Third meeting report
The third Project’s meeting took place at Maresal Fevzi Çakmak Ortaokulu in Yalova – Turkey from the 20th to the 24th May 2013.
The meeting’s agenda was very carefully planned to include all the dimensions required for the Projects meeting.
The host school represented by his director Mr Serdar Kara and the English teacher Miss Tugçe Bodur warmly welcomed the participants introducing the week’s agenda that also contained facts and history of Yalova. The field trips were also assisted by Nuray Albayak the arts teacher, Gokay Hayon the social studies teacher and Mustafa Demir the maths teacher.
Some partner schools introduced new teachers in this mobility (Hungary, Bulgaria and Italy) and three partners bring students (Germany 6, Bulgaria 3 and Hungary 5).
Six of the eight partners were represented by their directors or school principals what means that the project is still regarded as a strong and viable one in their school communities.
The week constituted a big logistics challenge to organizers once fourteen foster homes had to be carefully provided. The hosting families were very cooperating, warm and careful and participative not only in the school activities but also during the educational field trips we did to Iznik and Bursa and Istanbul.
Activities in the school were prepared in order to keep the visiting students motivated and at the same time providing space and time to acknowledge a bit of the Turkish culture. Traditional folk and traditional painting ateliers were enforced beside the normal school classes’ routines.
All dimensions were well organised and special dedicated activities were provided:
The ateliers have been enthusiastically attended once the themes were very appealing: Turkish folk dances and plastic expressions atelier.
The routine class times were preserved in order to give the participants a comprehensive idea of the Turkish educational system on primary and lower secondary (5th and 6th grades). The visit to the class rooms and other school facilities (library, teacher’s room, ICT room, playgrounds, etc.) was much participated and well guided by our Turkish partners. One of the highlights was the gathering of all participants with all the local teachers in the teacher’s room followed by a traditional Turkish lunch. This moment was very important as teachers had the opportunity to exchange differences and similarities of their educational systems and exchange examples of good practices.
Facts and numbers about the Turkish educational system and the Yalova’s provincial educational status were provided during the reception at the Provincial Directorate for National Education by the Provincial Director, during the welcoming of the delegate’s briefing.
The scheduled visit to the Vocational High School enriched the knowledge about schooling offer in Turkey, fulfilling one important objective of Comenius Projects. This well programmed visit was hosted by the school Director seconded by the English teacher.
Foster families, as above mentioned, have been carefully chosen which provided to our students a home ambience full of care and attention to individual needs.
Once again and as most of the participants have attended the previous meetings, the moments of social interaction between teachers were fulfilled with a cohesion feeling, joy, motivation and a “belonging” feeling.
The dissemination of the project was not disregard and news were published, namely in the internet pages of the Romanian Targoviste City Hall. Most of the partner schools will disseminate news of this meeting in their school newspapers and school web pages, amongst other initiatives as the Project’s web page.
The study visits were of a great interest with diversified themes and historical/social interesting points as the:
- Museums, Ayasofya, ceramics atelier and the old school in Izniz;
- Covered bazaar, green tomb and city view in Bursa;
- Ayasofya Mosque, Topkapi Palace, Basilica Cisterna, Sultan Ahmet Mosque and a boat trip in the Bosporus channel in Istanbul;
- Ataturk’s house and the Termal trip in Termal;
- The “Deprem Aniti” or moving house in Yalova.
There were two formal Project’s meetings where discussion and reflection about the work and results of the first Project year took place. A balance was done and more innovative ideas were launched to the next theme. It was approved the collection and publish of a subtheme for the fourth theme about traditional games.
Over all, participants were happy with the results achieved within the first year and with the materials produced.
It was decided to maintain all the decisions approved during the German meeting, concerning the Project’s material production and presentation.
Doubts were explained and discussed again, namely the moodle platform layout and how to reach the posted information. It was asked by our ICT coordinator, Kostas from the Greek partner school to channel to him in the first place all information to be posted.
The group felt so united and happy with the way all delegates worked so far together that the idea of continuation on a new Comenius Project was launched with everybody’s approbation. The German and Portuguese team exposed a future Project’s idea that was approved by the presents and will be, in future, structured and presented to all partner schools for further and detailed discussion.
The Turkish meeting was a success due to its meticulous preparation and flawless execution. It was a very comprehensive week with all educational dimensions taken care of and social moments full of interaction. The hosts mobilized part of the docents to accompany the delegates and foreign students as well as they mobilized the entire school to participate in the programmed Comenius meeting activities, presenting us moments of Turkish folk and traditions, enriching our knowledge about their magnificent country. Resuming, I would dare to say that the Comenius Project week in Yalova was, no doubt, a Turkish delight.