Ring the Bell
One of the goals of this blog is to facilitate best practice sharing among CEE countries to speed up their development. The below one is definitely an educational best practice that brings business and schools closer in Romania.
Guest blog post by Valentina Capotă, Inspector for the Economic Fields of Studies, Bucharest Educational Inspectorate, Romania
I think school bells sounded differently in Romania in the first week of April, following the initiative of the Ministry of Education to implement a program entitled “A Different School”. The pilot program gave schools full flexibility to take initiatives and set their timetable in synergy with students’ interests and talents, connecting them with business and society.
“This week’s activities allowed us both to know ourselves better and learn in a more interactive way: a visit to a museum, a shadowing day in a multinational company, a study tour in a historic location and a community service project,” said Mircea Zamfira, high-school student at the International Computer High-School of Bucharest.
Education may be too formal sometimes, too rigid and too equalizing to allow children to be themselves. This pilot program, which is extended nationwide, represents a first for the Romanian national educational system and is an innovative concept within the Europe 2020 framework for a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy.
Connecting the business sector with the public school system is a prerequisite for matching education to the real needs of the economy and to the changing expectations of today’s employers. I have also encouraged schools to plan learning-by-doing projects in partnership with NGOs in order to develop horizontal skills like creativity, leadership, initiative and self-confidence.
“Junior Achievement was a partner to 486 Romanian schools for this special week program, leveraging financial allocations including GE Foundation’s grants,” explained Stefania Popp, Country Executive of Junior Achievement Romania.
I am confident that this program will strengthen people’s ability to identify and create opportunities in the economic, social and cultural fields. I also hope it will ring a bell in CEE countries and they will consider the Romanian initiative a best practice to implement regionally in order to increase the competitiveness of the new generation of young leaders. A strategy to ensure that future education is based on entrepreneurial activities is also mandatory to further stimulate initiative and innovation. It is the right educational response to the economic challenges ahead.
What do you think? Would it be good to implement this in your country? Who should ring the bell for the next generations? Share your thoughts below.