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Ausgabe vom 02. Mai 2018

ERASMUS+ projects

Dear colleagues,

Varaždin County is looking for a leading partner and other partners on ERASMUS+ projects addressing the following issues:

  1. Education of mentors for recognition and work with gifted students with specific learning disabilities
  2. Exchange of best practices among partners
  3. Development of a methodology for recognizing and evaluating gifted students and involving pupils with specific needs
  4. Development of procedures and instruments for identifying potentially gifted students as a recommendation for education systems.

Varaždin County is willing to become a partner and is ready to share their experiences and developed methods in related topics.
If you are interested, please contact the Department of Education: silvija.ladic-fischer@vzz.hr.
Enclosed is a file with more information.

I would kindly like to ask you to forward this information to your contacts.

Kind regards,

ANDREJA LEPEN
Head of Croatian Regions Office

Rue Montoyer 18B/2
B-1000 Brussels
Phone: +32 2 23 06 733
Mobile: +32 491 87 42 71
E-mail: andreja.lepen@croatianregions.eu

SEARCH FOR PARTNERSHEP / ONGOING PROJECT PROPOSAL

Funding body:
EC Erasmus + (EACEA/10/2018) under the Erasmus+ programme

Key action 3:
Support for policy reform

Social inclusion and common values: the contribution in the field of education, training and youth (2018/C 106/08)

Contact Information:
Contact Person
Silvija Ladić Fischer, advisor for developments programmes
Phone: 00385 42 390 511
E-mail: Silvija.ladic-fischer@vzz.hr

Varaždin County wants to become a partner in the preparation and implementation of projects addressing the following issues:

  1. Education of mentors for recognition and work with gifted students with specific learning disabilities (work on methods and programs).
  2. Exchanging examples of good practice among partners (existing methods and education programs).
  3. Develop a methodology for recognizing and evaluating gifted students and involving pupils with specifice needs and disadvantaged learners (Roma children, migrant children ...) in the system for estimates theirs talents.
  4. Develop procedures and instruments for identifying potentially gifted students as recommendations for education systems of the states programes.

Description of Varaždin County /project partner:
A population of County are 175.951 in an area of 1261,29 m2 (the third smallest county in Croatia). The county seat is in the old baroque city of Varaždin. There are 8 cities and 22 municipalities. Varaždin County is founder and have a duty to care of 33 primary and 13 secondary schools.
County provide in education sector:

  1. Co-finances transportation for high school pupils and students.
  2. Pupil and student loans and scholarships. 3. Scholarships for students to study those skills we need.
  3. Scholarships for vocational education to match the needs of the County.
  4. Assistance for the pupils with special needs in elementary and secondary school.
  5. Free nutrition in elementary schools for socially vulnerable children.

Also County established, organize and financially support centres of excellence in mathematics, physics, chemistry, entrepreneurship, and biology, the Croatian language, new technology, communication and information technology (attended by cca. 800 students every year). These are aimed at achieving improved results in the national competitions and university entrance examinations.

Focus of education activities in County is to change the employments structure by creating new jobs (there are about 5000 registered unemployed persons in Varaždin County, most of them have lost confidence in finding a job locally) which will be aligned with the needs of the employment market, to enhance the number of people with a third level education, to reduce the big imbalance between labour market needs and demands, to deal with the breakdown of our traditional industries (e.g. textiles, shoes) and to convert our focus on to the research and development (R&D) industries.

Main issues:
In Croatia, the formal education system of teachers and associates does not adequately cover the area of education for working with gifted students. Particularly there is a lack of systematic solutions in the field of recognition and identification, and in the field of individualization, encouragement and enrichment of work with gifted students. That situation makes it difficult to carry out quality identification and continuous work with identified, potentially gifted students.

At the state level there is no prescribed procedure and instruments for the identification of potentially gifted students.

All schools in the County do not have available psychologists - professional associates, who perform most of the identification process. Schools that do not have permanently employed psychologists need to be able to address their potentially gifted students to a place where they will be able to get complete treatment by experts well trained to identify potentially gifted students (County Excellence Center).

Within the identification group, particular care should be taken of pupils with various physical disabilities, pupils belonging to the Roma national minority and migrant children. For them we need to adapt assessment methods in view of their type of difficulty and understanding of the new education system.

