COMENIUS PROJECT 1998
Amos Comenius was born in the Czech Republic in 1592 ---1670. A Philosopher , theologian and teacher, was convinced that it was through education that Man would develop his full potential.
"To unify Europe is to make peace", so said Jean Mannet the inspirational founding father of the EU of 1950. Education plays a vital part in unifying Europe and the promotion of regular contacts between young citizens will in time bring harmony and peace.
The educational programs have been expanded and spans the entire education spectrum from nursery to third level.
COMENIUS helps Primary Schools develop partnerships with schools in other member states. The projects are for three years.
One school acts as co-ordinator with responsibility to ensure the smooth running of the project. A cross-curricular approach is taken so that participating children and teachers gain maximum benefit from working with such diverse cultures.
Increases interest in European issues
Develops process of integration throughout Europe.
Reinforces common historical heritage.
Develops language skills.
Has positive impact on school life and educational systems in member states.
Broadens the horizons of teachers and pupils and boosts mobility.
Encourages new Information Technology.
Promotes mutual understanding.
Contributes against school failure.
Implements Article 126 of the Maastrict Treaty of 1991.
Will enable an understanding of the "Euro" for 1999.
May continue friendship and keypals when the project is complete.
Since 1995 some 126 schools have participated in EEP's ( European Education Projects). Over 40 Primary Schools have been involved. This program is ideally suited to Transition students at Post Primary Schools. Today 0ver 300 Irish schools participate in Comenius
Transnational teacher meetings review progress of projects. A school hosting such a meeting is of tremendous importance for the Boards of Management, Teaching Staff and the local community.
Evaluation of the EEP is by means of Video,dedicated Chatline, News Letter, journal, exhibitions etc.
These initiatives are at an initial stage and the potential educational value is only being resourced by lucky schools who have IT as part of their curriculum. With the advent of "Learnnet", "Ednet" and the initiative being introduced by the Department of Education and Telecom Eireann our children will be global citizens.
Last May Mrs. Barbro Oxstrand through the medium of e-mail contacted many schools in search of partner schools. Barbro is a class teacher in a "Montessori School "
Nya Varvets Skola , Gothenburg , Sweden.
She successfully attracted a group of schools willing to accept a daunting challenge to bring schools from diverse backgrounds together to form a partnership.
Carrigeen answered the challenge knowing that we are no longer an insular nation but part of a young dynamic European country with an educated population whose ambition may not be halted , but has the right to march on !
Meeting at Carrigeen School September 1997
From left back :
Paolo Sammuri , Francesco Giorgio , Margaret Brennan , Barbro Oxstrand
Kathleen Callaghan , Mark Chevalier , Luci Marco , Guerrieri Gabriella , Dan Dineen , Mary Mcarthy and Helen O'Donnell
Barbro Oxstrand from Gothenburg , Sweden , coordinator of Comenius Project
Here at Carrigeen children have been divided into groups of approximately 10 or 12 children. First ten group leaders were selected from the senior classes. These boys and girls selected their group from the 115 children attending Carrigeen. Gender balance and age was of particular importance in the selection process. This was under the guidance of staff.
Gotenburg , London , Cecina near Florence and Togher NS Dunmanway Co.Cork.
E-Mail addresses and Web Pages of the participating Schools.
Cecina Mare : Tuscany
On October 24 teachers from Carrigeen flew to Pisa. Typical Irish weather prevailed as we made our way to Dublin Airport. Strong currents made the flight turbulent at times. London climate was similar and not until over France did conditions improve. As the journey progressed skies cleared and Genoa was clearly visible with its massive shipyards and streaming lights. We touched down at Galileo Internationl Airport at 7.30 local time ahead of schedule.
Paulo Samuri and Gabriella met us and whisked us off to Cecina Mare 40 km away.We had dinner and sampled the night scene in the Plazza. The Plazza was busy with the youth gathered in groups talking , smoking , enjoying the heat of the night , an occassional drink with out any excess. No boisterous behaviour or lounging about. We were given a good reception knowing we were Irish. Before retiring we sampled the local "grappa" and "lemoncello". Grappa had burning sensation and guaranteed to satisify.
Sunday morning was rest time. During the afternoon Paulo and Gabriella again drove us to Volterra , a medieval town in the Tuscan Hills and bastion of the great "Lorenzo Medici", now a vast prison.
Tuscany is a land typified by extreme beauty, contrasting rolling coastland , tall cypress trees in perfectly straight rows, Pine and a profusion of Olive Groves , Vineyards , rolling plains and everchanging hilltops with stunning towns, flowers and a plethora of cafeteria. etc.
Central to every town is the Duomo or church, plazza and museums adorned with the most exquisite and ornate sculptures and works of Art by the renowned Renaissance artistes. The historical cities of Pisa, Florence and Sienna are gems of enchanting culture, rich in architectural spectacles and the envy of the world.
Group on taken before work on Thursday October 28
Monday morning we spent time at "Leonardo Da Vinci" Scuola Statale . We were introduced to the Staff and children. We were given a tremendously warm reception by everybody.
The Schools at Cecina treat all their children equally with particular emphasis on the weak and handicapped where they are integrated completely in mainstream schools. Schools have spacious buildings and human resources. Extra assistants cope with the weak child in the classroom while the handicapped have facilities suitable for their needs. Total class size is 20 children to 1 teacher, + assistant for remedial work.
Highlight of Leonardo was the official working day. All teachers from Togher, Co Cork, Meadowbrook, London: Scuala Navarvet , Gothenborg and Carrigeen met the entire staff and ancillary staff. The Commune Councilor extended a warm welcome to the visitors wishing them well during their deliberations. He presented each school with a pennant of Cecina while School President Mr. Paolo Samuri greeted the teachers and introduced the children who gave a lively performance of music, song and recitation.
Bróna Woodman Perscio from Belfast and Galway ( Ireland) living in Cecina was most helpful in interpreting for the visitors.
The teachers replied and presented Paolo, Gabriella, Georgio and Marco with suitable gifts.
Lunch followed while teachers and children socialized together. Teachers and children eat together in the spacious hallway.
Sport and physical education play an important in the Italian system. Two hourly sessions are provided weekly. Weather conditions and gymnasium add to the enjoyment of same.
A social evening followed later where everyone enjoyed the occasion and friendships were firmly bonded.
I had the privilege of visiting Bróna and Giovanni Perscio's farm. Their farm is approximately 4 hectares and is intensely cultivated , producing a variety of vegetables, brassicas , olive, vines etc and yields 3 crops annually.
Later we visited local Olive Factory and had the privilege of tasting the first olive oil of the season. Thanks to Brónar , Giovanni, daughter Ilaria and Brian, the only red headed boy at Leonardo Scuola. I wonder why?
This Project has
been made possible by EU Socrates Program funding through
Léargas, the Exchange Bureau.
Views expressed here are those of the school only.
Phone 353 1 873 1411 .............Fax 353 1873 1316
The Exchange Bureau
189 / 193 Parnell St.