In the last three years I had many opportunities to travel and get to know more about the education systems and lifestyles of the different European countries. This happened because my school partecipates in programmes like Comenius and eTwinning.
I have had so many experiences… I saw beautiful countries, met great people and we prepared interesting activities together. But what I like best – I think, if we can visit a partner school, we can get to know more about real life in a country.
Sometimes it happened that I was surprised at the richness of materials that a school and teachers could have for free in their everyday job. For example in France in a primary school I found a lot of paints, tinted papers, pasteboards and didactic games. Maybe in your schools there are all of these things, but for me it was a miracle.
Another school in England had a great place for free activities, and a theatre room. Fantastic!
But sometimes I met very difficult situations as well. The deepest poverty I have ever seen was in a desert, near Syria. We visited one of our partner schools in Turkey, and then we went to visit the Ancient City of Harran.
While we were having a walk around the town, I heard that a child was crying. I tried to look around, but I couldn't see the child. Later, I found where he could be.. he was a little boy, in a barrow. I didn’t see him, only his foot. He was covered by some clouts. I didn’t meet his mom, he had only his two brothers next to the barrow. I was really sad, and I wished I could help.
The guide talked about life in a desert, and about people who five years ago lived in caves... in that moment I felt that what I consider a difficult situation in my life, in fact it is not so difficult compared to that. I have food to eat, a family, friends, a job I like - and actually I live in a house.
Now we live a crisis, and unfortunately I feel this school year many families have a really difficult situation in Hungary as well. Parents loose their job, don’t have enough time or patience to be with their daughters and sons. I see some of my pupils who can’t study because they are hungry or sleepy, and who don’t have such a simple and normal thing at school as a ruler. This week one of my pupils went to live in another town because of economic problems in her family.
What kind of future can they have? I am worried about it. The school and school foundation help. For example a little girl was given a new winter coat, other pupils can come with us in a theatre for free, etc. But because of social issues it is more and more difficult to study, to attend a good high school, or university.
European programmes help us give our pupils more opportunities. It is great to see how our pupils and parents are happy when we could visit our partners abroad or when our partners come to visit us and we are together or we prepare our new activities.
I would like to give the same opportunities to many many pupils, and help them feel that it is important to study, to speak a foreign language, make friends with someone different from us.
We often talk about it – we would like to build a better future. Yes, it is true. But we need help to do it.
I hope the EU, through „Erasmus for All” and other programmes, will help us reach what we would like to do so much.