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Program Update: Macedonia, May-2009
TEN Activities in Macedonia. Program Update: Macedonia, May-2009

Macedonian youth express their views of Corruption in Education through videos

Since February 2009, as part of the Transparent Education Network (TEN), Youth Educational Forum (YEF) and EDC are implementing project activities to increase awareness and develop the local capacity in Macedonia in order to effectively address corruption in education.

Over 24 university students in Macedonia applied for a small fund provided by the TEN to produce videos to raise awareness of corruption in education. The call for videos was released targeting students across Skopje and was distributed via various mediums including Facebook, YouTube, several popular Macedonian websites and local TV channels. Based on creativity, clarity of message, and effective use of audiovisual technology, the jury selected 4 video proposals to be funded and the videos were produced during the first week of May. Videos will be used to show how corruption impacts university students in their daily lives and will showcase steps that can be taken to address corruption.

The winning videos will be shared with USAID and TEN partners in various countries in the region and will be disseminated through local media in Macedonia including websites and TV channels. A "video premiere" event will be organized in a Skopje Arts and Cultural Center as a way to promote the winning videos and for the youth winners to share their message with a large student audience. The winning video submissions will also be screened at the South Eastern European University (SEEU) campus, an SLP-TEN partner in Macedonia.

It is expected that the call for videos will increase public awareness on issues pertaining to corruption in education and encourage youth to be open and honest, using their creativity to help increase their understanding the challenges that the nation faces in working towards addressing corruption in education.
Program Update: Armenia, April-2009
TEN Activities in Armenia. Program Update: Armenia, April-2009

Since February 2009 NGOC and EDC are implementing Anti-corruption Education in Armenia. The goal of this initiative is to contribute to the formation of active civic disposition and anticorruption behavior among Armenian youth through workshops on anticorruption issues, improvement of youth capacities and skills to provide research in their communities, development of Anticorruption Code of Conduct and Youth Anticorruption Strategy.

On March 29, 2009 the first in a series of workshops was held in Gavar city (Administrative Center of Gegharkunik region in Armenia) covering the Central part of Armenia. About 18 young people aged 18 to 25 and representing various organizations (such as Gavar State University, Youth Club, Martuni "Youth Bank") from Gavar City and adjacent villages participated in the training. At the workshop, participant youth gained a deeper understanding and knowledge about corruption. Topics covered included: what is corruption?; types of corruption; outcomes and impact; approaches to fight it; corruption in Armenia; key stakeholders;current legislation to prevent corruption.

At the workshop, participants were given youth friendly manual kits with this information. The manual waspresented to the participants through various interactive methods. Role play was organized where the participants represented key stakeholders in the struggle to promote transparency in schools: Higher Educational Institution Authorities, Students, NGOs and civil society, and employers (business/ private sector). The participants succeeded in finding cooperation lines between these actors for jointly struggle against corruption. The next workshop is scheduled on April 16, 2009 to be held in Vanadzor (Administrative Center of Loriregion) with participant youth from the Northern towns and villages of Armenia.
Weekly updates
SLP‐TEN Activities in Azerbaijan - Weekly update, June

In Azerbaijan, YUVA has been carrying out various kinds of creative activities including a cartoon competition and different seminars and workshops targeting university youth. In early June, as part of SLP-TEN activities, Azerbaijani youth from Baku State University, Azerbaijan State Technical University and State Oil Academy gathered at the Youth Activity Support Center for a workshop series titled ‘Let your voices be heard!’ The goal was to provide youth with a space to brainstorm on the topic of education and transparency in schools, and whether the current system in Azerbaijan meets youths’ needs and expectations. Much debate and discussion transpired, particularly focusing on the universities that the youth represented.

After much discussion, the youth participated in a role-playing simulation exercise where youth took on various roles representing governmental institutions, youth NGOs, members of Parliaments, international organizations, the private sector, youth experts, and researchers in order to realistically simulate a high level meeting to discuss anti-corruption strategies and policies. Participating in this activity allowed youth to really think about all the stakeholders involved in education policies and to try and understand the dynamics among them. This exercise was also effective in helping youth understand what kinds of anti corruption strategies and polices may receive the most support from the various stakeholders and may be most effective.

