From kindergarten to professional training
The Velvet Revolution, which catapulted Austria and Slovakia into the heart of Europe, took place more than a quarter of a century ago. Although it is still difficult for adults to adjust to the change in situation, children and adolescents have been raised in a region without borders. Younger generations are curious and free from fear and reservations towards what is supposedly foreign. Projects sending children and adolescents across borders support neighboring countries such as Austria and Slovakia and bring them closer together.
Within the framework of the IB-KE and IBKSP projects, partnerships were formed between around 90 kindergartens and over 60 elementary schools in Bratislava, Vienna, and Lower Austria. Austrian children learn Slovak and Slovak children get to know the German language. Exchanging visits and playing games together deepen this relationship.
School partnerships between Vienna and Bratislava could be formed thanks to the EdTWIN project. First, the pupils took language courses as preparation for the program. Then, they could demonstrate their acquired language and intercultural skills in riddle rallies or during several week-long internships in the neighboring country.
Dual professional training in Austria has been a success, thus there is also interest in Slovakia in applying this model. The EdTRANS Project is taking dual professional training across borders in the areas of fruit cultivation, viticulture, gardening, and electrical engineering. In the process, language courses are not offered separately but instead integrated into technical training courses using a modern method. Graduates will be equally qualified to work in both Austria and Slovakia, thus opening up to them a larger job market.
Waste prevention is the topic engaging pupils from Burgenland and Slovakia in the course of the project LAKO 2. Guided by the Burgenland waste collection service and the ZOHŽO association of the communities of the Upper Žitný ostrov island, pupils from schools in both regions develop concrete ideas for avoiding waste. Prizes are awarded for the best projects. At the same time, pupils are to pass on what they learned to their parents and friends.
Award-winning summer camps: EXREN project developed a way how to motivate young people to go for a career in the field of energy efficiency and renewable energy.