Italian news

Resources for students and teachers during coronavirus closures

I.S.S. “G. Penna” of Asti (Northern Italy) is making use of numerous online resources that learners can access to turn the coronavirus home isolation into a great learning experience. 

As a wide variety of free technology tools are available to support online education, the School is promoting online communication and interaction between teachers, students and parents though: 

  • Electronic class register;
  • Messaging Tools (e.g. Whatsapp);
  • Google Classroom: aimed to help organize day-to-day tasks, communication, and foster greater collaboration;
  • Edmodo: aimed to help teachers get started with distance learning.

Every week, our teachers prepare specific training material and resources to share with their classes and they also create and make video lectures.  The teachers schedule Meetings with Zoom Website, they use Zoom or Meet for remote and online learning.

They also benefit from the classroom app Socrative to review students’ understanding as well as monitor and evaluating the learning process.

Both students and teachers are very satisfied with online learning. The main weakness of online education is the internet connection, In fact, although the majority of students has internet access, the quality of the connection is bad and it may affect the learning process.  

Portuguese news

Education in Portugal during Corona Crisis

We all live a new reality. The new coronavirus is changing the world at an impressive speed. All members of society are trying to adapt to this new world. The most important goal right now is to prevent the spread of the virus, therefore we were asked to stay at home, protect ourselves and others and follow the instructions of the National Health Services.

One of the first measures taken by the Portuguese government to fight the spread of COVID-19 was to close all educational establishments in the country. Since March 16th, teachers and students are doing their best to keep classes going on, now at distance and using technologies and digital tools to support their activities.

Many parents are working from home, others had to stay at home, even if their jobs cannot be performed there, because they have to look after their children who had no school to go to.

The Ministry of Education has developed an Educational website, under the slogan – “We did not stop! We are ON to support the educational community, where they are sharing resources, digital tools and distance learning tutorials, but also a direct telephone contact and  motivational videos made by students to their pairs. 

The Portuguese educational communities are exploring the many tools available online in order to communicate with parents and students and, somehow, continue teaching and learning activities. Schools from our National Network are not different and some have shared their experience with us.

For instance, Francisco de Holanda secondary school is currently using text messages, group chats on WhatsApp and emails to communicate with students and parents. The school is also trying to continue some activities that were running during classes by allowing students to finish their work, clear up doubts and deliver their essays by email. The major problem is the lack of direct contact between teacher and student, which is crucial in the educational process. To get around this, they have been recording lectures in podcasts and/or video and sharing them on several platforms like Google Classroom, Moodle or Edmodo. They use ZOOM, WebEx and Skype to maintain a certain class regularity by doing videoconferencing. Practical and laboratory classes were replaced by works on simulators such as Fritzing, MultiSim, 123DCircuits, as well as other applications available.

Teachers provide study material, such as worksheets, notes, book references, educational media for students to do at home, but they also suggest books, movies, TV shows that students can enjoy by their own or together with their families.  

Similarly, the other schools are continuing their mission by reinforcing their online presence, by sharing interesting educational content by email or on their Facebook pages and websites.

The main concern of these schools is to keep common sense and balance in order to not increase the already existing social stress, resulting from this pandemic, and not to harm the students with fewer resources, less parental support and/or less access to technologies, which could cause social inequalities and, consequently, inequality in learning opportunities.

We are all living difficult times, but we are also becoming better human beings – Sharing more, collaborating more, helping more – “Divided we fight, but united we stand”, as the lyrics of this song says.

To all our friends,
Stay home, stay safe! Everything will be fine, soon.

Belgian news

COVID19: How we deal with you

For the past few days Belgium has been living in containment. We are not (yet) in complete containment, but we have been recommended to stay home as much as possible. The government has therefore taken the decision to close establishments and provide telework to certain sectors. As far as education is concerned, primary and secondary schools are open, but teachers do not give lessons. Schools remain open for children who have no choice but to come to school because the parents work in the medical sector, in supermarkets, police, education etc. Regarding the courses, in schools where there is an online platform, teachers and students continue their courses online.

But this is only in schools where students and parents come from a social middle class. The children all have internet and a computer at home. For many public schools, this is not the case, teachers send lessons by email, for those who have one, and others send it by mail. A much more critical situation in terms of equal opportunities.

Fortunately for the students, teachers are not allowed to give new subjects but mostly revision, so students will not be stuck on it. At least that is the case so far. Parents, students and faculty remain very concerned by this situation which is very close to the end of the year exams.

For Erasmus+ students abroad, they have all been repatriated. At the moment there is no more news on the situation. This is also the case for students doing their internship in Belgium. Students do not know if the exams and internships will be postponed, validated or cancelled.

We are therefore more in fear of the future than the present regarding the continuity of learning and teaching. Those measures put in place don’t really reassure and convince parents and students.

English News

VET in Germany during the corona crisis

Decisive for the situation of VET students during the corona crisis in Germany is the dual VET system. Vocational education and training only partly takes place in VET schools. The practical training takes place in companies and the VET students get paid for working there. All schools in Germany are closed right now, including the VET schools.

Therefore, VET students are solely in their companies now. If the company is still able to work depends on the sector. The craft businesses are working, since they are often working in small teams. Especially important are the VET students in the health and social sector (e.g. child care workers, nurses, etc.), which can be of additional help in system-relevant institutions like children’s homes, care homes, hospitals, etc.

