2. Leonardo da Vinci Programme in the Context of the National Programme of Education Development in the Czech Republic
3. Leonardo da Vinci Programme in the Context of the Human Resources Development Strategy in the Czech Republic
4. Methodology Used
5. List of Projects Evaluated
B. Evaluation Section
6. Evaluation Report on the First Phase of Leonardo da Vinci Programme in the Area of Secondary and Higher Vocational Education
7. Evaluation Report on the First Phase of Leonardo da Vinci Programme in the Area of Tertiary Education
8. Evaluation Report on the First Phase of Leonardo da Vinci Programme in the Field of the Labour Market and Employment Support
C. Valorisation Section
9. Valorisation Methodology Used
Reports on Valorisation Seminars of Leonardo da Vinci Programme
The Czech Republic has been participating in Leonardo da Vinci, the Community vocational training action programme, since 1996. During this period, and especially from 1997, when the country reached full membership in the programme, to 1999 (the end of the first phase of the programme), hundreds of Czech organisations got involved in it. As promoters of mobility projects and pilot projects, and as partners of foreign organisations as well, they implemented hundreds of vocational training projects supported by Leonardo da Vinci programme during several years. The following table presents an overview of the amount of projects in which Czech organisations were involved.
Pilot projects of Czech promoters
Foreign projects with Czech partners
New training materials and other products were developedwithin these projects, and these products are being used. 1,483 persons, mostly young people, were involved in mobility projects in the period described. They took part in beneficial vocational placements lasting several weeks or months in an EU member state. Also teachers from vocational schools and personnel managers from enterprises took part in them.
Since the objective of Leonardo da Vinci programme is not only the creation of innovative training materials or participation in placements, but above all the improvement of the VET system, the National Agency initiated activities aiming at evaluation of the programme and at valorisation of its results in the Czech Republic.
The main objective of the evaluationactivities was assessment of the impact of the first phase of Leonardo da Vinci programme on vocational education and training and on the employment support as key areas of the programme at local, regional and national levels. The timing of these evaluation activities (which were carried out in 2001) was based on the fact that pilot projects approved during the first phase of the programme were not finished before 2001. In order to ensure the highest possible objectivity of the evaluation, a group of independent experts were invited to execute it. They were neither involved in the implementation of the programme in the Czech Republic, nor did they make any decisions about it; however, they were very well informed about the programme in their sector through their involvement in the assessment of the project proposals. The experts used evaluation methodology developed by the National Agency of Leonardo da Vinci programme. This methodology was based on foreign experience concerning similar procedures, and it also took into account the specific conditions in the Czech Republic. The external evaluators represented three sectors which Leonardo da Vinci programme is focused on: vocational, secondary and higher education and training, tertiary education, and the sector of the labour market and employment support. Thus, the experts were: Milan Kment, Headmaster of G. Habrman Secondary and Higher Vocational School in Česká Tøebová, František Ježek from the Faculty of Applied Sciences, University of West Bohemia in Plzeň, Chairman of the Council of Czech Universities, and David Kafka, Director of the Labour Office in Hradec Králové.
Identification of the best quality products of the projects, and recommendations as how to use and exploit them as broadly as possible, these belonged to the main objectives of the valorisation. Thus, the valorisation was carried out in co-operation with the experts mentioned, who used the methodology developed by the National Agency.
The report is divided into three sections. The first section includes the most important information about the involvement of Czech institutions in Leonardo da Vinci programme during its first phase first of all. Also, two papers dealing with the relationship of Leonardo da Vinci programme and education policy in the Czech Republic are presented in this section. The authors of these papers are team leaders of two key strategic education policy documents presented one year ago: Prof. Jiří Kotásek – team leader of the National Programme of the Education Development in the Czech Republicand Ivan Fišera – team leader of the Human Resources Development Strategy for the Czech Republic. Explanation of the methodology used, and a list of evaluated projects are included in the first report section as well.
The second report section deals with the evaluation of the first phase of Leonardo da Vinci programme in the Czech Republic. Three reports prepared by the mentioned independent experts are presented here: the evaluation reports on the first phase of the programme in the sector of vocational secondary and higher education and training, in the sector of tertiary education, and in the sector of the labour market and employment support. The third section concerns the valorisation of the results which were achieved during the first phase of Leonardo da Vinci programme. It informs especially of valorisation methodology used, and of valorisation seminars.
