Respect: Stronger Together: Vienna launches major prevention program

Good education, means a prosperous and good future, civilization of people and nation.
The city of Vienna, which named world’s top city for quality of life, attaches great importance to the quality education sector.
The mayor of Vienna, Dr. Michael Ludwig and the Greens leader and municipal council Birgit Hebein announced in a press conference held on Tuesday launches a major prevention program for Vienna’s schools with special challenges. The development of the program will be accompanied by independent integration expert Kenan Güngör.

Behind the program “Respect: Stronger Together Stronger” is the idea to conclude a common alliance for respect between teachers, pupils and parents. This is intended to meet the challenges of everyday school life: devaluation based on gender, origin, sexual orientation, religion or belief, prejudice, bullying, tensions and conflicts in the classroom, experience of discrimination or hatred in the net.

The aim is to link youth and integration work as well as women’s and girls’ promotion more closely with the school in a permanent and cross-administrative program. Thus, the city sets the same educational as well as integration and women’s political accents.

The aim is to strengthen girls and boys in a targeted manner, to support educators in dealing with the manifold problems of young people and to involve parents as central educational partners. The program is therefore aimed at all school partners with target group-specific offers and is carried out in schools with high social challenges.

The program is being developed under the responsibility of the City Councilor for Education Jürgen Czernohorszky and Women’s Councilor Kathrin Gaal with the Child and Youth Services (MA 11), the Youth Department (MA 13), the Integration Department (MA 17), the Women’s Service Vienna (MA 57) and the Education Directorate will be tested, evaluated and rolled out during the 2019/20/20 school year in New Middle Schools and Polytechnic Schools in a pilot phase.
Program for all school partners

“The prevention program is based on the conviction that pupils, teachers and parents are stronger together as school partners. With it we want to support all school partners according to their needs best possible “, emphasized mayor Michael Ludwig.

Birgit Hebein, top candidate Green Vienna: “Schools are the place with the highest diversity. This creates a lot of constructive, but at the same time also friction points can arise. We want to look right where it hurts sometimes: to where there are tensions, discrimination and devaluations in the social or religious sphere, in the gender roles or elsewhere. To tackle these problems at the root and solve them, without racial mock debates, we want to achieve this with the prevention program presented today. ”

Integration expert Kenan Güngör: “Schools are one of the central places where sociol-cultural, linguistic and religious plurality becomes visible and tangible. It is the norm at our schools and not the exception. Therefore, our schools must be strengthened so that they can handle the qualities as well as the dark side of this plurality well. To meet the ideological, religious-cultural problems in the schools, it requires a coexistence of education partners and not play against each other, as is often the case. ”
Offers to empower girls and boys as a priority

The focus is on the school as an education, development and shelter for students. The program should include measures and projects that help students recognize and perceive their individual strengths. It should provide space for exchange, questions, concerns, conflicts and problems as well as inform girls and boys about counseling offers.

Pupils should be able to learn and develop in a respectful, equal, non-violent, fearless and non-judgmental environment. The different realities of life of girls and boys have to be included. Girls are still confronted in our society from an early age with role stereotypes and corresponding expectations. Even boys often get to hear what “typical male” is and what is not. In addition, there are traditional role models of different socio-cultural milieus. Here, however, it is important to support girls and boys regardless of their social, cultural or religious background in a self-determined life and to expand their scope of action. The aim is therefore also to develop positive role models for girls and boys – as a counterpart to often existing gender clichés.

For a successful cooperation, it also requires the involvement of teachers and parents.

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