The coronavirus pandemic has moved education online, but has not stopped the global interest towards KiVa Antibullying Program. A new extension agreement has just been made in New Zealand and the use of this antibullying program is currently negotiated in the Middle East and South East Asia as well.
The KiVa Antibullying Program, active since 2006, has more than 13 licensed, international partners, and these partners have KiVa schools in 17 countries. The program is active in more than 40 percent of comprehensive schools in Finland.
– In New Zealand, our partner is Victoria Link Limited under the Victoria University of Wellington. They are in charge of spreading the KiVa Program across the country and supporting the local KiVa schools, says International Program Manager Johanna Alanen.
– This five-year extension agreement, as well as the other on-going negotiations on similar agreements confirm that KiVa brings concrete benefit and success to our partners. The negotiations in the Middle East and South East Asia prove that there is a global need for the KiVa Program. Preventing bullying and furthering well-being is not only a western challenge or goal, states Alanen.
New Trainers for KiVa Program Now Instructed Online
During autumn, Johanna Alanen and the Program Coordinator Anna Murgo have trained new KiVa instructors together with researchers from the University of Turku. The instructors then train and support teachers and staff to utilise and apply the KiVa Program in their own countries. This “Train the Trainers” instruction was executed for the first time entirely online.
– We have been organising these trainings in Turku for seven years, and during the one-week period the group becomes a tight community. Conversation, peer support, and benchmarking the customs of one’s own country, culture and school is essential in this type of training. We worried beforehand how all this is going to work out via remote connections. In the end, online training fully succeeded all our expectations! The participants were active, we had a good team spirit, and we were given excellent feedback, tells Murgo.
Tools and Motivation from Training to Promote Well-being at Schools
One of the participants in the training was Karen Caerlens, a biology and science teacher from the European School of Brussels. The training gave Caerlens tools and motivation to tackle bullying and promote well-being at their school.
– For me, online training was the only option to participate in instruction because of the coronavirus situation and family reasons. The training gave me tools and rekindled motivation to tackle bullying, and promote the overall well-being at our school, tells Caerlens.
– I hope that we can use the KiVa Antibullying Program in our school, and foremost, create ourselves a school atmosphere that lives up to the values and ideology of KiVa!
– I hope that we can use the KiVa Antibullying Program in our school, and foremost, create ourselves a school atmosphere that lives up to the values and ideology of KiVa! Karen Caerlens concludes.
Text: Kati Kaarlehto
Translation: Maija Siukonen
Pictures: Shutterstock/KiVa Programme, Karen Caerlens