According to a report prepared for a research commissioned by the Coalition for Student Councils in 2016, most pupils and teachers in Poland do not know what a student council is and what its goals are. Our research results indicate that in our home Gorlice district (Małopolskie province) the vast majority of student councils do not fully realise their potential; only 28% of pupils surveyed believe that a student council board can decide on its initiatives independently, and as many as 75% of the respondents claim that in their schools there is a problem with a small number of candidates willing to run for the council. As far as we know, no council cooperates with local authorities or fellow student organisations, while most council supervisors have never taken part in relevant training.
We will address these problems by organising a cycle of workshops for 30 representatives of student council boards and their supervisors from the Gorlice district. Together they will diagnose their needs, work on new initiatives, develop a plan to implement them, and learn more about the principles and good practices of self-governance. We will organise a debate for student council representatives to discuss their needs, goals and ways in which they could function. In three selected schools we will implement a student budget. We will make a study tour to the Youth Association of the Płużnica commune, which is our project partner, and which has inspired us with its initiatives for youths and which has shared its experience. It will help participants generate new ideas for their schools. Finally, youths along with the Moszczenica Community Council will develop the plan of cooperation between the Student Council and local authorities.
The second partner to our project is the John Paul II School Complex in Staszkówka that will allow us to organise meetings in their classrooms and will facilitate contact with youths and supervisors.