On January 24, 2008, the European Commission announced the results of a study showing that participating in school partnerships under the E.U.’s Comenius program brings clear advantages to the pupils, teachers, and schools involved. According to the press release, “such school partnerships have been found to help pupils to learn better, they improve schools’ teaching and learning environments, motivate pupils and teachers to learn foreign languages, and improve intercultural awareness and competences.”
The E.C. commissioned a study in 2007 to assess the impact of these Comenius school partnerships on teachers, pupils, and the participating schools as a whole.
The press release states that Ján Figel', E.U. commissioner for education, training, culture, and youth, welcomed these findings and stressed the need to strengthen the European dimension in school education. “Comenius brings ‘ Europe’ into the classrooms and enriches school education. But it is not only about bringing young Europeans together. It also helps pupils and teachers to improve key competences and skills that are needed for a successful career in our increasingly advanced, knowledge-based society. This study shows how much pupils, teachers, and schools have to gain by taking part in Comenius. I encourage many more to join in, particularly in this European Year of Intercultural Dialog 2008.”
Among other things, the Commission adds that the survey showed that more than 80% of teachers noted that their pupils became more interested in other countries and cultures. “They improved considerably their knowledge of life in general and school life in particular in the partner countries, and also showed more tolerance towards other cultures and foreigners,” notes the press release.
For more information on the results of the European Commission study, visit http://ec.europa.eu/education/programmes/llp/impact_en.html.
Information on the Comenius program in particular is available from the following address: http://ec.europa.eu/education/programmes/llp/comenius/index_en.html.