The report as a whole is aimed at all institutions managing or influencing vocational education and training in the Czech Republic at national, regional, or local levels. It should not only inform; above all, it should stimulate the exploitation of Leonardo da Vinci programme.
Leonardo da Vinci Programme in the Context of the National Programme of the Education Development in the Czech Republic
Prof. Jiří Kotásek
The participation of the Czech Republic in the Community education and training programmes Socrates, Leonardo da Vinci, and Youth after 1997, along with other international contacts, created preconditions for learning about the trends in the European education policy, and about the real situation in the education systems and individual schools in the European Union member states. The public, the policy representatives, and the sector of education, jointly with the social partners and teachers, gradually came to share the view that the future of the Czech education and training system depends on an assimilation of principles used in the educational policy of the EU member states.
One of the first steps on the way to this view was the study Czech Education and Europe elaborated within the framework of the Phare programme. This study analyses the possible impact of the Czech Republic entering the EU on the human resources development and education. On the basis of the resolution of the Government of the Czech Republic, and the Concept of the education and development of the educational system in the Czech Republic (which was declared by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports in 1999), The National Programme of the Education Development in the Czech Republic (so-called White Paper/White Book) was elaborated following an extensive public discussion, and in the light of numerous expert studies. Through the resolution of the Government No. 113 from 7th February 2001, it became an official document which sets the following strategic lines of the Czech educational policy in the mid-term horizon of the following 5 – 7 years:
Realisation of life-long learning for everybody
Adaptation of educational and training programmes to the needs of knowledge society
Monitoring and assessment of the quality and effectiveness in education
Support of internal change and openness of the education and training institutions
Change of the role and professional perspective of pedagogues and university teachers
Transition from central administration to responsible co-decision taking.
These strategic lines concern all levels and types of schools, including vocational education at secondary and tertiary levels and in the sector of education of adults, i. e. areas to which activities of the Leonardo da Vinci programme refer. Increasing employability of all individuals and strengthening competitiveness of the economy, i. e. goals promoted also by the Leonardo da Vinci programme,play an important role among the education aims set up in the White Paper. The White Paper also declares explicitly that the creation of organisational and financial conditions ensuring participation in the Community education and training programmes belongs to essential tasks of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, respective agencies, training institutions and individuals. Special attention is paid to internationalisation and transnational co-operation of universities and higher educational establishments, to the support of teachers’ and students’ mobility, and the support of initiatives focused on the planning and implementation of pedagogical innovations.
When the concrete aims and tasks anchored in the White Paper are compared with the pilot projects and mobility projects in which Czech institutions and other organisations participated within Leonardo da Vinci programme, it is possible to conclude that to a large extent they are in accord as far as the content is concerned. Thus, the conditions are created for further effective exploitation of the Leonardo da Vinci programme while achieving strategic aims of the White Paper.
The procedures of evaluation and valorisation of the results of Leonardo da Vinci programme in the Czech Republic which were used by the National Agency should be highly appreciated. The improvement of the education system as a whole is thus influenced not only by the support of various bottom-up initiatives, but through well-aimed dissemination and exploitation of local and European innovative projects as well.
Leonardo da Vinci programme in the Context of Human Resources Development Strategy for the Czech Republic
One of the basic preconditions for successful exploitation of EU programmes, such as Leonardo da Vinci programme, is their consistent focus on the strategic needs of the human resources development also in countries which are preparing themselves to access the EU, which represents a challenging area both from the economic and moral point of view. Therefore, the National Training Fund initiated elaboration of the Human Resources Development Strategy for the Czech Republic (www.nvf.cz/strategie), which was finished and presented at the end of 2000. This strategic concept was based on the analysis of requirements on national human potential at the current essentially global Czech labour market and it defined main strategic lines, which could be expressed in a simplified way as in the following six points:
A fast achievement of political, economical, informational, methodological and existential literacy supported by the international communication literacy, based above of all on the acquisition of the English language as a priority international language.
Concentration on training of people for globally competitive organisations which need people with highly qualified competencies, on the ability to assume and cope with modern forms of organisation of labour and management of enterprises in the context of world market and entrepreneurship.
Significant enhancing of the level of the Czech public administration, which must be based on international standards, modern management approaches, and high moral integrity.
Fundamental and fast modernisation of education of the Czech youth and of the younger and older generations, which would be also accompanied by resolute support of improvement of knowledge and skills of teachers and others who are involved in education.
