Save the children from school abandonment and non-integration - SCAN project

Short summary

This program was developed in partnership and consultancy with VIA university Denmark (with a longstanding experience in ESL matters);

Objectives of the project:

1.       Preventing and reducing early school leaving by supporting and training people

involved in the teaching process- pupils, parents, teachers, community - by permanently identifying a new chance.

2.       Development of strategies, action plans to prevent the early school leaving phenomenon for 2000 pupils from four regions of Romania.

Through the participation of the seven partners - one transnational and six national: stakeholders from seven counties school authorities and teachers from 30 high schools; university academics from UAIC University, Department of Psychology and Educational Sciences  - the project contributes to the elaboration of strategies, action plans and concrete measures through:

-preventing the phenomenon of early school leaving;

-inclusion in the education system of pupils at risk of dropout;

-professional certification of persons in families of children exposed to this risk;

-Reintegration into education of people who have dropped out of school.

3.       Implementing action to prevent the early school leaving phenomenon by supporting financial support of 2000 students, as well as through the training of 600 teachers and 400 parents from six counties – from the least developed four regions of Romania.

The SCAN project created a favourable context for correcting the phenomenon of school dropout in secondary education,  at multi-regional level, by financial support - starting with the second year of implementation.

4.       During 3 years of training creating tools for staff involved in diminishing school dropout through the development and testing of methodologies, beside that courses and seminars for teachers and parents were provided..

Experts involved in this project developed and tested methodologies, courses and seminars for teachers, parents and other staff involved in educating students at risk of school dropout.

5.       Identification of strategies for student reintegration by implementing specific measures for 1910 students in risk / drop out situation, by reintegrating 90 people who dropped out of school and through counselling and professional orientation of 1510 parents for a period of 3 years.

Quality of intervention programs, counselling and professional guidance, financial support for students at risk school dropouts, continuing education offers for teachers and other categories of specialists - psycho-pedagogue, social worker, priest - will lead to the development of human capital by correlating lifelong learning with the needs of the labour market, contributing to the fulfilment of the general objective of the SOP HRD.

The counties: Iasi, Vaslui, Botosani, Braila, Mures, Maramures

Other partners: Denmark

 The project promoted and achieved equal opportunities in multiple dimensions, as follows:

- through scholarships awarded equally to beneficiaries;

- by equal treatment of the different rural and urban communities in which the need for education is not assumed;

- by carrying out activities in those economically less developed counties where the idea of ​​inequality is deep rooted in generating self-origination phenomena;

Context of good practice

Romania is constantly on the last positions among the EU countries in the international evaluations of the quality of education. The average duration of school attendance, the participation of young people in school education and vocational training, the proportion of young people who are not in education, training or employees are some chapters in which Romania is in the last places in the European rankings.  In large and smallest cities, school        drop-out rate is lower, in rural areas it doubles.

 Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iaşi is the oldest higher education institution in Romania. Since 1860, the university has been carrying on a tradition of excellence and innovation in the fields of education and research. Psychology and Education Sciences as part of UAIC is involved in different project alongside with County School Inspectorate from several regions.

"Alexandru Ioan Cuza" University in partnership with VIA University College Denmark, Iasi County School Inspectorate, Botosani County School Inspectorate, Vaslui County School Inspectorate, Maramures County School Inspectorate, Mures County School Inspectorate and Braila County School Inspectorate are carrying out the project Save Children from Abandonment and Non-integration – SCAN project.

 

Main characteristics of the challenge, description of the target group

The SCAN project addresses pupils, parents, teachers and the community in 4 regions of the country, thus contributing to the goal at regional level. Pupils from disadvantaged areas were identified and admitted to the high schools included in the project. New special classrooms were created; children were offered boarding (dormitory and meals) and a monthly stipend; teachers were specially trained to deal with the special needs of these children.

. Experts will collaborate throughout the implementation of the project with the partners to identify and implement best practices, both national and international, on the reintegration of pupils in school dropout situations.

 The transnational character of the project consists of a partnership with a Danish university consortium - VIA University College, which provides the transfer of know-how on "outdoor learning" and "outdoor education" techniques. Within this partnership, a contrastive study will be carried out between the two education systems in order to identify the causes, trends and ways of preventing and correcting school dropout in Romania.

