Press release: Improve your school

23. 04. 2024
Author: Zuzana Novotná

Press release: Improve your school

The project "Improve your school" is intended for secondary schools established in the South Moravian region, which, thanks to it, have the chance to receive a subsidy of CZK 36,000 for the school's participatory budget. Within the budget, the students themselves propose, select and implement the activity that they contribute to the development of their school. The program develops financial literacy, critical thinking, presentation skills and civic engagement of high school students. It was created thanks to the cooperation of the South Moravian Region, the South Moravian Agency for Public Innovations JINAG and the city of Brno. The event is included to the activities of the project Zdravý kraj and local Agenda 21. Deputy Governor of the South Moravian Region Lukáš Dubec came up with the idea.

"The best ideas are those that are not limited by the idea that something is not possible. Young people have in this regard, there is a significantly greater potential to move things forward, and we want to show them that ideas do not have to remain only on paper," explains Deputy Governor Lukáš Dubec, who is also in charge of participation and openness projects within the region in addition to the environment.

"The most appropriate way to create an active society is to involve people from student years. The first year already showed that our students have a desire to improve their surroundings and work on its development. A total of six schools participated in the pilot year, which will be followed by a number of others this year," adds South Moravian councilor for education Karel Jurka.

The project was inspired by the participatory budgets of the city of Brno for primary schools. "I am very happy that the expected expansion of the participatory budget was realized in primary schools and secondary schools. I am equally excited that the city of Brno could offer its know-how and thus be a role model for schools in our region," said Petr Bořecký, Brno city councilor for the area of participation.

"I am very happy that the South Moravian Region has embarked on this project, and I think it is a great result of the cooperation between the South Moravian Region and the city of Brno. The participation of pupils in Brno has proven to be excellent for us and motivates the future activity of local residents, which is for the development of the municipality and region," added Filip Chvátal, deputy mayor of the city of Brno.

The design and implementation of the project was handled by the South Moravian Agency for Public Innovation JINAG, whose goal is to support innovation and development of cities and towns in the South Moravian Region. "Implementation of the school's participatory budget is a great opportunity for South Moravian secondary schools that want to involve the students themselves in their activities. Together, students come up with how they would improve the school environment or teaching, what is important and necessary for them. They learn to cooperate, to listen to the opinions of others, to look for common solutions and agreement," says domain specialist for participation Dagmar Peřinová.

Each school involved in this project will receive a maximum amount of CZK 36,000 from the budget of the South Moravian Region for the implementation of student projects, while the applicant's participation is not required. An amount of CZK 30,000 has been allocated to support projects aimed at school development. Another 5,000 CZK are the personal costs of the school's participatory budget coordinator and the remaining CZK 1,000 is intended for rewards for the proponents of the winning or winning projects.

What these funds are spent on is up to the students. Pupils themselves suggest what they would like to improve their school or teaching. For example, they can think about new classroom equipment, organize an interesting excursion or set up a relaxation room. Proposals will be submitted by the school management
for assessment and then present them to other students. They then use online voting to choose the winning idea, which will be implemented in the given school year. Engage of course, teachers and students can also help with the project proposal and its presentation.

In the school year 2023/2024, the pilot phase of the project took place, in which six secondary schools took part, namely the Střední zdravotnická škola a Vyšší odborná škola zdravotnická Znojmo, Střední pedagogická škola Boskovice, Střední škola polytechnická Kyjov, Gymnázium, obchodní akademie a jazyková škola s právem státní jazykové zkoušky Hodonín, Gymnázium a Jazyková škola s právem státní jazykové zkoušky Břeclav a Střední škola grafická Brno.

"Our school wants to raise enterprising graduates who will not only criticize, but will try to change something for the better themselves or organize an event. Project Improve your school is a suitable way to contribute to this," said the director of SŠP Kyjov Petr Koiš.

The students also participated in the graphic design of the project's logo and overall visual identity as part of a competition among students of the Brno High School of Graphics. The jury consisted of representatives of the JINAG agency, the South Moravian Region and pilot secondary schools. The winner of the competition was student Barbora Kmetíková.

The acute phase of the project will be launched in September 2024, all secondary schools established by the South Moravian Region can apply from 18.4.2024 to 5.5.2024 via the website