some countries have improved, despite the falling averages of OECD countries (and this is already from the averages of individual countries!). But our Slovak organizations also offer excellent comments and solutions.
Let’s look for opportunities to move the country forward and reverse miserable trends. We also have good news.
Today, a slightly more personal post about Rozmanity’s journey and yes, it will also be about PISA results — but a little differently.
When the latest PISA 2018 results of testing the skills of 15-year-olds around the world came out, we were just thinking about founding Rozmanita. From our experiences abroad as well as directly from the field in Slovakia, we knew that diversity is sorely lacking in our schools. We knew that the system was set up so that rich kids and poor kids very rarely went to the same schools. We knew that the impact of poverty on children’s results in school is much stronger in Slovakia than in other countries — schools did not know how to give them the helping hand they needed so that their background did not limit their talents and potential.
We knew that children with disabilities or with a different mother tongue are often not admitted to schools, and if they are, the schools do not have enough support to support them. And we knew that schools don’t have enough support to know how to work with a diverse team so that children learn to appreciate difference and differences and to see the strength in diversity — to see in it new thoughts, other points of view, other ideas, the opportunity to reevaluate your opinion, the opportunity to find out what the world is like from someone else’s point of view, the opportunity to fully develop your creativity and your critical thinking. Unfortunately, being different even then, and even today, too often leads to bullying in schools.
Nature has always prepared for an uncertain future with its diversity, and here we stand for the greatest social changes that humanity has yet experienced and…repressing diversity instead of fostering it as the best source of innovation we have.
PISA 2018 showed that we were not wrong, in addition to the still strongly below-average results of our children. It showed that Slovakia has the most segregated schools of all tested countries (except Peru). Our children do not have the chance to meet children who are different from them at school. And if they don’t meet them at school, then where? If they don’t learn to live together at school, when are they going to? How do we want to build a non-polarized, cohesive, resilient society if our children don’t have the chance to learn it at school?
In 2018, we decided that we can contribute our little bit and together with our partners embark on the journey of Rozmanity. The journey of finding how things could look different in our schools. How could it look if all the diverse children really go there together. And together to find ways to accompany them so that they progress and at the same time enrich each other. And so that they show us a different, new vision of our country.
The first results of the new measurement — PISA 2022 — were released today. Unfortunately, they confirmed that our children are still not sufficiently prepared for the future that awaits them. The impact of poverty on children’s school skills is still the strongest in Slovakia of all (all!) tested countries. And disadvantaged children, as well as the most advantaged ones, are the most separated from their peers in our country (still except for Peru).
Our determination was only strengthened by these data. We look forward to the next PISA results coming out in the coming months, which will focus on creativity — the skill currently considered most valuable in the labor market and for solving the social crises we face. A skill that, according to experts, is best developed in diverse teams.
If you are wondering how you can help, we will be happy if you join us on our journey. It is not without mistakes, it is not easy, but it is a path that, we are convinced, leads to a better Slovakia for all of us.
We will look forward to any supportive response or even your donation so that we can continue on our journey: https://www.donio.sk/rozmanita
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