run three more weekend workshops  on the “Right 2 Learn” theme, in Nicosia, Limassol as well as rural areas over the next weeks. The “Right 2 Learn” initiative is funded by the European Union’s ‘Youth In Action’ programme.

If you would like to read this in greek, click here!

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