Currently half-way complete, the Erasmus+ project – which was among the first winning applications for strategic partnerships between schools and kindergartens – is implemented through a partnership of Polish and Hungarian schools. The goal is to learn from each other and to adopt best practices. But how does a Hungarian school benefit from teaching something new to its Polish partners? We asked Tamás Szabó, Vice Principal of Móricz Zsigmond Calvinist Secondary School of Kisújszállás.

You have already implemented a number of EU-funded school projects. How does this current partnership differ from them?

Indeed, this is not our first successful application. But whereas formerly we were simply partners joining various projects whose goals we could identify with, this time we have assumed the coordinator’s role in the implementation. This project is also different in that it is based on an existing, almost ten-year-old, established partner school relationship. We wanted to take this partnership to a higher level by bringing in a new dimension, that is, mutual learning.

What was your goal when you entered this programme?

We have decades of experience in developing entrepreneurial skills, which we wanted to share and transfer. Relying on our school's theoretical and practical expertise in operating student enterprises, as well as on the resources of our partner school, we wanted to run joint entrepreneurial groups.

The Hungarian students established three student enterprises: Home Plc. sells home decor products, TikTak Time Plc. makes watches, Mézédes Plc. produces honey related products. With help from their teachers, the students founded the companies, filled various positions, sold shares, and launched production and purchasing. They could also try selling their products: they participated in the Advent Fair in Kisújszállás and the Christmas Fair of student enterprises in Budapest, where Mézédes Plc. also won the prize awarded to the best stall.

How do you benefit from your involvement in the project?

The cooperation with foreign teachers and students is a serious professional challenge for our colleagues, and our students also find it very exciting and motivating to challenge themselves in an international environment. While working with the Polish students, they learn how to cooperate

But the project also helped us retain the student enterprise subject, despite the transformation of the framework curricula in secondary vocational schools, and apparently, our partners can also fit this programme into their own curriculum.

The partnership seeks to adapt the Kisújszállás school's subject called student enterprise. What do we need to know about it?

We run the programme within the framework of Junior Achievement Hungary Foundation. In the course of the practice-oriented training, the children can personally experience the difficulties of running an enterprise, the advantages and disadvantages of working in a team and the consequences of their decisions, while their self-knowledge considerably improves. They can benefit both from their successes and failures, and the knowledge thus gained greatly affects the development of their entrepreneurial skills.

It was therefore obvious for us that this successful programme should be shared with our Polish partners as a best practice. They produce artistic ceramics at their school, so we could combine the two activities – manufacturing and marketing the products – which mutually complement each other.

In Poland, the Hungarian students met entrepreneurs who showed them the world of business from close quarters by presenting their own career paths and companies. Among others, they spoke about the risks of launching their own businesses, about customers’ needs and business credit opportunities. As a preliminary task, the students needed to make commercials, advertising their own student enterprises, which were also assessed during the meeting.

The Polish students came to Kisújszállás for job interviews. The students needed to apply for various positions at the existing student enterprises with an English CV and a letter of motivation. The teachers and the students also gained a lot of theoretical and practical knowledge concerning the subject of student enterprise.

Last modified: 05-03-2018