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    • Important Role of Youth and Non-Formal Education in Security Sector Reform

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    • Date: 01 July 2019

      foto: OSCE/Milan Obradovic
      foto: OSCE/Milan Obradovic

      Development of practical skills and critical thinking among young people through non-formal education and alternative sources is a key partner of formal education in security studies, it was concluded at the event organized by the Belgrade Centre for Security Policy (BCSP) on 1 July 2019 in Belgrade.

      "Through the initiative #bezbednostABC and sharingcredible information about security sector reform on online platforms, the BCSP has opened up new ways of working with young people in its internship program that spans over a decade," said BCSP researcher Marija Ignjatijevic at the panel opening.

      Head of the Department for Cooperation in the Security Sector of the OSCE Mission to Serbia Robert Kucharski stressed the importance of local ownership of the security sector reform, involving civil society and the academic community.

      The importance of non-formal education in the security sector in Serbia was underlined by assistant at the Faculty of Political Sciences Milan Krstic.

      "Civil society organizations such as BCSP that have opened up the topic of security to citizens since the 1990s through non-formal education have great importance for the security sector reform in Serbia," Krstic said.

      BCSP intern Pavle Nedic shared his experience of acquiring skills outside the university.

      "During my internship at the BCSP, I gained a lot of specific knowledge, such as how are projects managed, and gained a research experience. These are opportunities that are not available at the university, which is why cooperation of civil society organizations and independent research centres with faculties should be strengthened," Nedic said.

      In addition to development opportunities outside the faculty, students often turn to alternative sources of information during the course of studies. In the era of disinformation on the Internet, the promotion of credible data and critical thinking among young people is becoming increasingly important, which is why BCSP launched the creation of content on security topics on Wikipedia and the portal reforma.bezbednost.org.

      "Due to literature often being out of date, students have the need to use online resources. Some professors and assistants encourage the search for information on the Internet and teach students how to check the credibility of resources they find, which is an approach that should be widely accepted," BCSP interns Jelena Dadic pointed out.

      The second part of the evening was dedicated to students interested in security connecting with people who have been a part of civil society and the academic and international community for years, and talking about career paths, as well as non-formal education opportunities.

      The event is part of the project "Promoting security sector governance and reform concepts on free online platforms" implemented by the Belgrade Centre for Security Policy (BCSP)with the support of the OSCE Mission to Serbia.
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