Mission & History
November 21st, 2016
Brief histories of our projects and programmes

Our mission -- explained
Grassroots Democracy

Our Mission -- explained

















School Plus is the network of NGOs registered in existing schools in South and Central Eastern Europe. Our goal is to establish conditions for the modernization of schools and the educational system, and to create lifetime education with European and world standards. Our mission is to build a democratic, open, civil, creative, and entrepreneurial society. We do so by helping citizens in general, and parents and teachers in particular, to organize themselves in order to break out of a cycle of helplessness and hopelessness.

The success of our societies depends on the success of the efforts of individual citizens joining hands to address a wide range of issues that affect peoples' lives. Citizens join hands in non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that tackle the many different problems faced by different segments of the population but -- basically -- share a common goal: they all seek to improve the quality of life in a changing society.

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History (chronologically)


15 September MTO founder and former president Ala Derkowska, the originator of the School Plus movement (and this website) is receives one of Poland's highest-ranking medals, the Officer Cross of Polonia Restituta, at a ceremony in Warsaw hosted by Polish president Bronisław Komorowski.



October/November – Public Achievement meetings in Ukraine have to be cancelled due to the flue epidemic.

September – SPLOT secondary school in Nowy Sacz, founded by the Educational Society of Malopolska (MTO), celebrates its 20th anniversary with a formal ceremony, a theatrical performance by students, and a reception in the Nowy Sacz communal theatre followed by an alumni meeting at the SPLOT school building.  

December – The Educational Society of Malopolska (MTO), whose work in the Balkans led to the launch of the schoolplus network, celebrates its 20th anniversary with a reception at the MTO/SPLOT school building at Limanowskiego street in Nowy Sacz. .

NovemberPTA "Skola Plus" of Dositej Obradovic school in Bela Crkva (Vojvodina, Serbia) completes project against violence in school.

Summer/AutumnPTA "Speranta' in Cahul (Moldova) completes the formal two-year implementation of its "Connect Cahul" project (establishment of several dozen internet centres throughout the district of Cahul, in the south of the country, followed by two years of mentoring their use in compliance with sponsors’ requirements).

May – Meeting in Resita, Romania, completes multi-year "Great Books European folk tales and legends" collaboration project undertaken by three PTAs: from Wieloglowy (Poland), Sofia (Bulgaria) and Resita (Romania). The PTAs and their schools designed the idea for their cross-border collaboration at the "Public Achievement Groups Unite" Interim meeting in Popova Shapka, Macedonia, in August of 2006 (see the Programmes section on this site for details on Public Achievement and links). Their joint project was sponsored by the European Union’s Comenius programme.

April/May – Representatives from several PTAs in the School Plus network (including Tetova in Macedonia, Cahul in Moldova, and Galat, Suceava and Timisoara in Romania) and the Denizen Centre for Civic Activism in Svrljig, Southern Serbia, participate in “Civic Skills Academy: International Partnership for Young People” in Galat, Romania. The event is sponsored by the Soros Foundation’s “East-East: Partnership Beyond Borders” Programme.


Second year of “Great Books European folk tales and legends" (2006-2008) collaboration  project by the PTAs from Wieloglowy (Poland), Sofia (Bulgaria) and Resita (Romania).


– Many PTAs from the School Plus Network participate in the “Public Achievement (PA) Groups Unite” Interim International Meeting in Popova Shapka (Macedonia), which brings together PA groups (teachers and children) from Albania, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Kosova, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, Romania and Serbia. (See the Programmes section on this site for more information about Public Achievement.) The meeting in Popova Shapka is also attended by facilitators and/or observors from the Netherlands, Turkey, the Ukraine and the United States – notably including Dennis Donovan from the Centre for Democracy and Citizenship in the Hubert H. Humphrey Centre at the University of Minnesota, the birth-place of Public Achievement. The event is co-organised by MTO of Nowy Sacz, Poland, and PTA “FFLADI” of “Naim Frasheri” Primary School in Tetova, Macedonia.

MTO (Nowy Sacz, Poland) runs second "Grassroots democracy" programme in Azerbaijan.


