The contest is organised by the European Academy of Yuste Foundation and the Department of Social Affairs of the Town Hall of Navalmoral de la Mata.
Students in their fourth year of ESO at the Fuente de Roniel Secondary Education School, semifinal winners of the province of Badajoz, have been proclaimed winners of the Seventh regional conference on prevention of drug use among Extremadura teenagers “It is the youngsters’ turn to speak: from the regional to the European strategy”, held at the Navalmoral de la Mata Cultural Centre.
The contest jury highlighted “the clear display, the fieldwork conducted, the staging and the proposed alternatives in leisure time and the clear and realistic examples of what can happen in the event of drug use”.
The students of the Albalat Secondary Education School of Navalmoral de la Mata, semifinal winners of the province of Cáceres, were second. The jury highlighted “the introduction of bilingualism in the concepts, the data collected and improvements in the presentation” with respect to the semifinals of the province of Cáceres, among other aspects.
The Director General of Social, Children and Family Policy of the Extremadura Regional Government, Carmen Núñez, thanked educators and tutors for “their involvement in this project”, that “not only teaches students, but also society in general” because it is a problem that “affects everyone”.
The Mayoress of Navalmoral de la Mata, Raquel Medina, stressed the “involvement and commitment” of schools that year after year participate in the contest, and highlighted the “good work” of students and teachers who worked hard during the whole year in preparing the work.
The members of the jury, composed of two delegates from the Fundación Ayuda contra la Drogadicción (FAD) (Help Against Drug Addiction Foundation) in the province of Cáceres and Badajoz, Delicia Prieto and Monica Millán, respectively, congratulated both schools for their “clear statements and for the messages sent to young people”.
The winner won a trip to the Madrid Warner Park and the second-classified won a trip to Lusiberia, in Badajoz. In both cases, the trip is for thirty people (including students and teachers) in the month of June.
The contest involves a work presentation made by students from each high school with the help of the teacher addressing issues such as the risks involved in recreational drug use; the reasons for consumption; the impact among youth; the consequences over time; European policies and prevention strategies at regional, national and European level. Finally, the groups should make proposals to prevent drug use among teenagers. The students’ presentation must be supported by a slide presentation and can be linked to any type of video, photos, music, recording or any type of artistic expression decided by the group.
This contest, which has been running continuously for seven years, has managed to involve 42 secondary schools in the region, reaching out to more than 1,000 students directly and more than 1,500 students indirectly.
It is worth recalling that this edition has included several new features compared to previous ones in order for the project to acquire a more European dimension. Hence it has enjoyed the cooperation of the European Commission which has provided information material on European integration and functioning of the institutions that was delivered to the six selected secondary schools, complementing the information with a video conference at each school through the delegate of the Foundation in Brussels and with a talk on European prevention policies that was given by the FAD delegates in Extremadura.
The Secondary Education School Contest which is part of the Seventh Regional Programme on Prevention of Drug Use in the Leisure and Free Time of Extremadura Teenagers was launched in 2010 as an initiative of the European Academy of Yuste Foundation and the Department of Social Affairs of the City of Navalmoral de la Mata aiming for the project to reach the regional level, although the Town Hall of Navalmoral de la Mata had been developing it locally since 2006.
This activity aims to promote intervention processes aimed at the eradication, awareness and prevention of causes tending to drug use. Furthermore, it seeks the involvement of young people through participatory and direct dynamics, as it is the students themselves, together with their tutors, who produce the work so that they really understand what the harmful effects of drug use are.