The idea of the project came from the fact that the educational system in Greece is a controversial issue with a lot of negative points that need to be discussed. It is exam-centered, highly theoretical, teacher-centered, it favors the good students and wrongs the weak ones .
As a result ,many students leave school long before graduating. Other reasons for dropping out school could be the bad family environment or background, bullying, racism which leads to social exclusion, the student’s indifference or boredom, the long-distance from the students’ residence to the school, or even economic reasons which force students to abandon school in order to work. In times of economic crisis that Greece lives today, the phenomenon of early school leaving should be studied carefully. Similar research on other European educational systems needed to be done in order to compare the results.
The project aimed to involve- apart from teachers and students- parents, psychologists, educators and organizations in general, specialized in issues related to dropping –out school. In this way the problem was studied thoroughly and the whole community got a better insight.
The approach to achieve our objectives was active involvement of every student in the planning, implementation and evaluation processes of the project. Ensuring the effective cooperation and communication using the ICT effectively, disseminating the project results and activities by organizing competitions in local schools and by conferences for local people, meetings with local authorities and civil organizations, organizing project meetings to exchange ideas, regular evaluations by surveys, questionnaires, interviews with the students, teachers, parents and local people, involving the local people and parents to the period by open days at institutions and use of local media. We were 5 participant schools:
- (Greece- Xanthi) 2nd General Lycium of Xanthi
- (Turkey – Sasali, Cigli) Çiğli Fen Lisesi
- (Italy – Napoli) IIS Vittorio Emanuele II
- (Poland- Dąbrowa Górnicza) Queen Jadwiga Complex of Schools no 4
- (Portugal- Almada) Escola Secundária Fernão Mendes Pinto
Needless to say that the cooperation between partners was based on mutual respect for each other’s national and cultural identity. Values like tolerance, understanding, acceptance, trust and similar were necessary in order to form a partnership that would carried out activities and produced material which will help us understand better why under-achievers mainly drop out school in the European countries involved in the project. Stereotypes and prejudices were questioned and rejected through careful studying and will be replaced by notions such as equity, acceptance, and respect to diversity.
By the end of the project we believe that we have a better knowledge of the European educational systems and we are able to identify the weak points. Consequently, we could suggest some changes that are included in the website of the school or are part of this magazine. Most importantly, teachers will probably change their attitude towards students who abandon school and be more helpful since they will be further educated and guided by experts or counsellors.
All in all , by learning to discourage students from abandoning school and practically help them to graduate, wherever in Europe they live, we encourage future European citizens to learn to struggle ,in order to achieve their goals.