Goal:
Identifying, planning, and involving children with physical disabilities and disadvantaged learners in the system of assessing their talent will directly affect the development of gifted students' potential in selected areas (eg. language, physics, chemistry, biology, computing and mathematics) through the implementation of individualized programs and their faster and easier access to the labour market in future.

Background:
Varaždin County began working with gifted mathematics and physics students during the 2002/2003 school year, incorporating additional classes that took place in Varaždin County primary and secondary schools. A year later, in the 2003/2004 school year, Varaždin County launched a Supplementary Tutorial Project with Talented IT Students, which aimed to promote an interest in information technology in primary and secondary school students and equate this work with talented information technology students.

Project implementation was supported by the Croatian Information Technology Society. Additional classes for students were conducted in the form of »winter« and »spring« information technology camps, i.e. during the winter or spring holidays. These classes were held in 16 locations.

The reason why additional classes were initiated in these areas lies in the fact that mathematics and physics are the foundation of the development of technical, technological, biological, medical and other sciences in the past and, together with computer science, they have a special significance for the development of not only these subjects, but also many other sciences and activities. Their importance, amongst other things stems from the fact that, in order that students can enrol in secondary schools, their good if not excellent results in mathematics and physics are the most commonly required criterion. It is well known that, within Croatia, fewer students opt for science, mathematics and technical studies, while in developed countries knowledge and expertise in these areas are amongst the most important factors in progression. Varaždin County had already recognised the importance of additional investment in STEM programmes 15 years ago.

An analysis of this work with talented students was conducted and the main disadvantages of such an organisational structure were identified: work with students took place at multiple locations and involved an uneven standard of school equipment, groups and an ability-based classroom system, but the system was expensive and year-on-year there was a steady increase in the number of students interested in additional classes. This analysis led to identifying the following objectives: to organise student’s work in a single location for both primary and secondary schools, which aimed to promote generational solidarity, provide an even standard of equipment and access and use of new technologies, provide students with the best mentors, and in turn ultimately create a more efficient and cheaper system. All this was made possible when centres of excellence were first organised in the manner that they are organised today.

General objective of the project:
Developing and implementing innovative methods and practices to foster inclusive education/youth environments and promote common values in specific contexts.

Specific objectives of the project (LOT1):

  • Promoting inclusive education and training and fostering the education of disadvantaged learners, including through supporting teachers, educators and leaders of educational institutions in dealing with diversity and reinforcing socioeconomic diversity in the learning environment.
  • supporting the inclusion of newly arrived migrants in good quality education, including by assessing knowledge and validating prior learning.

Experience in European programs and projects in the field of education:

  1. »InterCom-Learning-Basic Skills« LLL Program -The Comenius regio Partnership, supported foreign language learning for pupils in socially inferior status in elementary school in Croatia and UK and familiarized them with a multicultural environment. Duration 2011-2013.
  2. »DIVERSE - Dual International Volunteering Exchange & Research in Sport Education« (Programme Erasmus + Youth Mobility). Project goal: enhance social inclusion, equal opportunities and participation in sport, health & wellbeing through introducing new sports (women's football and handball), as well as raising awareness of the needs for physical activities. (Girls from Cro and UK, age 14-18). Duration 2014-2016.
  3. »Provide Assistance for Pupils in Varaždin County Schools« (Ministry of Science, Education and Sports in Republic Croatia and European Social Fund)The project provide assistance for pupils with disabilities in the regular teaching process by recruiting personal assistants during tuition in regular schools. The project lasts from 2014 and entered the 4th stage of implementation.
  4. »New challenges-new answers: ECVET based competence validation and labour market inclusion models for migrants and refugees in Europe« (Program Erasmus+). The main objectives of the project are to develop an effective method of assessing the knowledge, skills and competences of refugees and asylum seekers and »translation« it into the European system for employment and integration into a new society. Project is in progress.
  5. »Ensuring the Nutrition of Children in Elementary Schools in 9 Croatian Counties« (Foundation »Croatia for Children«) the project ensured the nutrition of socially vulnerable children in elementary schools in Varaždin County in 2016-17 year.

Project to be submitted:
10/05/2018

Deadline of the call of proposals:
22/05/2018

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