Europea delegates, including representatives from Wellantcollege, gathered in Malta on 25-28 April 2017 for yet another quality seminar and a special general assembly. Hailing from 22 different European countries, 54 delegates convened in Malta to discuss education in the green sector (which includes agriculture, fish sciences, veterinary sciences and other related areas).
The Malta College of Arts, Science and Technology (MCAST), the leading vocational education and training institution in the country, was hosting the event for Europea International. Spread over two days, delegates had the opportunity to discuss various pedagogical tools in vocational education, engage past and present agricultural students in conversation on their experience at MCAST, and discuss the future of this network. A new executive committee was also elected.
MCAST put together a great programme to assure a clear overview of current issues concerning the challenges of the green sector and the agricultural VET in this tiny island country. Challenges nowadays include land division, waste management and most critically the lack of fresh water, which is ever so needed for agricultural production.
Workshops showed the essence of of MCAST's innovative training approaches including one called 'embedding'. This method combines general and professional subjects, and it reveals impressive improvements in the performance of students.
The participants also had useful discussions about role of vocational education and exchange in value-added and small-scale food production, as well as the importance of practical training. As Malcolm Berg, National Coordinator for Europea Malta, noted in his key address:
Never has there been a time when food production has been so persistently in the public eye, so constant in the agenda of policy-makers, so crucial for the sustainability of our planet’s resources and so essential for the future of humankind as today.
Aquaponics New Novelty In Education
Mr. Ton Stok, senior officer at Wellant's international office and project leader of Erasmus+ KA2 project Aquaponics New Novelty In Education (ANNIE), also gave a workshop. He disseminated the project's objectives and outcomes so far. The partners in this project are from different European areas and have various reasons to participate:
- Spain, Greece and Portugal because of the lack of fresh water;
- Romania, Portugal and Slovenia to develop their rural areas;
- The UK and the Netherlands as knowledge-based economies with too much (polluted) water, which should be re-used more sustainably.
All participating countries have started sharing good practices and creating a network of educational institutions, rural and urban companies/farmers, regional governments and local authorities.
Next Europea meeting in Estonia
Europea Estonia welcomes all Europea International members on September, 21st-24th in Tartu. Please visit the official website of the seminar for more information.