„The children approached the PB realistically, with no pie-in-the-sky projects like a swimming pool at the spots complex, etc.; the children really looked around themselves when coming up with their ideas.“
Martin Provazník, Coordinator, Strossmayerovo Náměstí Elementary School
Elementary School, Strossmayerovo náměstí, The Prague 7 District
budget for students’ projects
The elementary school at Strossmayerovo Náměstí is located in a beautiful art nouveau building designed by František Schlaffer. 2018 marks the 110th year since its founding in 1908. In addition to the classical elementary school at Strossmayerovo náměstí, the school has another two buildings for alternative education. The first is an elementary school on Letohradská street utilizing Waldorf elements as well as what is called intuitive pedagogy. (Intuitive pedagogy is based on permitting children to remain open and have and experience their emotions.) The second building, U Uranie, has classrooms for special-needs students. This family-type school accepts students from throughout Prague and its surroundings.
In 2017, the Prague 7 city district decided to try out the new D21 methodology for participatory school budgets. Thus in September and October, students at seven elementary schools in Prague 7 could decide on how their school would use 50,000 CZK ($2,320) made available to them by the town hall.
The Strossmayerovo náměstí elementary school received a total subsidy within this project of CZK 100,000. This was divided up between the school’s three buildings, in proportion to their student counts.
CZK 50,000 for the Strossmayerovo Náměstí building;
CZK 30,000 for the U Uranie building;
CZK 20,000 for the building in Letohradská street.
Within the participatory budget project, the pupils came up with project proposals for improving life at their school.
On Monday October 2nd, the three schools held the project semifinals, where representatives of the student parliament selected the most attractive of the submitted projects.
The school’s management then approved these projects’ feasibility, and the approved ones then advanced to a final vote.
At the Strossmayerovo Náměstí building, 10 out of the total of 33 projects advanced to the final round:
Five projects advanced to the final round at U Uranie:
Six projects advanced to the final round at Letohradská:
Project posters and presentations were put up in the individual buildings, where the students’ campaigns were also held, and information on the nominated projects was provided to students and their parents on the school websites.
The final vote was held on Wednesday, October 11th, in the computer room. This was online voting using the Democracy 21 application.
A participatory school budget project can clearly be implemented even at non-traditional schools where students in alternative learning programs and special-needs students may participate – this was clearly shown at the Strossmayerovo Náměstí school.
"I would like to provide a positive word for the application: even as busy as I was, giving me only the time to peep into it, I saw right before me what I have to do in which phase, I read it, kept it in my head for say two days, and then it happened. I found it helpful to have somewhere to look, with the project methodology and a pleasant electronic voting system, where all we had to do was hand out the codes, and the evaluation took place electronically."
Martin Provazník, koordinátor, ZŠ Strossmayerovo náměstí
Strossmayerovo Náměstí Elementary School, number of projects voted for: 10, number of voters: 329, winning projects: school cafeteria equipment and school-stationery vending machine
Strossmayerovo Náměstí Elementary School, Letohradská building, number of projects voted for: 6, number of voters: 41, winning projects: composter and kitchenette
Strossmayerovo Náměstí Elementary School, Na Uranii building, number of projects voted for: 5, number of voters: 74, winning projects: garden arbor, fatboy
The total number of children and parents participating in the vote at all schools in Prague 7 (Fr. Plamínková elementary school with Extended Language Teaching, Umělecká elementary school, Tusarova elementary school, TGM elementary school, Korunovační elementary school, and Strossmayerovo Náměstí + U Uranie + Letohradská elementary schools) was 2,351. The winning projects are to be implemented by the end of the school year.
Participatory budget was organized at two schools, the Nkana and Mukuba secondary schools. Mukuba is a boys’ school, and Nkana is a mixed school. Their students live up to 10 kilometers away and usually walk to school.
The Rajkiya Pratibha Vikas Vidyalaya state schooling Hari Nagar, West Delhi gave participatory budgeting a try.