This project is the second part of the strategic project Edu-Action (2016-2017), which was focused on the prevention of early school leaving through a collaboration between countries inside and outside of Europe. The project, which is coordinated by the Italian association Per Esempio ONLUS, includes meetings and study visits, the development of a research on the impact of youth work on the prevention of early school leaving, and the creation of a campaign to raise awareness of the importance of educational processes and school attendance, among other actions.
Social Media Managers' Meeting in Montevideo (April 2019).
Between 2016 and 2017, basing on the Europe 2020 Strategy plan to reduce the early school leaving (ESL) to 10%, the first Edu-Action project promoted a common action between organizations from six countries of the world to share best practices and discover new ones in order to face early school leaving. Based on the positive experience of the first edition, the Edu-Action 2.0 project has been created to start cooperating with other youth organizations in Kenya, Nepal, Uruguay, Estonia and Spain, in order to increase the levels of school attendance.
The objective is to promote the exchange of good practices to fight against the early school leaving in these countries through activities of mobility carried out by 12 young workers from the participating organizations in the project. The innovative aspect of this second edition is the realization of a "double observation" period: the participants (youth workers) will spend a month in their hometown accompanying and training another youth worker; in the following month, together, they will travel abroad to one of the partner organizations and advised by another youth worker, in line with the "peer-to-peer" learning approach.
It has been decided to address the issue of school dropout in an international context as the statistical investigations, policies and actions show a worrying phenomenon both within and outside the European Union. Being the school dropout rate generally very high, one of the objectives of the EU 2020 Strategy is to reduce it to less than 10% by 2020.
However, there are very extreme regional differences in this area. Among the project partners, for example, in Estonia the drop-out rate is below the European average; however, it is still far from the 9.5% sought by EU2020. In addition, there are very large differences between the dropout rate in urban areas (4.9%) and in rural areas (16.8%). In Italy, where it has achieved the target figure for 2020 of 16% and reached 14% in 2016, the differences are very marked between the north and the south. The same happens in Spain, where although the dropout rate was 19% in 2016, there are regions where it reaches 25%.
In Kenya, many young people are not in school at all: two out of every five are not in school and it is estimated that 30% of those who do are not attending school; further, this is especially worrying in the case of girls due to various socio-economic and cultural factors. On the other hand, in Nepal, early school leaving prevails in rural areas, because young people are expected to contribute to the family economy with their labour force. In addition, the access to education is discriminatory because of social class issues, and public education is not high quality. In Uruguay the proportion of students who complete their secondary education is the lowest in the region; in addition, it is one of the countries where the students repeat grades the most, so many of them are older than the age, according to the school curriculum.
The general objective of the project is to promote the transnational mobility of non-formal learning among the partner countries, within and outside the Erasmus+ program, in order to improve the level of competences of the participants, and thus encourage their active participation in the society, thanks to the participation of youth organizations that promote the increase of school attendance.
More specifically, the specific objectives of this project are:
- To promote debates and dialogues about social, political and economic dynamics that lead young people away from school and the world of education;
- To develop professional skills of workers in the field of youth and in the field of education and non-formal learning;
- To make a wider public aware of the value of non-formal learning outcomes, in European countries and in partner countries outside the Erasmus+ program.
This project includes a series of specific actions, which are specified in the following activities:
- Kick off meeting. February 2019, Palermo (Italy). Initial coordination meeting of the project in which all the partners meet to define the actions of the project, to establish guides and working methods and elaborate a common action plan for the project.
- Study visit. April 2019, Estonia. One person from each association, in charge of the youth area, will work together with a researcher to carry out a focus group with persons of reference in the youth field and with groups that make decisions in this area.
- Meeting of social media managers. April 2019, Montevideo (Uruguay). The coordinators of communication and the coordinators of each association will meet to define the strategy of communication and the dissemination plan of the project.
- Study visit. June 2019, Kenya. Preparation of the campaign to raise awareness of early school leaving.
- Seminar: mobility of youth workers. Italy, September 30 to October 6, 2019. A seminar will be held in Palermo with two trainers and twelve youth workers to work in depth on the issue of early school leaving and over the importance of work in youth areas and non-formal education in order to stop it.
- Job shadowing - six mobilities of youth workers. October and November 2019, from Europe to outside Europe; November and December 2019, from outside Europe towards Europe. After the seminar, a workshop will be held to put together the experience of mobility of the workers in the youth field and the awareness campaign will be completed as a result of the project.
- Final conference. The coordinators of the project will meet to share the results of the project, prepare the necessary documentation and complete the campaign materials. There will be an event to present the project and its results.
During this time, cross-sectoral research activities (surveys, interviews and focus group), visibility and communication, and monitoring and evaluation activities of the evolution of the project will also be carried out. The final result will be a publication, translated into different languages, as a manual, as it was done in the first edition of the project.
The European Commission support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.