Community involvment report 2013

All the protagonists of this year`s stories are people who proved that IT CAN BE DONE! And people who transformed their daring plans into impactful projects.

We invite you to discover their stories, to team up with them and to become one of the collective author to the common good, through your recommendations and encouragement!

Little entrepreneurs

How pupils learn to develop their skills for a successful career in adulthood.

How many times have we asked ourselves, as grown-ups, why we had to learn in school so many things that we never got to use in our daily job? But the right question would have been: why haven`t we used, at least once, what we learned in school?

The answer is pretty straightforward: the traditional learning and teaching methods provide information, but don`t develop skills. Thus, according to a study conducted by Junior Achievement Worldwide, 50% of the graduates don`t use what they learn in school when developing their career strategy and are not up-to-date with the developments in the real economy. Moreover, the best time to develop the social skills needed for a job is deemed to be the school period, starting with the primary education.

When in school, young people have to acquire skills that are always needed on the labour market, irrespective of the specialization they choose in university”, says Ștefania Popp, CEO Junior Achievement Romania. “A better connection between school and the business community would facilitate youngsters` integration and would reduce the gaps between the graduates` training and the demands on the labour market.

An example of a successful partnership between the business and the school environments is the “Little entrepreneurs in Andrei`s School” project, implemented by Petrom in partnership with Junior Achievement Romania.

Petrom did not get involved only by providing funding, but also through its volunteer employees who participated in the class. The program helped to reposition the professional model from companies and local entrepreneurs among the young generation, and the pupils and students directly interacted with the members of the local community and the business environment”, says Stefania Popp.

The project was implemented throughout the school year 2013-2014, in 160 schools from 18 communities: Galați, Brăila, Zemeș, Moinești, Buzău, Adjud, Ploiești, Câmpina, Pitești, Craiova, Constanța, Videle, Foglaș, Marca, Suplacu de Barcău, Moreni, Boldești Scăieni and Bucharest.

Over 11,000 pupils and 400 teachers from the primary and secondary schools had the opportunity of trying a “different” type of school throughout the year, through “learning by doing” entrepreneurship models My community (2nd and 3rd grades), Country`s economy (4th and 5th grades), My town (3rd and 4th grades), Meaning of money (5th and 6th grades) and It`s my business (7th and 8th grades), which bring the community into the classroom, through interactive activities.

Mici antreprenori

Thus, the students will put on the entrepreneur and professional hats, to see how their community works, what are its unique features and needs, trying to find solutions with the help of volunteer consultants:

The program was, first and foremost, a challenge for me, but also for my students. It is interesting, challenging and really useful for all students, but even more so for those with an entrepreneurial spirit, who know already at an early age what they want to do in life and ardently pursue their goals. The students showed interest in the program and were active, creative and presented interesting business ideas. They learned how to work in teams and created highly interesting commercials, designs, projects, business plans. In other words, they liked to play the “little entrepreneurs” and they actually did a good job, by successfully attending a Christmas Fair organized in school”, Jana Voiculescu - teacher, Emilia Bârzu - primary school teacher.

Every teacher enrolled in the Junior Achievement program underwent an introductory training and a module-based training. The training program develops the pedagogical skills, preparing them to use the learning by doing method in the classroom, but it also aims to convey and update fundamental notions that are specific for handbook activities.

They also received the Teacher`s Guide, with full instructions on classroom activities. All teaching staff and students enrolled in the program benefit from these opportunities free of charge, with full access to the materials (teacher`s guide, students` handbooks), pre/post tests for the enrolled students and assessment tools, specialised training and counselling.

Little entrepreneurs in Andrei`s School” program strengthens the students` active life skills, allowing them to build more trust in their success opportunities. The program increases the education continuance rate among participants, and, on the short and medium term (3-5-7 years), it will lead to an increase in the number of programs or projects rolled out by the community”, explains Ștefania Popp.

Dan Olaru

Dan Olaru

Partener Fondator Atelier Grup

Einstein said: Creativity is imagination having fun. The project carried out by Petrom and Junior Achievement provides the essentials needed to beautifully develop children`s personality. My advice is that a project of such value should focus on stimulating the imagination and the creativity of our little ones. Apart from very precious information and experiences, Young Entrepreneurs of Andrei`s School must urge children to have the courage to accomplish anything – this is how it all begins.