The First Žilina Summit

The second year of the educational project Create & Control started at the weekend!

High school students from 20 schools all over Slovakia met in Žilina over the weekend in order to learn more about the functioning of the state and international associations. A total of over 45 high school students attended formal meetings, which was something new for many of them. They had to put their opinions across and overcome the fear of talking in front of so many people. Thanks to the city of Žilina, the event could take place at the Town Hall, where students could fully embrace their role and represent their countries as real congressmen.

Currently, 170 students are involved in this national competition Create & Creation and they manage their own fictional countries in their teams and deal with national and international issues. The competition has been held for the second year and has even been among the 15 best educational projects in Slovakia, the Generácia 3.0 Award from the foundation Nadácia Pontis. It was founded by only two high school students Michaela Knošková and Adriána Repáňová, who enlarged their organisational team this year.

Jakub Bero, a new member of the team, described his first impressions: "I personally enjoyed the Summit. It is clear that all the teams are really dedicated to the project, which I am very pleased about. The discussion had a great atmosphere and was on a high level. I am very happy that I had the opportunity to meet so many interesting people." Jakub together with Michaela formed the presidency and moderated the discussion of the students so that the whole discussion had a format and especially a sense.

During the meeting students' views on the international problem were evaluated, but also their activity. The Best Delegate Award was awarded to a student from the School for Extra-Gifted Children and Grammar School in Bratislava, who expressed her opinion about the competition: "Create and Control was a great event. I learnt a lot of very useful things. Everything from economics and human rights to presentation and public speaking." She also expressed the importance of informal education: "Such events are, in my opinion, most beneficial in giving the opportunity for great personal growth and development. The main thing is not to be afraid and to ask for feedback. I am looking forward to the next summit!"

Also a new juror, Peter Markovič, the director of the Open Policy Center, was introduced, and he professionally devoted himself to the students during the whole summit. "The Žilina summit of the project Create & Control has uplifted me. I met many young people who not only want but who also know. Projects which develop civic education and active citizenship are the basis for building a democratic, plural society but also a great opportunity for young people to learn. An opportunity to find out what it means to solve problems, to negotiate, to seek consensus. It is an excellent school for everyone who is not indifferent to public events and who likes challenges. Young people and high school students from all over Slovakia have proved that they can be counted on. I'm even more optimistic after the weekend in Žilina."

In times full of information it is incredibly important to choose the right ones and to apply them, to have a community of people with broad-spectrum opinions and to conduct a full-fledged discussion. It is necessary for students to be led so that the third sector does not have to replace the role of the state. Unfortunately, at the moment, the development of the skills needed in real life only by learning at the school desk and preparing for the exams is not enough. High school students need something more, more critical thinking and problem solving, more talking and presenting in front of people, more humanity and less selfishness, respect for people around and thinking about complex problems.

The organisers, Michaela and Adriána, believe that if each of us contributes at least a little, together we can transform the value ladders of many people. They see that this country has future young leaders and potential. They see that education is meaningful and that this country will not fall into damnation, because it has youth who are interested and who want.