STO as an association
The Civic Educational Association has already accumulated 25 years of experience in running schools, which invariably have had good reputation. In the beginning, pupils quickly started to like them, while their parents began to appreciate them. Now – while still being liked and appreciated – they also attract with their renown and good traditions. STO runs more than 150 schools with some 13,000 pupils and employs around 2,500 people.
As an NGO, the Civic Educational Association, operates through local boards of the association; there are around 80 boards (with more than 4,000 members). STO, founded by parents and teachers who defied the standardized education of the communist times, was born out of a strong need for freedom in which the new generations should grow. Thanks to this desire, a completely new system of education was created.
STO conception consists in harmonious combination of education and upbringing. This clear goal requires meeting many conditions, the fundamental one being cooperation between parents and teachers based on mutual trust. Teachers, pupils and parents shape the school together, accepting the basic principles and rules, such as honesty, reliability, mutual respect, empathy; the rules are so general that neither the religion one practises, nor the favourite political option conflict with them, and specific enough to become the foundation for creating a true civic community.
STO schools teach efficiently and rank among the best. But our goal is broader: it is formation of the pupil as a person: in the intellectual, social, cultural and physical senses. We should remember that knowledge is absorbed not only at school. The school should provide sound basics and efficient methods to enable the pupils to learn by themselves in the future, to be team-workers and creative thinkers.
In addition, every board of our Association is a dynamic environment with numerous civic initiatives. What STO members share is their interest in the condition of the Polish education as a whole. The Association makes every effort in matters important for the education system: enacting good, transparent laws and creating conditions that foster parents’ involvement in the life of all schools, including state-run ones. STO provides consultations on legislative bills and issues opinions about them, presents its own amendments to laws, organizes conferences and disseminates its opinions on specific issues. It supports any initiatives which enrich the education of children, youth and adults.
The Civic Educational Association (Społeczne Towarzystwo Oświatowe) is a public benefit organization, KRS number 0000012189.