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Building Better Communities: Escola Portuguesa de Luanda

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Social psychology is a special sphere of professional psychological activity studying the interaction between an individual and a group, communications, power relations and organizational psychology. The sphere of its application is based on performing the analysis of socio-psychological situations and phenomena in order to enable their forecasting and give general fundamental or instrumental recommendations. Difficult socio-political situation in Angola is manifested in different life dimensions, which is related to constant political conflict and historical issues of the development of the country. Therefore, in order to overcome these problems the ideas of social psychology can be used. My hometown is Luanda and that is the reason for narrowing the scope of this essay to the impact of social psychology on the enhancing of well-being in the community of Luanda school Escola Portuguesa de Luanda. Possible implementation of the proposed ideas can be limited by political and economic situation. Therefore, the proposed essay can be considered only as a proposal for the further development of the Escola Portuguesa de Luanda.

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ESCOLA PORTUGUESA DE LUANDA

Escola Portuguesa de Luanda (EPL) is one of the Portuguese language schools for international students living in Luanda. It was founded in 1986 on the initiative of the Portuguese Ministry of Education and is now teaching students with the use of the 12 points score system. During the regiment of Decree, the Portuguese School of Luanda has developed into the international school, which was free from the government control. The school was originally designed for 1,500 students. providing training at pre-school, primary, secondary and tertiary education levels, according to the Portuguese Educational system, which is different from Cubin education system accepted by the state (Stead et al. 86). Since its establishment, it has been constantly developing and now it is a school with more that ninety-two teachers and the number of students twice exceeding the designed limitation. However, despite such a great development, the situation in EPL is tense, which is related to great diversity of social strata and multicultural conflicts. Therefore, the main directions which can improve the situation, are conflict management, bullying prevention and increase of the cultural tolerance.

CONFLICT MANAGEMENT

The political situation in Angola is still unstable, which is related to the increasing diversity of society and impact of foreign cultures. Therefore, there is a constant danger of conflict, which can have harmful impact on the community. Such a tense situation is manifested in the EPL student diversity, which is based both on the social and cultural factors. Despite the fact that conflicts of ideas, life positions, and goals for individuals and collectives are normal, conflicts in school can be extremely destructive for the personality of the students. Therefore, the conflict in the social and labor sphere is perceived as a deviation, as a malfunction, an obstacle on the way of achievement of the goal (Kutas 56). Additionally, negative perception of conflict is fully justified, as it carries a tremendous destructive effect on the relations and system of interaction. However, on the other hand, the absence of conflicts indicates stagnation, lack of development, which in terms of the learning in EPL means the accumulation of the stress with its further explosion in an unpredictable way. Conflict management as a direction of social psychology deals with various conflict situations, seeks solutions to problems, ways out of these situations, proposes the development of this process in order to find out how to act in this or that faze of conflict, how to turn the situation in the right direction with the maximum benefit. Conflict management is a purposeful impact on its dynamics that is determined by objective laws in the interests of developing or destroying the social system to which this conflict relates. Therefore, in terms of EPL, the social psychology ideas and concepts should be applied to solving ethnic and social conflicts among students and their groups, their forecasting and preventing. Moreover, the conflict management should be used in the frame of the teacher-student relations, which is also extremely important for the formation of the healthy psychological environment.

BULLYING PREVENTION

Bulling is a common issue for the majority of schools. It is related to unstable psyche of teenagers and the restrained aggression. The changes in the personality of the teenager or the learned aggressive behavior can make students look for the satisfaction in the bullying of the other, weaker, students. The aggressive persecution of one child by another is a phenomenon with a long history, but today its scale is becoming more noticeable especially in relation to the EPL cultural and social factors of diversity. In primary school, violence begins with racketeering - when high school students take money and mobile phones from juniors perceiving this behavior as the effective one. Among children aged 11-15 years, the most popular ways of bullying are gossip, humiliating jokes and boycott (Swearer and Shelley 344-346). Pain, loneliness and a sense of despair that the victim of the persecution is experiencing can lead to extremely negative consequences among which there are suicide, chronic stress, psychosomatic disorders, etc. The bullying at school may be one of the main reasons why a child does not feel safe in school, which threatens his mental health. Therefore, it is important that in the internal routine of the school, among the dangerous situations for the child, the situation with bullying was considered . In the US, it is common that when choosing a school for a child, the parents are interested in whether there is a plan for anti-bullying activity at school or whether the school has joined a specific anti-bullying program. However, the situation in Angola is much more complex, which is connected with the difficulties in education of the poor strata. Moreover, not any family can let themselves choose to which school they can send their child. Despite the fact, that EPL is one of the best Luanda schools, there is not much choice. Schools should keep in mind that the anti-bullying program can be inconclusive, so it is important that a methodical and systematic impact of anti-bullying program was used, the effectiveness of which has already been proved or is based on evidence. Thus, in terms of bullying in EPL, the social psychology can be used for the development of prevention programs. Moreover, the constant interaction with the students in regarding to bullying prevention will be the factor of the community flourishing and will significantly increase the social support in coping with stress from aggression.

CULTURAL TOLERANCE

Tolerance is another way to resolve contradictions between representatives of different cultures and social groups, which is based on the acceptance that, despite of everything that does not satisfy one in the convictions and behavior of others, people should let this issue, since they can live together and create, not even belonging to one faith, one nation and without sharing the same moral and political convictions. Moreover, under such circumstances, opposing interests can be peacefully achieved, clashes can be resolved and democratic principles developed in mutual relations. Therefore, for the EPL, the increase of the tolerance is extremely important. Tolerance as one of the forms of expressing is a means of achieving a certain lofty goal (a certain ideal, value or virtue), which in regard to the EPL is the understanding of the students and acceptance the idea that all of them are different (Thijs and Maykel 17-19). It is not an ideal, a value or a virtue, it only helps to manifest it. And because tolerance serves a certain higher purpose or meaning, it is not a value in itself, but a virtue. As such, it should have only positive meaning, but this is not so: one can not be tolerant of everything. However, tolerance does not mean that everything has absolute support: you can think what you want, but you cannot do what you want. Tolerant people have the right to limit the freedom of intolerant if they threaten the foundations of freedom. In regarding to the situation with the EPL, cultural and social tolerance can be reached through the team-building training and teamwork of groups with representatives of different cultures in them. Moreover, the development of tolerance is needed for the formation of the healthy community with democratic attitude to each of the students. It can result in flourishing of such community as a place of the constant support and acceptance.

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CONCLUSION

Concluding, it should be stated that the impact of social psychology on the situation in EPL can be directed on different spheres, increasing the well-being of teachers and students. Despite the fact that Luanda is one of the richest cities, the increased social and cultural diversity is one of the factors that are affecting the stress accumulation among the students and the possibility of the conflict. Moreover, in the sphere of conflict management, social psychology can be used for the development of the system of non-violent relations, forming the positive patterns of coping with conflict. In terms of the bullying prevention, social psychology is directed on the formation of the communication system along with the education, which can decrease the aggression of the students and to help them to overcome it. The cultural tolerance is also important sphere of the impact of social psychology, in which it is possible to form the proper coping strategies with ethnic and cultural diversity.

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