COPCHAVET project: “Coping with Challenges on Vocational Education and Training in Agricultural (green) sector”


institutions copchavetChavetAgricultural enterprises are undergoing a process of continuous change produced by very different causes, such as the effects of Climate Change on crops or the demand of population for quality food at reasonable price produced by an environmental friendly agriculture. Farmers and workers should be adequately trained during all their life to cope with these challenges, something to which agricultural VET schools contribute actively in Europe. Schools must be continuously updated in order to remain useful to the agricultural sector.
In this context, EUROPEA, the European network of agricultural schools carried out from 2009 to 2011 the project CHAVET (Challenges on Agricultural Vocational Education and Training) that allowed it to analyze some challenges, to develop a list of proposals (Statement) and a matrix with the measures to face the challenges and to be prepared for the future. These results were sent to European and National authorities and the agricultural school of the EUROPEA network. These documents are also available on the Web: europea.org/index.php/projects/chavet/

In order to improve the process of adaptation for the future, we applied for another Leonardo da Vinci Partnership project whose name is COPCHAVET (Coping with Challenges on Vocational Education and Training). This project was approved in July 2011 in 8 countries:Austria, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, France, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Poland; and during two years (2011-2013) these partners analysed the challenges and elaborated some tools that will permit the European “green” VET schools to cope with these challenges. Other members of the EUROPEA Network have collaborated as well.

COPCHAVET project aims were: to contribute to the adaptation and preparation for the future of the European agricultural VET schools, to improve teacher training and other stakeholders of the educational community and to strength cooperation among European agricultural VET schools.

The activities carried out were:

  • International seminars and meetings where to analyze two major challenges: a) School-enterprise cooperation and learning of entrepreneurial skills at school and b) Climate Change and environment and their effects on agriculture and agricultural VET schools.
  • To collect “best practices” used by schools and / or companies to face the challenges and to elaborate two"directories" with these best practices, one for every challenge.
  • To analyze and elaborate a report about the situation of the implementation of the European Credit in Vocational Education and Training (ECVET) in agricultural (green) sector.
  • To disseminate the results among the schools of EUROPEA net and the European and National authorities charged of the agricultural VET.

This is a Leonardo da Vinci Partnership project and funded by the National agencies, like the OAPEE (www.oapee.es) for Spain. The project was coordinated by EUROPEA-E, having the headquarter in the Centre de Formació i Estudis Agrorurals del Departament d’Agricultura in Reus (Ctra Riudoms, km 2’2, 43280 Reus, tel: 977310366. For more information, please consult the Websites www.europea.org and www.europeaespana.es

METHODOLOGY. WORKING PLAN

The project was coordinated by EUROPEA-E, but there was a "steering group" of 4 partners (ES, AT, FR, PL) for planning, monitoring and evaluation. Each partner created his own working structure at national level. For example in the Spain, coordination was carried from the Centre de Formacio i Estudis Agrorurals (CFEA), where EUROPEA-E association has its headquarter. The members of EUROPEA-E directly involved were:
Catalonia:

  • Escola de Capacitació Agrària d’Alfarràs
  • Centre de Formació i Estudis Agrorurals

Canary Islands:

  • Escuela de Capacitación Agraria de Tacoronte

Other agricultural VET schools of EUROPEA-E and institutions of the ministries of agriculture and education from different Spanish regions also had participated, providing experiences of good practice for the "Repertoires" and doing tasks of dissemination of the project.

The project started with the "Take off" Seminar of Poland, where we agreed the timeline and working procedures and the dissemination activities.

The first phase consisted in dissemination of CHAVET project “Statement" and other results of this project, and bring awareness to the educational community and authorities about the challenges in terms of: "Cooperation School-Business-Community & Learning entrepreneurial skills", and "Agriculture-Environment-Climate Change" that Europe is facing. This was done by sending letters and emails to agricultural schools of EUROPEA network and the national and regional Education and Agriculture-Environment institutions. At the same time was disseminated a leaflet with basic information of the COPCHAVET project.

The second phase consisted of analysing the challenge "Cooperation School-Business-Community & Learning entrepreneurial competences" by some international seminars with the participation of experts (Open School-NL), students (Student Meeting_LU) and trainers and agricultural school principals (General Seminar-ES). This phase included also the participation in the EUROPEA-International meeting held in Denmark in June 2012, since the topic was the same. These meetings permitted to share information provided by each country, train participants, and develop proposals or conclusions. Alongside each partner (country) presented examples of "good practice" related to this challenge. These "good practices" formed the “Repertoire 1”, one of the expected results of the project.

The third phase consisted of analysing the challenge "Agriculture-Environment-Climate Change". It worked in a similar way as the previous phase, conducting three international meetings: Open School in Austria, Student Meeting in France and General Seminar in Slovakia. During this phase examples of "good practices" in relation to the challenge were collected and the “Repertoire 2” was elaborated.

The fourth phase was to study the implementation of the European Credit System for Professional Training (ECVET) in some European countries. For which, there was a meeting of experts (Open School) in Slovenia and one General Seminar in the Netherlands. These meetings allowed us to better understand the situation of ECVET in some European countries. The result of the information provided by the partner is a report ("Report: Implementation of the ECVET in some European countries".

There was one last international meeting on "Dissemination and Evaluation", held in Poland from 4 to June 8, 2013.

Overview: International meetings of COPCHAVET

The dissemination of the project was carried out through the EUROPEA-International website and the websites of national organizations. In the Spanish case, the EUROPEA-E (www.europeaespaña.es). We also sent regularly information by email to EUROPEA-E members and have made presentations at seminars and national meetings. Project results will be sent to schools and training institutions and agricultural training EUROPEA network.

CONTROL - EVALUATION OF THE PROJECT

The Internal Control and Evaluation was done all along the project and at three levels/stages: 1-International Seminars / meetings; 2- Intermediate evaluation; and 3- Final Evaluation. For every level/stage, we have created a form.

  • The form 1. For evaluating international meetings. Every participant of a meeting was invited to answer the form 1 at the end of the meeting, sometimes on-line. Then, organizers of these meetings had to prepare an evaluation report.
  • The form 2. For intermediate evaluation of the project. To be completed by every partner of the project (national coordinator team) in June 2012 and sent to COPCHAVET coordinator in order he could prepare the report. This form evaluated “activities” but also “results” of the project. The report was useful for partners in order to prepare the “external” intermediate evaluation report that every partner had to complete and send to its National Agency.
  • The form 3. For final evaluation of the project. To be completed in June 2013 by all the partners and sent to the coordinator in order he prepares the final “evaluation” report. This form evaluated “results” and “objectives” according the indicators expressed in the “Logical Framework of the project”.