The first Comenius-project, under the name of Youth Life and Culture in Europe - EYOLICU, has started in Upper Secondary School of Ivalo. It is a three-year school project, the aim of which is to increase tolerance between and awareness of other European countries and also to prevent racism.
The first year’s topic is school life, the second year’s topics are free time and hobbies and the third year’s topics are the social values and everyday problems one’s own country. The students communicate with each other in English by email and Internet. Upper Secondary School of Ivalo is one of the seven countries from different parts of Europe, which take part in this project. Eleven students from the Upper Secondary School of Ivalo take part in this project which is taught by four teachers. Students have already made a brochure of school in English and a film about the school and the local town.
Teachers, headmistress Ulla Hynönen, English teacher Ulla Keskitalo, Mathematics and IT teacher Helena Lampinen and French teacher Johanna Taimi, who are working in the project, took part in the project meeting on the 6th – 11th November which was held in Stadtallendorf. In the meeting the teachers planned the programme for next year of the project.
We interviewed our teachers about what happened on the journey and other plans of the project.
How did you travel to Germany?
- We flew from Ivalo via Helsinki to Frankfurt and continued by train to Marburg.
How big are the schools which participate in the project?
- There are 2000 students in the biggest school in Palermo and Upper Secondary School of Ivalo is the smallest. The schools in Poland and Turkey are also a bit smaller.
What decisions did you make in the meeting?
- We decided to publish an international digital newspaper. We also agreed on the topics of the second year.
Is student exchange included in the project?
- The next project meeting is organized next May. Two students from Upper Secondary School of Ivalo are able to travel there together with the teachers. They will be staying in local families. We hope that every country could send two students to Palermo. By the way, Ivalo will be the host of the project meeting spring 2007! We are glad to have foreign students staying with us.
What is a typical German school day like?
- In the school of Georg Büchner the school day starts every day at eight o’clock and ends at 1 p.m. Students can have school lunch which costs about three euro. You can imagine what it is like to have 8 separate school buildings, about one thousand and one hundred pupils, 80 teachers and 17 different nationalities in one school.
Reporters: Emmi Aikio, Birit Angeli, Tiia Hilli and Mira Rantakeisu