Successful Comenius Regio partnership between St. Thomas More College and Ioan Petrus High School, Romania
St. Thomas More College has just ended successfully a two-year partnership project with “Ioan Petrus High School” of Otopeni, Romania, entitled ‘Informal and Non-Formal education through ICT’. This project was co-financed through European funds. The two educational institutions worked together to implement informal and non-formal educational initiatives using as much as possible ICT ‘tools’ in order to make learning more interactive, enjoyable and technologically advanced to students. Besides the two entities, three other organisations also took part in the project; one Maltese organisation, the ‘Easy School of Languages’ and two Romanian counterparts; Otopeni Local Council and Agenda 21, a non-governmental organisation.
Such tasks basically entailed a compilation of a DVD, containing a number of lessons taught in an informal manner, which means that lessons did not only take place in classrooms, but also outside school. Apart from this, throughout such lessons, students could use their mobile phones, digital cameras, connect to the internet and use more sophisticated equipment by means of interactive whiteboards and hand-held devices (remote controls) to access educational sites which gave teaching and learning a different dimension to formal education. Such lessons were delivered not only to Secondary school students, but also to Primary and Kindergarten pupils. Infact, students attending the Sta. Lucia Secondary school, Paola Secondary and Marsascala Primary (all schools form part of St. Thomas More college) were directly involved in such informal and non-formal experiences. A logo, metaphorically representing students by means of a flower, bearing the message ‘we study for life’ (showing within this article) was also created to promote the concept of lifelong learning. Students were taught that just like the flower, they have to ‘water themselves’ with knowledge and learning to grow into healthy and smart adults.
Throughout the project, each participating country was allowed two visits to the partner country. Two Maltese groups, consisting of headteachers, assistant heads, teachers and college staff members had the opportunity to visit Romania in April 2013 and May 2014 while the Romanian delegations visited Malta in June and November, 2013.
Teachers and academic staff members also had the opportunity to participate in two Training courses; Alternative methods of Teaching through the application of Non-formal and Informal education methods and the use of ICT and The Use of ICT as a Teaching Tool held in October 2013 and June 2014 respectively.
The experience and knowledge acquired throughout the project was disseminated within all the schools of St. Thomas More College. The College is thankful to EUPA for the funding, Ms Josephine Mifsud, College Principal, Easy School of Languages and all the schools who participated in this project and made it feasible.
o.b.o. St. Thomas More College