After Iceland, Norway, Estonia, Poland and Italy was Chios the last station of the Comenius programme. Because of this there were 22 teachers coming from five different countries to the Greek island located in the Aegean Sea. All members of Comenius wanted, like the target of the programme says, to develop the European idea and to shed frontiers between the specific countries and their educational systems.
Wednesday, 13th of June 2012, was the starting signal of this unique European experience. The teachers from all around Europe were welcomed from Second Primary School of Vrontados.The presentations, consisting of five different nation-related acts, showed the specific traditions and cultures of the host countries based on lovely danced or singed performances.
After the presentations, which had been developed weeks ago in cooperation with the volunteers, the pupils equipped with guide material and the support of the volunteers, showed the teachers round the school and the nearby church.
Afterwards the foreign teachers gave lessons in the classes to give a further, first-handed insight in their home countries – exotic sweets inclusively.
The closing peak of the first day was the building of the so called “European neighborhood”: The pupils – from the first to the sixth grade – created for each host country a house with typical features of the various European architectures.
On Thursday the Comenius members and the volunteers had the chance to attend at the School years closing ceremony and the preceding games and sports events of the pupils. These ceremony was also the ideal occasion for the European teachers to enjoy and get in touch with Greek way of living, which means a lot of dancing. At midday the Norwegian teachers prepared a special swimming lesson, a life rescue workshop, for the pupils.Due to that and due to the assistance of the volunteers the pupils now know how to behave in dangerous situations in open water. In the evening there was a trip to Giosonas, to a idyllic located fruit garden near the coast. After a brief meeting were traditional Greek dinner served to the teachers and generously also to the volunteers.
On Friday afternoon was a terrific sailing trip to Oinousses part of the programme. On the same sailing yacht, which belongs to Maria Tsako’s Foundation, the volunteers help realizing Junior Captain Project. Before entering the sailing yacht, the European guests had the nice opportunity to visit the foundation’s building, which is an old restored mansion with an interesting past. Guided through the mansion the visitors could admire the classical original furniture from former times. After some drinks and snacks served by the volunteers berthed the huge boat in the port of Oinousses. After some coffee alternatively a trip to the local church the community went way back.
On Saturday, the last day of the programme, the community started an excursion round the island. First stop was the monastery in Nea Moni. There enjoyed the teachers and volunteers the traditional call to prayer performed by the teacher, who guided the community. Next stops were Anavatos, the medieval village, and Mesta, a village, which is characterized by his narrow and dark lanes. Pyrgi, the third station, is famous for his black and white ornaments on each house of the traditional village. The visit of the “Black marbles” beach brought the excursion to an enjoyable conclusion. The teacher as well as volunteers used the opportunity for a sunbathing and swimming. After their return from this unique tour, the visitors had their closing dinner party in a garden of one of the primary school teachers, which is a Mediterranean orange grove.
The visit of the European teacher and with it also the 2 year lasting Comenius Project came to an end. The actual output of Comenius can’t be measured with numbers and facts, but one thing is for sure: The group of European teachers worked concentrated to bring Europe especially in education sector – step by step – together, to shed prejudices and to benefit from the experiences of the others.
To see all the pictures go into our gallery!