SLP‐TEN Activities in Macedonia - Weekly update
Anti‐Corruption Movie Night
Artistic commentary on social issues and public forum for discussion

Youth in Macedonia gathered at Anticorruption Movie Night to screen the 4 winning short films from SLP’s Transparent Education Network’s call for short amateur films in Macedonia with the topic “Anticorruption vaccination.” These films, produced by students, aim to raise awareness on corruption in education. Movie Night was organized by EDC’s partner Youth Educational Forum and took place in Skopje’s ‘Mala Stanica’ cultural center on May 21, 2009. The event, which was called a “huge success” by organizers and attendees alike, was promoted on national TV and radio stations. The high visibility of this activity caught the attention of young people, NGO activists, high school and university students, educators and other interested individ‐
uals and organizations who filled up the venue.

After a welcome speech from YEF, that included information on SLP‐TEN project goals and its international network for transparency in education, the promotional video produced by YEF and the four winning films were screened. The winning films included story lines to highlight that cheating on exams and bribery are severe forms of corruption and may have long‐term consequences. Each of the film producers shared a brief summary of the video, followed by a Q&A session to encourage informal discussions between the producers and the participants. The goal of Movie Night was to raise awareness among youth of the power they have to reduce corruption in education. This was well summarized by Slavica Anastasovska (one of producers) in her speech: “we can achieve better education quality just if we (the students) fight for zero corruption and 100% transparency”.

Part of the success of Movie Night is due to YEF’s creative strategy to promote and announce the call for videos, which incited action from the Macedonian youth to serve as support for institutional changes. The video contest was open for 15 days during which 24 students applied with 27 scenarios.

The videos can be seen here:

SLP‐TEN Activities in Armenia - Weekly update

During April and May 2009, 30 youth (aged 18‐25) from various higher educational institutions and organizations of Vanadzor and Yerevan cities and adjacent villages participated in SLP‐TEN series of workshops on corruption in education. NGOC hosted the forums where youth shared their varying opinions about corruption including the ideas that corruption was part of the culture and that the new young generation may be effective agents of change to reduce corruption. This forum represented a safe and transparent space for
youth to discuss the impact of corruption in education and how low qualified graduates entering the professional world hampers the business, economic and cultural development of it. The purpose of this event was also to keep raising awareness of the various ways in which corruption in schools impact the lives of young people.

During presentations, engaging discussions, and group work, youth brainstormed ideas of how to address corruption. They concluded that the first step necessary in order to tackle corruption was to raise awareness
among the population on the various forms of corruption that persist. Though some youth indicated that they know students who see corruption as a way to benefit in the short term, they highlighted the importance of raising awareness of the longer term negative impacts of corrupt behavior. Towards the end of the workshops, the youth participants declared that the only way to reduce corruption was for each of them to actively take a role in addressing corruption, which is the reason why they are part of the SLP‐TEN activities
in Armenia.

SLP‐TEN Activities in Azerbaijan - Weekly update

Since February 2009, EDC is working with Azerbaijan‐based YUVA Humanitarian Center to increase awareness and strengthen the role of youth to address corruption in education in the Caucasian country. SLP‐TEN activities to promote transparency in higher education are building on existing efforts by student groups campaigning for integrity in universities.

SLP‐TEN activities during the first few weeks of implementation have focused on building the network of youth interested in these issues. To accomplish that, the project conducted focus group discussions and meetings with students to openly discuss concerns related to corruption in education, particularly as they relate to bribery –which is among the corrupt practices that students are more exposed to. The general opinion was that corruption was part of daily life in Azerbaijan and that students partake in cor‐
rupt activities partly because they see that others are doing it, thus, becoming a vicious cycle. In the discussions, youth participants expressed their interest to be part of the TEN as a way to begin to addressing these systemic issues starting with individual actions and most immediate circles and expanding outward.

SLP‐TEN capitalized on the focus groups and discussion forums to educate youth with general information about corruption in education causes and effects, the various forms of corruption, and most importantly how we can begin to address corruption.

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