The planning, implementation plan and schedule for the pilot integration of the Laboratory Skills in the mandatory, weekly schedule from September 2020, were presented to the Minister of Education and Religions Niki Kerameos, the Undersecretary of State Sofia Gacharaki and the General of the Institute of Educational Policy Giannis Antoniou, the First Special Education Counselor of the IEP Theodora Asteris and the member of the Board of the IEP Zoe Geitonas.
The Skills Laboratories, included in the new bill of the Ministry of Education and Religions, have the central goal of providing students with life skills, mild skills and digital literacy skills (21st-century skills). The strategic priority – along with the more systematic cultivation of skills – is to enhance experiential learning, but also to train teachers in methodologies of laboratory approach to teaching.
The Laboratories are organized in 4 thematic cycles (Live, Environment, Social Empathy and Responsibility, Creative Thinking and Initiative) and include various individual themes (by age), such as e.g. volunteering, ecological awareness, addiction prevention, sex education, entrepreneurship, prevention and protection from natural disasters, mutual respect and diversity, robotics, new technologies, etc. In the context of the Skills Laboratories, innovative teaching methods and practices will be utilized in all types of Kindergartens, Primary and Secondary Schools in the country, the educational material will be adapted to each age according to pedagogical parameters and the implementation will be mandatory.
The representatives of IEP referred to the great impact of the invitation that had been addressed to bodies for proposals of know-how and educational material regarding the individual issues of the above four cycles. In particular, 313 institutions with experience in the implementation of school activities responded to the invitation addressed by the IEP and submitted tested programs and educational material, accompanied by the appropriate methodological guidelines.
During the meeting, the Minister expressed her satisfaction with the progress of the preparation of the Skills Laboratory and the detailed planning of the training of teachers who will implement the new thematic units from the beginning of the new school year. The way in which the Skills Laboratories are connected to the new Curricula developed by the IEP was also extensively discussed. After the meeting, Minister Niki Kerameos stressed:
“In the modern, ever-changing and demanding international environment, we make sure to equip our students with mild skills and life skills, so that they can think more comprehensively, make better use of the knowledge provided, interact more actively and creatively. The change starts from the bottom up, already from kindergarten, steadily and methodically, utilizing the educational and scientific guidance of the Institute of Educational Policy and the know-how of experienced institutions, investing in the training of our teachers. We warmly thank the hundreds of agencies for their response. With new skills and innovative teaching methods, we are building tomorrow’s school. ”
The 4 main thematic circles and their individual themes are:
- Life and health education lessons Self-care and prevention:
- Sex education
- Addiction prevention
- Road Safety
- Mental health
- I take care of the environment Environment
- Light green for the planet Climate change
- Environmental awareness
- sustainable development
- Natural Disaster
- World and local heritage
- I am interested and active in Social Consciousness and Responsibility
- Practice cooperation and offering human rights
- Mutual respect and diversity
- create and innovate
- Creative Thinking and Initiative
- Build new ideas, give new solutions Actions of creativity and innovation
- Youth Entrepreneurship
- STEM / STEAM
- New technology
- I know the professions