Within the period 17-23 Sept 2017, representatives of ZAT took part in a short-term joint staff training event and a project meeting under the “Excellent in VET” Erasmus+ project. The training event and project meeting were hosted by our Estonian partner from the Valga County Vocational Training Center (VCVTC).
The activities started on Sept 18 with a visit of the VCVTC (http://www.vkok.ee) schoolhouse and continued with presentations of all partners on the topics of leadership, partnership and resources. The host school was presented in deep detail by Rainer Kuutma, covering the quality system, management, resources and the relationships of the school with partners.
The next day (19 Sept) included a visit to Tartu Vocational Training Centre, where our kind hosts were Ms Sigrid Ester Tani, Co-ordinator of Workplace Based Learning and Mr. Andrei Atškasov – www.khk.ee – and a trip to Tallinn where we had to continue our programme during the next two days.
On 20 Sept we visited Tallinn School of Services (hosted by Headmistress Mrs Meeli Kaldma) www.teeninduskool.ee and in the afternoon – the Estonian Quality Agency for Higher and Vocational Education (hosted by Assessment Manager for VET-schools Ms Marge Kroonmäe) http://ekka.archimedes.ee/.
The visit for the 21 Sept included the Tallinn Polytechnic School (hosted by Project Manager Ms Ege Meister) www.tptlive.ee. The day ended with a lovely dinner in Valga County Vocational Training Centre with the participation of the Headmaster – Mr Margus Ojaots, the Director of Studies – Ms Hiie Taniloo and other school representatives.
The last day – Sept 22 – included visits of other facilities in the VCVTC and further discussions on the project progress, including the planning of organization of collection of good practices.
The visit to Estonia left was with so many impressions about excellent local experiences and good practices, such as:
– Good and sustainable connectivity and networking with previous students;
– Good information exchange systems, allowing proper communication with and evaluations from external partners/companies;
– Triple accreditation – of the school, the curriculum and the headmaster;
– Teacher teams (modules) are formed in each separate subject area and the teachers within each team allocate the tasks and the hours amongst themselves, under the monitoring and support of a module leader;
– Teachers are encouraged to develop educational materials by getting fewer effective classes and more paid time away from teaching;
– Friendly and welcoming school environments;
– Resources earned by the school can be invested into the school itself according to the headmasters’ decision;
– Some of the schools demonstrated quite compact administrations, which allow the left hand to know what the right hand is doing;
– Some of the schools have information kiosks with students agendas for the weeks, which open with one or two survey questions, the answering of which allows the students to continue to the information, which interests them;
– Electronic reminders of activities and deadlines, which reach all staff email addresses.