On the occasion of the National campaign for Informing Youth – “Inform yourself Now” 4 high schools in Bitola (Municipal Secondary Technical School “Gjorgji Naumov”, 19.02.2016, Municipal Secondary School “Josip Broz Tito”, 23.02.2016, Municipal Economical Secondary School “Jane Sandanski” 24.02.2016 and Municipal Secondary School “Taki Daskalo”, 01.03.2016) were visited by two NGO youth organizations: YMCA Bitola and SFERA Macedonia, thus 67 students took part.
The aim of these meetings was to find out information that youth needed, i.e. our goal was to gather information for youth’s needs to inform themselves, all with hope for better information availability in our community.
For that purpose, apart from discussions, a survey was carried out as well.
From the conducted survey it can be concluded that the students do not think they have a suitable access to information, with some expectations (if you are an accredited reporter or …). They also mentioned that they are not using enough the resources that are available so as to be informed. They most often inform themselves in a word-of-mouth way, books, flayers, presentations, meetings, social media, newspapers, TV, radio and claim that the information which is available to the media is not sufficiently objective. Also, the students pointed out that on the Internet they could find information for famous people from other countries, while for Macedonia the information is scarce.
Two out of four high schools have stated that in order to increase youth informing we need to increase the interest, then objectivity and information clarity and to have bigger overall responsibility as a principle. While in one high school students believed that the informing process needs to be systematically changed, meaning that politics should stay away from the informing process.
The participants stated that more information is needed for topics as education, sport, youth organization, rights, responsibilities, yoga, meditation, voluntarism, human trafficking, mountaineering, environment, human rights, employability, entrepreneurship and books.
For their project-idea fruition and improving the environment they do not have information, don’t have ideas and do not know whom to address. They have never been informed about a call for a project announced by the Municipality.
Surprisingly, there was only one school where there was information about scholarships provided by the school pedagogy department, news board, presentations or on the Internet while the rest of the schools were not informed at all about the open calls for scholarships by the Ministry of Education.
The students stated that they obtain information about voluntarism via social media and the Internet, then ask the administration or the civic associations, ask during events, or ask their peers and friends who already volunteer. But almost anyone has hardly volunteered.
Asked whether there is an information pamphlet or a newspaper for young on a local level, the answer was negative in all schools. They also believe that the website of the Municipality has not been updated and they receive information via MOF radio.
At the end of the meeting we had a discussion on topics for sexual health, abortion, AIDS protection and sexual diseases, drugs, alcohol where they stated that they talk about these topics mostly with friends because they believe that their will be most understood by their peers. However, there were also students that have discussed these topics with their parents.
Only one of the schools recommended us to attend on more often their meetings and discussions.