Autumn PTA "Speranta" (Cahul, southern Moldova) starts multi-year implementation of "Connect Cahul" Project (establishment of ~30 computer/internet centres in the district of Cahul and monitoring their early years).

End June/ Early July – Regional NGO / PTA conference in Suceava, Romania, organised by the local groups (notably Romanian and Moldovan).

Spring PTA "Speranta" in Cahul (southern Moldova) implements "School Radio" project.

February-May "School Plus Goes to Azerbaijan": MTO of Nowy Sacz, Poland, launches its “Grassroots Democracy” programme in Azerbaijan; training of 44 Azeri parents and teachers results in the creation of 9 PTAs in Baku, Lankaran and Ganja region, taking the total number of PTAs in the School Plus network to 65 in 9 countries.

Throughout the year – MTO from Nowy Sacz, Poland, provides introduction training to aspiring Public Achievement (PA) mentors from a number of Balkan countries and provides follow-up support to their first PA groups. Many of the participants in the programme are either from PTAs in the School Plus network or from the schools with which these PTAs are associated. Countries involved are Albania, Bulgaria, Kosovo, Macedonia and Serbia.


PTA “Skola Plus” of Dositej Obradovic school in Bela Crkva, Vojvodina region (Serbia), completes "BelaTech" project: distribution of 119 computers donated from Canada to seven primary schools and two high schools in Bela Crkva.

MTO of Nowy Sacz, Poland, launches “Public Achievement” (PA) programme in the region (see Programmes sections on this site for details about Public Achievement). A pilot at SPLOT secondary school in Nowy Sacz, Poland, is followed by a pilot with groups from Moldova, Romania and a school in Ukraine. Several participants are recruited through the PTAs in the School Plus network.

March 26-27First International School Plus FAIR, in Timisoara, Romania, brings together many of the PTAs in the School Plus network. The event is recorded by a Unesco film crew. Many new cross-regional projects are started. Partcipants select the School Plus logo (featured on this site) from many designs submitted by the participating PTAs. Discussion break-out groups include reports from PTAs who have gained their first experience with the “Dura Lex, Sed Lex” programme.


MTO of Nowy Sacz, Poland, conducts a pilot for its
"Dura Lex, Sed Lex" programme (modeled on “Street Law”, a programme developed in the US). "Dura Lex, Sed Lex” is designed to raise the level of legal culture, knowledge about the law, and respect for the law by encouraging youth, parents and teachers to independently seek answers to the question: how does the law in my country look in the eyes of a typical citizen? This programme is then taken into the School Plus community of PTAs.


NovemberMTO of Nowy Sacz, Poland, facilitates “Grassroots Democracy” introduction training for a group of teachers from Bulgaria and one observer from the Netherlands, in Rytro, near Nowy Sacz.

May MTO of Nowy Sacz, Poland, facilitates “Grassroots Democracy” introduction training for Romanians and Moldovans; in Nowy Sacz.


PTA "Skola Plus" of Dositej Obradovic school in Bela Crkva (Vojvodina, Serbia) implements "School Radio" project.

Continuation of “Grassroots Democracy" programme launched in 2000 by MTO of Nowy Sacz, Poland. The programme, aimed at building democratic citizenship in the Balkans, creates the School Plus network of PTAs featured on this site:
- April/May – Training session in Nowy Sacz with 45 participants from the Balkans
- June: monitoring trip
- 12 new Parent-Teacher Associations created by these 45 participants (Serbia – 3 in Vrsac, 2 in Bela Crkva, 1 in Uljma, 3 in Subotica; Kosova – Gjilane, Peje, Prizren)
- November – Workshops in Prizren (Kosova) with 28 participants from Kosova and Albania
- December – Workshop in Nowy Sacz, with participants from Montenegro and Poland (and including interaction and exchanges with local Polish schools.

MTO of Nowy Sacz, Poland, conducts workshop with Bulgarian and Serbian teachers: "Through tolerance to democracy"


MTO of Nowy Sacz, Poland, launches the “Grassroots Democracy" programme, aimed at building democratic citizenship in the Balkans, the “wellspring” of the School Plus network of Parent-Teacher Associations featured on this site.