Ukrainian Ceremony on Public Square in Kiev
On 28 May 2015 participants of this year’s Ukrainian history competition presented their projects on a market place in Kiev. Part of this public presentation was also the organising of a flash mob. The prize winners received greetings from the Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine Dr. Pavlo Polianskyi.
In 2015, the Ukrainian history competition “Looking back into History” was held in the framework of the annual social action for Ukrainian school students ”Citizen 2015”. It was organised by the All-Ukrainian Association of Teachers of History and Social Studies NOVA DOBA with the support of the Ukrainian Ministry of Education and Science and it was sponsored by the Foreign Ministry of Norway. The major aim of ”Citizen 2015” was to educate young people’s understanding of the importance of civic participation in solving various problems of the local community.
Petro Kendzor, co-founder of the non-governmental NOVA DOBA association and organiser of the Ukrainian history competition, explains: “Taking into account a considerable civic education component of the history research work of the youth, we have decided to expand the format of the traditional history competition. The main aim of our changes is the involvement of a wider circle of school students in learning history as an “out-of-school activity” by organising such work in the form of an educational project and a public presentation at the level of the local community.”
Participation in the history competition was possible for groups of school students from grades 8-11. The format of entries ranged from exhibitions, booklets, leaflets, books, newspapers, magazines, websites or other kinds of electronic presentations. All participants presented their findings to the public, for example in their school or in a club they belong to or in a library to reach as many people as possible in the local communities. Besides that the participants also handed in written project chronicles with a description of their work process as well as the results of their research work.
On 28 May 2015, 170 participants presented a total of 35 selected/awarded projects to the public in Kiev, including 12 historical projects from different regions of the Ukraine. Most of the historical projects dealt with the Second World War as well as with the “Revolution of Dignity” in 2013-2014. The students did research on the history of local sights, memorial plaques, names of streets or the opening of historical museums for example. They interviewed many eyewitnesses, researched in archives, libraries, museums or galleries.
Apart from the congratulation of the Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine, the prize winners received greetings from the Head of Department of the Ukrainian Ministry of Youth and Sports Natalia Zadorozhniak, the Consul of the Norwegian Embassy in Kiev Thomas H. Leganger Bronder and Prof. Olha Sukhomlynska from the Academy of Pedagogical Sciences.
During the festive event the students and teachers from regions such as Donetsk and Lugansk used the opportunity to share the difficulties and dangerous living conditions under which they had to implement their projects. After the event Petro Kendzor stated: “We hope that during our next competition round Ukrainian children will be living in a peaceful and calm environment conducive to historical research and other social projects.“