Significant enhancing of the level of strategic management of human resources development at national and especially at the recently renewed regional level.
Preferential funding of human resources development, apart from other means also through the use of non-traditional forms of financing by enterprises and other resources.
If these main points of the national human resources development strategy are compared with the main objectives of Leonardo da Vinci programme, very significant harmony can be found.A stress on concrete skills and competencies, this is the needed orientation which Leonardo da Vinci programme helps to push through. Innovations of vocational education and training focused on the ability of people to get adapted to the technological and organisational changes constitute the core of this programme, which also underlines the co-operation of training institutions with enterprises. Especially valuable is the support of acquisition of vocational and entrepreneurial skills and knowledge in the international context of the EU, and the support of improvement of language skills, as these are becoming one of the main factors of current and future employability. Also significant is the orientation of Leonardo da Vinci programme on the social partners and local and regional institutions. .
The follow-up project Implementation of the human resources strategy for the Czech Republic shows other possibilities of exploitation of Leonardo da Vinci programme. The regions become very important and pro-active territorial, social and economic units, which urgently need the transnational network projects and database projects which make it possible to forecast the demand for future skills and qualification requirements in the context of changes of the European and world labour market. The regions adopted a dynamic approach to linking employment needs with training and qualification capacities and this will also create new demands for projects within Leonardo da Vinci programme and other Community programmes. Therefore, it may be expected that a further dialogue between Leonardo da Vinci programme and new strategic concepts will be still deeper and more extensive.
The Methodology Used
The evaluators gained the information for their conclusions above all from organisations involved in Leonardo da Vinci programme either as the project promoters or as partners of foreign promoters. Three groups of projects were included into evaluation and valorisation:
a) Pilot projects with Czech organisations in the role of promoter. 35 such projects were in the first phase of the Leonardo da Vinci programme and evaluation covered all these projects.
b) Pilot projects with Czech organisations in the role of a foreign promoter partner. The total number of such projects was 168. The evaluators chose 45 projects by their own choice and then focused their interest on 26 of them, which they considered the most useful. Thus, nearly one seventh of these projects were included in the evaluation.
c) Mobility projects (of Czech promoters). The evaluators choose 30 projects from the total number 151 at the first stage and then focused their interest on 15 projects which they considered the most useful. Therefore, one tenth of these projects were included in the evaluation.
The evaluation requirements stipulated by the National Agency of Leonardo da Vinci programme contained several questions to which the evaluators had to provide answers on the basis of their findings. The three questions were common for all evaluated areas of the programme:
How did the programme contribute to the improvement of the quality of initial and continuing vocational education and training at the local, regional and national levels?
How did the programme contribute to the development of transnational co-operation and European dimension?
What measures could be recommended in order to reach a more intensive impact of the programme in the future?
Each question was further specified by 2- 4 more detailed questions.
Further, each evaluator was to answer another three specific questions exclusively for each of the three programme sectors.
For the VET at secondary and higher level:
Which vocational skills did the programme help to innovate?
How did the programme facilitate the access of disadvantaged groups to initial and continuing vocational education and training?
How did the programme influence the ways of teachers´worki?
For tertiary education:
How did the programme contribute to innovation of the tertiary education?
How did the programme help to link teaching and research within tertiary education establishments?
How did the programme help to improve the co-operation of universities and enterprises?
For sector of labour market and employment support:
How did the programme contribute to the exchange of experience concerning the employment support in the transnational scale?
How did the programme contribute to the improvement of employability of specific groups?
How did the programme contribute to the improvement of counselling and guidance dealing with possibilities of VET and employment?
Each evaluator used his own approach to collecting information from organisations involved in the programme. In the sector of secondary and higher vocational education, the evaluator asked the organisations for answers to the questions and interviewed the persons responsible for a project. In the case of tertiary education, the evaluator sent a questionnaire to the organisations involved in the evaluation and asked them to fill it in. Besides that, other methods were used: an interview, processing of information presented on the project web sites. In the sector of labour market and employment support, several methods were used: a questionnaire survey, interviews with people responsible for the project, and checking up the data from organisations involved in the projects. The evaluators also used The Compendium of Leonardo da Vinci projects covering the first phase of the programme. It was prepared and published by the National Agency in 2000. (The Compendium is available on the web site of the National Agency www.nvf.cz/leonardo)