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Program Update: Roundtable Sturga, Macedonia
Program Update: Roundtable in Sturga, Macedonia
The Eastern Europe & Eurasia Social Legacy Program hosted the Transparent Education Network (TEN) Roundtable in Macedonia from September 24‐26, 2009. Over 50 participants, from seven countries, who are committed to increasing transparency and accountability in education participated in the event. Sessions during the first two days focused on capacity building for participants (including presentations on “Understanding Corruption in Education” and a “Skills Development Workshop: Advocacy to Promote Transparent Schools”) and showcasing the work of the Transparent Education Network. The last day of sessions focused on collectively reflecting on the work of the TEN members and exploring next steps to help sustain the efforts of the local partners and the Network.
Program Update: Armenia, July - 2009
Program Update: Armenia, July - 2009
SLP-TEN Activities in Armenia.

In Armenia, EDC and NGO Center (NGOC) activities are raising youth awareness of the power they have to address issues related to corruption in education. NGOC has been working with youth groups in Yerevan, Gavar, and Vanadzor to increase youth capacity to:

(1) perform advocacy campaigns ;
(2) effectively carry out research, and
(3) provide support for other activities that youth are interested in and that can in turn help address issues related to corruption in education.

Training on conducting research was held in June where youth learned about research methodologies including interview, survey, and questionnaire design techniques to gather and analyze information from their communities and from higher education institutions (HEIs). The goal was to provide youth with a space to gain knowledge and brainstorm ideas in order for them to best identify the main problems related to corruption, particularly in the education sector in their community.

One of the outcomes of this workshop is a questionnaire designed by the trainees that would allow them to gather information to help better understand the perceptions and attitudes of youth and HEIs towards corruption as well as towards anti-corruption efforts. During these sessions, youth shared their knowledge related to corruption in education in their universities and their experiences working towards addressing corruption. Much of the discussion highlighted behavioral norms that should be introduced to prevent and decrease corrupt practices in education.
Program Update: Azerbaijan, June-2009
Program Update: Azerbaijan, June 2009

Simulation Exercises for Azerbaijani Youth

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 Universityand 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 tookon 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 tryand 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.
Program Update: Azerbaijan, May 2009
Program Update: Azerbaijan, June 2009

SLP-TEN Activities in Azerbaijan

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 corrupt 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.
Program Update: Macedonia, June-2009
Program Update: Macedonia, June-2009

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 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 "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 individuals 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 YEFfs 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:

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