Erasmus + project meeting
Second project meeting in Greece
The second meeting took place from 3 to 7 April 2017 in Greece (mandantory for all partners).
The partners arrived from 1 to 2 April 2017 and departed from 7 to 9 April 2017 according to available flight optinons.
A project meeting with delegations from all six partner countries took place for the second time in the current Erasmus + project entitled "My Europe, my future, my responsibility - energy and sustainability". The two partner schools from Greece, the gymnasium from the 2000-year-old village Aiani in the region West Macedonia, and the gymnasium Geniko Lykeio in the small town Velestino in the Thessaly region were the hosts for Germany, Romania, Luxembourg, the Czech Republic and Turkey.
After all participants had arrived at the airport in Thessaloniki, the international group went by bus to the hotel in Kozani, the capital of the West Macedonia region. The welcome dinner took place in a typical Greek country restaurant in Aiani. With cordial "kalispera" "kalhspera" the guests were greeted by the teachers of the school and parents' representatives.
Meeting the next morning was at the Gymnasium of Aiani. Great visit was announced. From the Ministry of Education of the West Macedonia region, Secretary of State Konstantinos Konstantopoulos and Vasiliki Vontsa, head of the Kozani Prefecture, one of four prefectures in the region. In his speech Konstantopoulos underlined the importance of education and international cooperation for the future of the pupils, for Greece and for Europe. To celebrate the day the students of dance group had drawn their costumes and performed traditional dances. After the visit of the representatives of the Ministry of Education, the project teachers of the 7 partner schools met for a first workshop in a classroom. The central idea of the project is to show pupils how they can take responsibility for their own future and thus also the future of their country and Europe in different areas of their lives. The partner schools create learning circles on topics such as food and nutrition, waste prevention and recycling, water, alternative energy forms, energy storage and energy transmission. Intermediate results were exchanged and further project work was discussed. Because of the time-consuming work and the high normal load in the participating schools, the schedule of the project was adapted. Ideas and experiences in the implementation of the project were also exchanged at the joint dinner.
The next morning, the visit to the town hall of Kozani was on the agenda. Mayor Lefteris Ioannidis was unfortunately not in the city for schedule reasons. The guests were warmly welcomed by Antonis Kirinas, the President of the City Council, and by Giorgos Valais, Ioannis Grigoriadis and Aristotelis Poutakidis, the deputies of the mayor.
Since the two Greek partnerships deal with the topic of energy and energy transfer, after the reception in the town hall the visit to the district heating plant at the gates of the city took place. In the control center visitors were very clearly explained how the system works and how it can be controlled.
On the way back, the group had the opportunity to take a look at the urban nursery. The little ones had a lot of questions and they were amazed to hear how many different countries the guests came from.
The next morning the bags had to be packed again. The two Greek partner schools are about 200 km apart. The trip, however, should be very exciting. The road passed the Meteora monasteries in Kalampaka, which belong to the UNESCO world cultural heritage. The name Metéora derives from meteorizo, which means "lift up". This name describes the location of the monasteries built on high sandstone rocks. The imposing cliffs with the monasteries have served as spectacular film scenes such as 1981 for the James Bond film “For Your Eyes Only”. After the stopover in Kalampaka the journey continued to the hotel in Magrinitsa, 600 meters above the bay of Volos. This small part of Volos is more like a village in the Alps than a typical Greek village. At dinner the impressions of the day were processed and the next days program discussed. Intensive project work was waiting. After breakfast, the group went back down the serpentines to the small town of Velestino to visit the local partner school. At first, however, the mayor expected the group. Dimitris Nisikas greeted the guests warmly and proudly reported on Rigas Velestinlis, the most important son of the city (* 1757 in Velestino, 24 June 1798 in Belgrade).
Velestinlis was a Greek writer and revolutionary and a pioneer of the Greek Revolution of 1821, which ultimately led to Greek independence from the Ottoman Empire. Today, his portrait decorates the Greek 10 cent coins.
After visiting the town hall, the group went to Geniko Lykeio. All the pupils and the entire teaching staff greeted the guests in the schoolyard. After interesting discussions in the teacher's room on similarities and differences in the education systems of the partner countries, the next project workshop was on the agenda. Uniform structures for the learning circles were defined. The date for the next videoconference at the end of the school year was fixed. The next project meeting in the Czech Republic in autumn was scheduled and the time window for the obligatory attendance of all partners was set.
The time at the second Greek partnership passed very quickly. After the second night in the hotel it went back to Thessaloniki. The Romanian partners already left on Fridays. The flights of the remaining participants did not start until Sunday. The remaining teachers used the opportunity to explore Thessaloniki under the expert guidance of the Greek teachers. The second largest city in Greece has much to offer. The basilica of Hagios Demetrios, the Byzantine city wall, the Arcade of the Galerius, the port and numerous small alleyways waited to be discovered. Visitors were most impressed by the White Tower, the city's landmark. In the interior, you can experience the moving history of the historically significant city from room to room, in multi-media form, before you are rewarded with a magnificent view over the bay and the promenade for the numerous climbed staircases.
With many unforgettable impressions from the Greek partner schools and country and people the next morning everyone went home. The main task of such a project meeting was fully achieved. Despite the time burden of the project work besides the normal school day, the basis for a successful cooperation was strengthened by the friendly relations and the resulting mutual sense of responsibility for the project and the European spirit was intensified.
Erasmus+ is the school-related part of the EU program for lifelong learning. The European Union promotes project work, in particular cross-border exchanges and visits between partners of a school partnership. Unfortunately, only funds for the teacher mobility and not for pupils were made available for this project.
Project workshop at Geniko Lykeio:
Responsible for the protocol: Guenter Peifer, Eichenlaubschule