|Sumár projektu:||Five secondary schools from Luxembourg, Spain, Germany, Slovakia and Poland are interested in developing a project specificly fostering high quality skills and civic competence in school have decided to apply for funding as a strategic partnership. They realise that young people struggle to fit into society, to find the active place as responsible citizens and to meet labour market expectations in a Europe seemingly falling apart in front of our eyes. A growing social gap, refugees crises caused by civil wars, right-wing parties winning ground in many countries convinced them to adequately adapt their school policy plans. We find that education systems have a crucial role in building the right 21st century skills and competences and strive for a dynamic combination of knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the many and varied real-life contexts on which people need to use them. The idea of HOPE - Human Opportunities for Peace in Europe - was born.
The HOPE project includes not only the key competences that relate to traditional school subjects but also cross-curricular ones that enable people to pursue learning throughout their lives, contribute to democratic societies and to succeed in today's and tomorrow's world of work with its demand for high skills combined with creativity and the ability to innovate.
The concept wants to install work groups / clubs for voluntary motivated students (group size between 8 and 20 students at each school) being interested in making a change in society. They are coached by committed teachers. Beyong the actual working group, the project addresses practically the whole local school community as the wide range of project activities touches not only the lives of the HOPE students but that of many others, too.
The HOPE project innovation contains 3 core pillars to make young people tackle international crises and engage themselves in European peace development:
1. Diplomatic competence: Fostering our students’ political knowledge / awareness by preparing them for MUN conferences (written guidelines / booklet)
2. Social action in society: Make students understand themselves as active potential of change in society by initiating charity projects
3. Social action in school: Become active ambassadors of peace by training our students as mediators in conflict situation of their classmates
Students get the opportunity to improve their communication skills (argumentation, negotiation, public speaking), critical thinking, research, language and digital competences. They collaborate in the virtual space (TwinSpace, e-twinning site) and face-to-face in the multinational project groups created at schools as well as during model conferences imitating the UN (MUNs) with international and multilingual setting. Furthermore, they get in touch with local charity institutions and political authorities (Red Cross, Amnesty International, "Zentrum für politische Bildung", European Youth Parliament etc.). Together the schools work on a common guideline for attending and also conducting MUN conferences.
The results or gaining for the individual schools: HOPE working groups ensure
- political knowledge, interest and action via clubs and MUN conferences, profound debating knowhow
- better integration of schools into local political and social contexts
- the initiation of charity or social projects (decided on every month what to set up like for example charity run, baking cakes, refugee support actions, a human chain for the whole school or even campus or a number of schools taking place simultaneously in all 5 countries….), adapted to current issues),
- MUN conference participation and potentially the set-up of an own MUN at school
We are going to work with methods like role-plays of debating sessions simulating the United Nations and situational games, discussion events with (local) politicians and the school public, world café, and exhibitions.
We exchange best practices and exercise them at five transnational teaching and training activity meetings in form of MUNs (Model United Nations Conferences) hosted by the partner schools in Slovakia, Poland and eventually for the first time in the country’s history in Luxembourg. These activities will enable the students to evaluate central issues of world politics from the perspective of a country which they represent as a delegate of the UN. The final meeting in Luxembourg will be dedicated to a first-time realisation of a MUN as well as to production of common results and the publishing of pedagogical material for the dissemination at school and on etwinning and other established platforms.
HOPE's long-term benefits will most probably and unfortunately not be the end of the war in Syria or anywhere else at short notice. Yet, Human Opportunity for Peace in Europe implies an innovative and sustainable change in school policies that make students think as responsible peace ambassadors in their environment as well as all over Europe.