The project created specific tools for students in risk and their teachers - through continuous training programs focused on non-formal education strategies, learning of "outdoor learning" and "outdoor education", "school after school" , the realization of "schools of Sunday".


Success factors and processes

During the project, documentation / information activities were carried out with the support of the Danish partner and exchanges of experience were organized at institutions in Denmark and Romania with the participation of the implementation team (management team) and long-term experts (experts hired for during the entire project) then  from the University Alexandru Ioan Cuza Iasi and the County School Inspectorates partners.

An exchange of best practices between the team in Romania and the transnational partner was made; the members of the Romanian team visited the institutions in Denmark where they identified intervention tools and strategies to correct the school dropout rate in Romania:

  • Developing partnerships between school-community-parents in order to reduce and prevent the early school leaving phenomena in primary and secondary school
  • Identifying within the community and Training social mediators for pupils at risk
  • Performing educational activities integrated, in partnership, for increasing school success and / or preventing school dropout
  • Creating virtual networks between schools, local institutions, employment services, social and health services etc. in prevention of school dropout and for school reintegration, with using the e-learn platform
  • Psychological training and counselling a parents / guardians to awareness of the importance of education in pupils' lives
  • Training the teachers in order to assimilate and understand the “second-chance” strategy both for pupils as well as for the parents ( using the non-formal education, techniques for increasing the self-esteem of the pupils, mediating the conflicts, creating a community partnership in order to reduce and prevent the early school leaving phenomena
  • Performing activities such as: after school; non-formal education, educational workshop, sport teams, clubs, specialized camps, etc.

All long-term experts from County School Inspectorates have disseminated the information and examples of good practice gained during the visit to Denmark.

Also, the project focused on reintegration activities for abandoned pupils  or the risk of school dropout, respecting the principle of equal opportunities, gender and sustainable development. In all six partner counties, the 1106 selected students as beneficiaries of the project were organized in pilot classes. The pedagogical teams of these classes organized and carried out after school and outdoor school activities aiming to ensure student development both in terms of school performance and social skills.

 The "school after school" program included language learning, social education and volunteering. Beneficiaries - students and parents - had access to counselling services - in individual and group sessions - to increase self-esteem, capitalize on the creative potential and raise awareness of the place of the school for every person, group, community.

 Evolution of Beneficiary Students Save the Children Abandon and Non-Integration - SCAN project is continuously recorded, monitored and improved with the help of PEI - Individualized Educational Plan (see the annex1 in Romanian/English), an innovative tool developed by the SCAN Expert Team, an instrument that addresses teachers, pupils and parents.

 In order to develop the professional capacity of the staff involved in the prevention and combating the phenomena of school dropout, 624 teachers participated in the training programs held by professors from "Alexandru Ioan Cuza" University of Iasi and VIA University College Denmark: outdoor education school, non-formal education strategies, motivational strategies and stress management, and information and communication technology.

 The project's experiences were synthesized in two volumes: Guidelines for Good Practice and 4D in Education addressed to all categories of specialists involved in the prevention and correction of school dropout. 

Impact of measures taken

At the end of the project, 90 "scholarship" programs have been awarded to students in Iasi, Vaslui and Braila – and parents who did not have compulsory completed studies. In order to facilitate access to the labour market, three centres for assessment and certification of professional competences acquired through informal and non-formal learning were set up and authorized in Iasi, Vaslui and Sighetu-Marmatiei.

 

 

Also here are some results, in number:

 

Number of people who benefited from counselling / guidance - preventive measures to leave school early: 3520

Number of training participants - corrective measures early school leaving: 600

Number of participants in education programs "a second chance „: 490

Number of participants in education programs "to second chance ": 300

Number of people who benefited from counselling / guidance and continued their studies – measures preventive early school leaving: 1800

Number of education degree graduates "a second chance "- corrective measures of early departure a school: 420

Number of certified training participants – measures corrective early school leaving: 420

number of parents / tutors who have benefited from counselling / guidance: 1510

 

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Target group of good practice:

Teacher

Country:

Romania

Related links:

SCAN project website

Author:

Laurentiu Contiu

Institution:

UAIC

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