The German Trade Union Youth published important information for VET students regarding the current situation and what rights they have in terms of their education (e.g. exams, short-time working, quarantine of the company, etc.):

The VET schools are asked to digitize their materials and give tasks to the VET students, which they can either do at their company or at home. Many VET teachers send materials and tasks by e-mail. The VET training centre of the Leipzig public transport company provided their VET students with Microsoft Teams accounts for team chats, lessons and video conferences and uses Sharepoint to share data, documents, materials, etc. In addition, they use the offer of the company Christiani, a provider of technical education, who decided to open their online courses for VET students in electrical engineering and metal technology. Until the end of April VET students can temporarily use the full versions for free and learn basics in both fields:

This is an exception, since many online offers and trainings are intended for students and teachers of elementary or grammar schools. The German platform for education provides a good overview on these digital tools:


Italian news

The role of journalism in strengthening public awareness

Last January, students and teachers of the Upper Secondary Technical Vocational Institute “F. Scarpellini” – based in Foligno (Italy) – had the opportunity to meet the Italian journalist Marco Frittella to investigate into the role, potential and challenges of the Italian TV Journalism.
According to Mr. Frittella, journalist’s selection of sources play a key role, he also underlined that manipulation is a serious risk for journalists using social media.
The workshop was highly appreciated and seemed to be very useful for the participants.
Bulgarian news

eCON, a European practice for future young economists

On 01.10.2019 started the Project “eCON – European practice for future young economists” involving two of the associated partners of the ENNE Project:

  • Vocational High School in Economics “G. S. Rakovsky”, Yambol, Bulgaria;
  • National High School in Finance and Business, Sofia, Bulgaria.

The project is implemented in a consortium with one more vocational school and a foundation. The project stipulates the sending of a group of 24 students from 10-11 grade (8 students and one teacher from each school) from Economics and ManagementBusiness Administration and Trade specialties from the three vocational high schools to a two-week practice in Barcelos and Portugal in the summer of 2020.
The mobility participants will develop and build on their key competences and skills in enterprise economics and in particular on various business performance indicators of the firm. Through the practical exercises in a real working environment, eCON project will result in improving the skills and competences of the students for:

  • Analyzing the quality of products and services and producing comparative analyses;
  • Performing economic analysis of volume and structure of sales in SMEs and understanding the process of forming profit targets;
  • Developing work organization hierarchy and mapping the main processes in SMEs;
  • Preparing financial analyses according to different indicators and assessment of the financial state of real films and ideas for improving it;
  • Assimilating financial reporting practices according to International Accounting Standards (IAS, IFRS) and their practical implementation by solving Portuguese case studies;
  • Planning the creation of new products/services in real firms;
  • Planning the marketing of SMEs.

These acquired practical skills and competences will be certified from the receiving organisation, an employer reference, as well as Europass Mobility document, which will expand students’ career opportunities. By developing specific skills through practice, students will become more competitive and adept at the needs of the business and with increased prospects for realization on the labor market.

Italian news

Inclusive education, the transnational mobility experiences

The High School “Rocco Chinnici” based in Sicily was part of the Erasmus+ projectOpen door, open mind: welcome in Europe: Transnational mobility experiences for inclusive education” gave the opportunity to experience transnational mobility to further develop teachers’ professional competencies and the integration of migrant students into schools.

The project aims to:

  • improve teacher professional development through the development of 21st-century skills;
  • improve the school international strategy. 16 teachers benefitted from transnational mobilities to 5 different European increasing their intercultural competencies.
Italian news

Communication Skills for personal and professional growth

IPSSAT Rocco Chinnici is partner in the Erasmus+ Project «Effective Communication – Communication Skills» (Nr. 2018-1-CZ01-KA229-048217_2) implemented by 5 Schools from the Czech Republic, Bulgary, Italy, Turkey and Portugal, involving around 250 students.
Learners developed their communication skills through team building and group work activities as well as their digital skills to improve communication effectiveness.

IPSSAT “Rocco Chinnici” is a sicilian high school specialized in the field of hospitality and tourism and the next may 2020 will host the final project meeting.

Italian news

Students called to humanize the economy

On 20th of February 2020 in the Auditorium of Foligno (IT) the students of ITE “Scarpellini” took part to the “Economy of Francesco” event.
The meeting is part of the big call by the Pope to all young world economists during the last years to create a humanized economy.

The focus was the importance to return the economy more humanesustainable  and humanly engaged by putting non-capitalist values at the centre, but aimed at the well-being of the human being and equity.

The discussion was based on the need to care for the land but also the necessity to upgrade professional skills according to a rapidly changing reality of market labour and the distance between the needs of society and the business objectives we find in the books school.

The event was the prepping for the appointment on march 2020 in Assisi (IT) (it’s actually postponed on november 2020), where the Pope will meet young economists from all over the world to discuss the future of economy

Italian news

Transition from school to work

The students of the Business Management Department of ITE “Scarpellini” (Foligno, IT) met the experts of A.N.C.L. (National Labour Association) within the framework of a project promoted by the Department of Business Economics of the University of Perugia

The aim of this meeting was to make the skills acquired by the students concrete through an in-depth study of the rules governing the current labour market in Italy. They did so by illustrating the connections with the school system and by encouraging a more conscious approach.   

The course was divided in three different meetings and it was organized following a practical methodology. The students had the possibility to meet professional experts who actively involved the young participants, inviting them to test themselves in real life simulations of the labour market.