Teach For All is excited about the progress the network’s European partners are making toward the European Education Agenda. Teach For Bulgaria and Teach For Belgium were invited to present their programs at the European Commission and the European Parliament, and Teach For All's Latvian partner, Iespējamā Misija (Mission Possible) received the European Parliament’s Prize for Citizens.
On September 18, Neli Koleva, Chief Officer of Public Partnerships for Teach For Bulgaria, presented the progress of a New Way for New Talents in Teaching (NEWTT) at the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture cluster meeting. The event, which gathered representatives of 10 education-related policy experimentation projects, as well as European and national education policy makers and stakeholders working in the education sector across European Union Member States, aimed to strengthen networking, encourage the exchange of best practices, and foster learning.
Neli was invited to present NEWTT as one of the lead implementing consortium partners of the project, which pilots and tests alternative pathways to teacher recruitment and certification in five European countries—Austria, Bulgaria, Latvia, Romania, and the Basque Region of Spain—in schools serving underprivileged communities, supported by the network’s global organization.
She participated in the Panel Discussion on Experimentation at the European level, where she shared the positive preliminary results of the project. “We’re extremely satisfied so far,” Neli explained. “It looks like our hypothesis will be proven: if they are well selected, trained, and supported, teachers brought into educational systems via an alternative pathway are just as effective, if not more effective, than counterparts who enter the system via the traditional routes.” She then explained the Teach For All network’s shared approach to recruiting and developing diverse and highly motivated leaders to become effective teachers who positively impact their students, schools, and education systems. The final evaluation results of the project will be presented on December 5, 2018 in Brussels.
Later that week, Caroline de Cartier, CEO of Teach For Belgium, was invited to present at a roundtable at the European Parliament where she shared examples of policies, practices, and programs that empower people to become active and engaged citizens. The roundtable, moderated by Lucie Susova, Coordinator of Education and Lifelong learning at SOLIDAR Foundation, is part of an effort to advance efforts to build a European Education Area by 2025. The roundtable was attended by education stakeholders from across the European Union Member States and by European Members of Parliament, along with other European political party representatives.
Caroline discussed Teach For Belgium’s experiences cultivating democratic values in the classroom, the challenges she has encountered, and the solutions policy makers can help generate. Echoing the priorities put forth by the European Commission and the European Parliament, she highlighted how Teach For Belgium contributes to greater social inclusion in the Belgian education system, and how its efforts have been amplified by Teach For All’s global network. She introduced attendees to the NEWTT project as well as another Erasmus+ initiative, From Innovators in Inclusive Education to Real Scale Transfer (FIERST), that aims to foster greater social inclusion in the EU to inform policy orientation. Through FIERST, Teach For All network partners in Bulgaria, Estonia, and Romania, along with additional stakeholders, have launched a project to scale locally-generated best practices for inclusive education.
October 9 marked the start of an exciting experience for Teach For All's Latvian partner, Iespējamā Misija. That evening, CEO Edīte Millere accepted the Citizen’s Prize from the European Parliament on behalf of her organization and all stakeholders that make it possible for Iespējamā Misija to thrive. Presented by Vice President of the European Parliament, Sylvie Guillaume, the award is given each year to projects and initiatives in each European Union member state that facilitate cross-border cooperation and promote common European values. The prize was awarded to Iespējamā Misija for their “exceptional achievements and contribution to the European education ecosystem through their transnational approach, contributing to the strengthening of a European spirit.”
Edīte and her fellow nominees received their award at a ceremony held in Brussels, after which they met with the President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, and attended a celebration dinner along with the Chancellery of the European Citizen's Prize. Congratulations to Edīte and the entire Iespējamā Misija team on receiving this honor!