Bullying has become a globally recognised problem, and has negative effects on both the victims and the bullies, which persists into adulthood (UNICEF, 2018). Many schools and educational institutions are working on tackling this problem, and are emphasising the importance of inclusive education through anti-bullying campaigns. Their goal is to focus on issues related to seclusion and bullying, and encourage positive behaviours, which in turn will foster beneficial change within their communities.
An ongoing EU project called SELAM focuses on these concepts, with the goal being to teach students self-awareness and self-management in order to eliminate bullying, and create a peer support scheme in immigrant concentrated schools. As the Maltese partners of this project, AcrossLimits Ltd has fulfilled its main duties in the project by creating an e-learning platform and digital content for teachers and students to explore, promoting inclusion through digital tools that also contribute to student development
We have also recently held an art competition for students in Maltese schools between the ages of 8-12. We invited students from across all Maltese schools to show us what inclusion and positive multicultural environments at school means to them in an artistic way, and how they would portray these ideas. Various schools participated in this event, with the top three young artists awarded vouchers from a technology store in Malta.
All the entries displayed creativity and concepts of solidarity as one community, which was the aim of this exercise, as it also strengthened the values of inclusion, ‘togetherness’ and ‘equal opportunities’ ideology within the students and schools. Due to pandemic restrictions we weren’t able to go to schools to present the winners with their awards and certificates, instead the students who sent us the top three artworks were invited to our premises where we could present them with their prizes and certificates.
The winning artwork was entitled ‘We’re all on the same side’ by Charlette Saliba from St Albert the Great College, which provided the relevance to the thematic purpose of the project and also portrayed it with technical skill. Charlette’s message behind her artwork is that the world is made up of different people, and that everyone has a heart. Humanity has nothing to do with skin colour.
The second place artwork was entitled ‘You may separate books but don’t ever separate people!’ by Isla Manson Preca and Ana Chetcuti Ganado from San Anton School. The message behind their artwork is to include everyone for who they are, and that even if you are different to someone else that does not mean you should be treated differently.
The third place artwork was entitled ‘Rich or poor, tall or short, we fit together no matter what!’ by Elise Muscat and Hannah Mae Gruppetta from San Anton School. Their artwork represents different races and religions in one picture; all kids playing together. They wanted to show children all having fun together in school.
The SELAM project aims to support the integration of immigrants by encouraging a welcoming and inclusive learning environment for all. The project seeks to undertake the difficulties of immigrant inclusion within European schools through innovative digital approaches such as an e-learning platform and digital guide: both of which will help to support disadvantaged students and possibly prevent early school leaving.
Content Writer and Junior Project Executive at AcrossLimits