Learn together, Albergaria-a-Velha Transfer Story
Edited on21 July 2020
This is a story about Innovation in Education and the adventure of the Municipality of Albergaria-a-Velha on the ON BOARD Transfer Network, experienced and shared with five European cities from different countries, Viladecans (Spain), Poznań (Poland), Tallinn (Estonia), Nantes (France), and Halmstad (Sweden), with the aspiration to learn together.
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”
Once upon a time... The city of Viladecans, a municipality in Spain, very close to Barcelona, faced a number of problems in the area of Education, specifically with many young people leaving school before completing compulsory education, low levels of family involvement in the school life of their children and young people with difficulty in returning to school after they had abandoned it.
These are the same kind of problems that concern communities and policy makers in many European cities, including Albergaria-a-Velha, given that they are often also associated with unemployment, social exclusion and poverty.
What to do to change this situation? The Mayor and Executive Councillors of Albergaria-a-Velha decided that Education should be a priority in terms of investment and in its activities, similar to Viladecans. Taking the Educational Innovation Network (EIN) of Viladecans as a model, the Municipality of Albergaria-a-Velha, thus joined the URBACT initiative “ON BOARD Connecting cities through education” with the aim of creating its own solutions.
Not all things were going to be easy, despite being able to use the EIN approach for developing innovative activities in schools and having support from URBACT. We in Albergaria-a-Velha knew there were going to be significant technological, financial, operational challenges. But we also intuited that perhaps the biggest challenge was going to be how to get different people from different sectors in our city to all be “on the same page”, to work together for innovation in education. This is the essential part of our story.
LEARN TOGETHER: these are the two most important words in the ON BOARD project, we came to know early on.
No mistake about it, the exchange of knowledge and the sharing of good practices between our six cities has led to the concept of educational collaboration, with the participation of different stakeholders, involving the entire city of Albergaria-a-Velha in the process of educating our young people in an innovative way.
The Municipalities are vehicles of educational innovation and from the very first moment the EIN was well received by the executive councillors of the Municipality of Albergaria-a-Velha. They participated in all activities with great interest and were thus able to engage an impressive range of influential local agents: School Boards, Parents' Associations, the Coordination and Regional Development Commission for the Centre of Portugal (CCDRC), The Intercity community of the Region of Aveiro (CIRA), the University of Aveiro, the Science and Innovation Park (PCI) of Aveiro, local associations (SEMA – Business Association) and regional (AIDA-Aveiro District Chamber of Commerce and Industry), economic agents and entrepreneurs from different areas with the purpose to create our EIN.
Indeed, Teachers, Parents, Young and Business actors together with the Education Department have defined a strategy aligning all community efforts in one direction, promoting significant projects for the development of young people and the city, where schools share knowledge with each other and with the community, right as Viladecans’Educational Innovation Network does. Albergaria-a-Velha is transferring the Good Practice with the support of URBACT’s ON BOARD project, led by Viladecans. Everyone has a voice to improve the education of young people in the city!
Though we will not have a Foundation to manage the EIN as they have in Viladecans, the Municipality of Albergaria-a-Velha, working through its Education and the Economic Development Divisions, in collaboration with the Communication staff, will run our Local Educational Innovation Network. Its joint work in teams, in collaboration with stakeholders, will put the project in motion.
“It Takes a Tribe”… How to get different people from different sectors to all work together? Learn more here about what happened in Albergaria-a-Velha!
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