The first day of the 2nd project meeting was focused on the presentation of school Gymnázium-Gimnázium Kráľovský Chlmec, its place in the system of education of Slovakia and its unique profile providing 4 blocks of practical subjects despite the fact of being a secondary grammar high school whose aim is normally to prepare learners for university studies.
The presentation on the school and its policy was followed by two mini-presentations of two hosts – both of them former students at our school. Mr Tamás Juhász told the participants about his studies at our school and explained how these shaped his present-day studies and interests.
The other 2 guests, current learners at our grammar school, presented our physical and virtual guests their idea of the student firm. Led by their teacher, Ms Bernadeta Oláhová, their company called Nest BnB makes and sells swallow nests. The guests could get an insight to the process of nest-making, but also learnt how the company is being managed by a team of students who are learning this school year what it is like to run a business. They summed up the whole process of setting up the student company. However, they left their presentation “open-ended” as their business is still running.
The students´ presentation was followed by two professionals: two psychologists. Firstly, an expert from the Pedagogical Counselling and Prevention Center clarified the participants how the center workers help individuals, schools and different institutions find the right career pathways. The second expert was our grammar school´s psychologist. She outlined the main functions of her work: helping the learners the process of settling in when starting their studies, guiding them through the years of adolescence and providing professional guidance in questions of professional orientation and career counselling.
The first day was closed by a guided visit of the school building. The physical participants could have a look at the classrooms, the teaching process itself, laboratories and the surroundings of our school as well as the showcase of some products of our students´ hard work during the classes of practical subjects.
The second day started with a lecture held by Mrs Grünwaldová-Kaduková from the Office of Labour, Social Affairs and Family. She described how the office helps people of all age groups find jobs or re-qualification opportunities. The expert also enlisted several benefits provided by the Ministry of Labour for job seekers. Mrs Grunwaldová Kaduková is the author of the so-called “balloon method” which has shown to be very helpful when providing career guidance for job seekers. The method helps the participants of sessions reveal their strengths, weaknesses, or potential. Eventually, it can trigger the process of self-understanding and realizing which career pathways can be good choices for individuals.
The lecture-workshop was followed by a presentation of one of our former students. Mr Tomáš Kanócz spoke about the importance of learning foreign languages and combining them with practical subjects – ICT, technology – but also necessary soft skills. The young man represents the new generation of employees ready to work from home, eager to be flexible enough to cope with changing working time and always seeking new opportunities of self-development. The young engineer is a living proof of a professional who does not forget where he comes from and feels grateful for the hours spent studying certain subjects with his teachers and mentors.
These two lectures were to be followed by two excursions: one into a local firm dealing with printing on different surfaces, preparing graphics and providing photography related services, such as photo shooting and creating portfolios (Graphic Design). The second excursion was planned to the nearby town of Čierna and Tisou, home of a transshipment station where goods transported from Ukraine are transshipped. These excursions, however, needed to be cancelled; the first because of a sudden COVID-19 outburst in the firm, the second because of the disturbed logistics of the station related to the state of emergency connected to the Ukrainian estate of war.
We believe that, despite our incapacity to fulfill the planned programme, the visitors – both physical and virtual – enjoyed their stay at our place and could take a little inspiration from our lecturing guests and hosting management and teacher staff.