Active participation of young people is a prerequisite for the quality of making and implementing
policies and decisions concerning young people. Introducing high school students and their
professors with the structured dialogue process and their motivation for inclusion in the current
process is an ideal basis for understanding the importance of youth and decision-makers dialogue
and its implementation at the local level. Since civic education has not yet been introduced as a
compulsory subject in Croatian schools, it is necessary to educate students about democracy,
participation and active citizenship in other ways.
Particularly this need is evident in high school students, since they are on the threshold of age. The basic way of their most natural involvement is
the participation in the work of the school through the Council of Students, but it often does not
function in the way it is legally predicted. Student Councils area form of formalized participation of
children and youth in the education system. Pursuant to the current legal provisions, the Student
Council consists of representatives of each classroom and represent all students of one school.
Furthermore, the Law states that the Student Council participates in the work of school bodies when
deciding on the rights and obligations of students, but without the right of decision. Precisely this
legal provision in practice leads to a deviation in the quality of the student council’s involvement in
various schools. Therefore, it is especially important to alert pupils and school representatives about
importance of youth participation in decision making directly concerned.
The project The School for Dialogue, that will bi implemented in Osijek-Baranja County by the
PRONI Centre for Social Education in cooperation with 6 secondary schools, aims to strengthen the
secondary school community for conducting dialogue between youth (pupils) and decision-makers
(representatives of schools / staff) to make decisions relevant to the life of the youth. The specific
objective of this project is to increase awareness of High School community about the importance of
Student Councils proper functioning and to encourage it to involve the students more actively in the
work of the Councils. We plan to achieve the objectives of the project through the following activities:
During preparation phase, the research will be implemented to investigate level of pupils participation
in their school and the functioning of the Council of Students in the secondary schools in the Osijek-
Baranja County region on a sample of 300 young people aged 15 to 19. Thereafter, six workshops
“Vijećaonice” will be implemented with youth and the decision makers and the final one “Velika
Vijećaonica”. 20 young people (15 to 19 year olds) will particpate at each workshop, and at the final
one 60 young people, 180 in total. There will be 3 decision makers (regardless of age) at each
workshop. At final Velika Vijećaonica there will be 10 schools representatives and 2 representatives
of public authorities from the field of youth work and education. In total 30 decision makers. Each
Vijećaonica will include the introductory educational part (general information on EU Dialogue with
Youth, the Council of Students and its Functioning), and a dialogue between youth and decisionmakers.
All of these activities will be the basis for creating a Guide for High Schools “I am for
dialogue”. This brochure will contain basic information on the functioning of the Student Council, the
scope of work and the way students are involved in the work of the Council. Likewise, students and
secondary school staff in the Osijek-Baranja County will receive basic information on structured
dialogue as a method of dialogue between young people and decision-makers reflecting the direct
possibility of involving young people in making decisions relevant to their own lives, as well as
structured dialogue with youth, on european level.
Project is funded by the Erasmus+ Programme od the European Union.