Czech Republic

Mendelova stredni skola Novy Jici'n is a secondary school that offers education in specialized fields - economics, nursing, public law and IT. The age of students is between 15-20 years old, their number around 1000. The school also provides educational opportunities for adults. The school students are fully of local origin, a few of them of the disadvantaged Gypsy minority. The curriculum strongly focuses on foreign languages (English, German, Russian, French, Spanish), economy and Europeanism. We have been involved in Leonardo, Partnerships, Comenius, Norwegian Funds and Etwinning projects on long terms seeing this a big advantage for our students.
The area around Novy Jicin with inhabitants up to 29,000 does not fight with any special problems- unemployment rate is around 9%. However, it is located in the Moravian-Silesian region, which belongs to one of the country's most economically disadvantaged. Young people migrate to bigger cities to get better-paid jobs, the population is getting older. We keep close relations to local authorities which try to change this.
The school does not have any big problems with early school leaving, although we could observe a rise recently, the same is true with drug abuse. However, the students often miss classes and their motivation has recently gone down rapidly. We would like to change that by exchanging ideas with other schools, sharing experience and experimenting with innovative teaching methods as well as give students and the staff the opportunity to collaborate on European level and improve their language, communicative, social skills and team spirit.
In the Czech Republic we face a strong wave of euro scepticism in all levels of the society. Such voices are heard strongly and the young lose their European confidence. Therefore, we see necessary to serve as a counterbalance and promote, such as reinforce the European dimension, citizenship and cooperation. It is also important that our students can spend time in a different country, learn about its culture, traditions, economic situation and way of life, as nothing counts better in learning than physical experience. Fighting obesity is important everywhere. It is vital to show the students the consequences of obesity, how it can affect their private but also work and economic situation. The schools of all levels must support their healthy way of living and teach them how to stay fit and healthy. The newness of nanotechnology here should not be omitted.