A project European Active Citizenship has begun in September 2016. The participants are five countries: Croatia, Italy, Latvia, Finland and Spain. The projects coordinator is a Cordobas IES Trassiera team. We have spent two years doing hard, yet interesting work. This May a final activity of the project took place in Riga. We had already made posters, played orientation game in Croatia, recorded podcasts in Finland and showed a play in Spanish theatre. This time Riga Secondary School No 25 was hosting foreign guests.
Participants started to arrive on May 6th. They met their hosting families, who they were going to live with next few days. Guests also were able to get a short excursion around Riga and enjoy the warm weather.
In the first day of the project, all participants gathered at schools assembly hall. Guests were welcomed with flags of all participating countries and applauses. The day started with opening ceremony. During the ceremony, the word was given to our headmistress Inga Nestere and teachers Gita Šulce and Tālivaldis Mežis. Delegations from all countries were introduced to each other and got small presents. A choir and a dance club Fairytale concluded the ceremony.
Afterwards guests were taken to an excursion around the school. They were introduced briefly with our schools history, every days life and the most interesting traditions. Foreigners were also able to walk inside classrooms and observe the studying process in our school.
Later all participants took a tram and went to the city centre. The plan was to have a short excursion through narrow streets of Old Riga. Our pupils were their guides and showed the most popular historical places and buildings.
The second and the third day were meant for a serious work. For two days five participating countries were discussed the most important problems about strategy Europe 2020. In the introduction our special guest, a secretary of Fiscal disciplines council Dace Kalsone, said an inspiring speech about our values and future in Europe.
All participating students were split into five groups. Each group worked in different classroom. There was a chairman and a secretary in each group. The responsibility for chairing and documenting the meeting took Latvian students. Pupils from other four countries were talking about problems that theyve made a research about before coming to Latvia. On the first working day two problems were discussed. Students from Finland told about poverty and social exclusion, but Croatian team talked about migration. Both countries offered three solutions to each problem, and a group had to choose one from each topic.
On the next day, we were working in the same way, only this time Italy was presenting the topic about sustainability and Spain talked about unemployment. Besides each group divided the budget for these four problems. They had to give 100% of budget in total. As it was May 9th, which is known as the European day, all students together tried to find answers to European exams questions. We were surprised, yet proud that that kind of exam is only in our country and that we prepare for it.
After active debates participants ate lunch and went to our new sports complex. Were very proud of it, because at the beginning of this school year our school got a new, modern sports complex. Students also visited a technical creativitys house Annas 2, meanwhile teachers went to Riga municipality.
The third and the last working day finished with debates for all students together. The chairman of these big debates was our special guest Andris Gobiņš. Hes a leader of European Movement in Latvia. The debates were intense, Mr. Gobiņš managed to lead the debates in the way that everyone was engaged in a discussion.
In the evening the closing party took place in our assembly hall. Each countrys delegation got a present, certificates and photo of all participants. The word was given to Eduardo Cas, a coordinator of the project. When the official part of the party ended, we all could relax and have fun. Participants learned to dance Latvian folk dances and played popular Latvian games. Also an online quiz about the project and all participating countries in a site kahoot.it was admitted to be very interesting.
The last day was supposed to be a relaxation day too. We wanted to show our guests another city Jūrmala. All participants went by train to the city by the sea and visited an adventure park Tarzan. Teachers and students had an opportunity to test their abilities and strength. Afterwards everyone went to the beach and took a short walk through the city.
In the evening participants went to a picnic in Doles Island. Everyone had fun and even forgot about the fact that they had to leave their friends the next day.
Without doubt, this was an excellent experience either for foreign delegations and us. During the project, we found out more about the strategy Europe 2020 and the EU institutions. We learned to understand the main problems in all European countries and found solutions to them. Furthermore, we improved our English language skills and learned about more specific subjects such as radio podcasts, making posters and debating process. It was a big challenge for us all. Of course, we also got new friends and colourful memories that will never get lost.
Laura Bukēviča Riga Secondary School No 25, Form 11