Europe at school project
From 2017, JEF Europe wants to strongly develop ‘Europe at school’ initiatives by supporting its national and local sections in engaging in these kinds of project. ‘Europe at school’ activities refer to all interventions in the formal school system and in non-formal learning contexts carried out by youth organisations, based on non-formal education and learning methods in order to raise awareness of European citizenship and to encourage active European citizenship among young people. Some of our sections already organise regular civic education-related actions within primary and secondary schools and have already developed their own tools and methodology for these actions.
Our project aims at expanding those practices and at providing voluntary young youth workers with the right set of skills and material to design and perform themselves Europe at School activities directed at young people from primary, secondary and Vocational Education and Training (VET) schools.
According to the report about the elections to the European Parliament in 2014, young people were the largest group of abstainers: only 27.8% of 18-24 years participated in the vote, against 51.3% for over 55 years. We are convinced that active citizenship is crucial for a democratic Europe and that education can equip young people with competences and knowledge to get engaged at European level. A strong correlation between experience of studying abroad and voting behaviour in the 2014 European elections was also observed: Erasmus alumni were more likely to vote – 81 % of those responding said they had done so. Being aware and knowing the European project and its achievement is a strong catalyst of civic engagement. In addition to European mobility programme, we think schools seat at the heart of EU learning. Initiatives reaching out to young people in schools in a context of growing euroscepticism and dropping political participation should therefore be promoted.
EU learning is suffering from a disparity of methods and of importance among the Member States: certain have their legislation on education referring to the importance of understanding the EU for young citizens, some haven’t. The different education systems across Europe imply different needs in terms of learning approaches and thus, require more cooperation and exchanges of best practices between young youth workers.
Furthermore, we observed that although some of JEF national sections are already involved at different levels in Europe at School activities, there are few synergies with the rest of the network. Challenges are the same but are answered individually; specific and innovative tools are being developed but are not being disseminated; needs for skills among the youth volunteers performing these activities are the same but are not being developed in common.
- exchange good practices among individuals and associations already engaged in these activities or interested in getting engaged in them
- develop the skills, knowledge and attitudes of young youth workers to allow them to plan and implement quality Europe at school activities
- reflect upon the existing tools and resources for Europe at schools activities
- initiate a synergy-building process in order to develop new projects and to foster cooperation between the participating individuals and organisations
- develop bridges and synergies between the formal education system and the non-formal and informal education environment
- develop a training and educational kit and a workshop methodology usable by different educational system and individuals
- 23-27 May - Lyon Training #1 focused on Primary Schools
- 25 - 29 Oct - Lisbon Training #2 focused on Secondary Education
- Upcoming: March, Brussels Training #3 focused on vocational education and training (VET)
During the Training in Lyon, focusing on Primary Schools, 20 participants from more than 10 European countries were trained to deliver Europe at School activities. During this 5 days training the participants exchanged good practices, shared information regarding the different opportunities and obstacles in their countries and had the chance reflect upon the existing tools and use their creativity to develop new ones. The participants had the opportunity to practice on the spot, by visiting a primary school in Lyon and reaching our approximately 100 pupils. While the training in Lisbon will have a similar format, the focus will be on secondary education and participants will be able to deliver sessions in Portuguese high schools.
The last training will take place in Brussels in March and will concentrate on Vocational Education.