Apart from the VET programmes at the secondary level, the school offers a variety of adult learning programmes in the fields of electrical engineering and ICT.
The school develops dynamically and different innovations are applied on a regular basis. In that respect, the most significant accomplishments are as follows:
· Regular modernisation of VET curricula in line with the needs of the labour market/modern ICTs in co-operations with social partners and other key stakeholders (Siemens Croatia, Končar Institute, Shipping Institute Zagreb, The Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing Zagreb);
· A Local CISCO Academy has been established at the school (one of 18 Local CISCO Academies in Croatia officially accredited by the Regional CISCO Academy and the CISCO SYSTEMS Central Office) – it offers internationally recognized training “Cisco Certified Network Associate” and relevant certification to all VET students / adult learners that provides a foundation in and apprentice knowledge of the computer networking;
· Upgrading the quality of the VET laboratories with the state-of-the-art didactic equipment for VET laboratories procured, covering all elements of the VET programme provided within the school through:
o A grant scheme for VET schools within the framework of the ”Education Sector Support Programme” funded by the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports of the Republic of Croatia & World Bank (a grant in the amount of 1.0 M EUR in partnership with School of Electrotechnics Split and the School of Electrotechnics and Transport Osijek)
o EU-funded project “CARDS 2003 – With Modern Didactic Approaches towards Applicable Competencies” (see section International co-operation / EU-funded projects for more details)
The quality of the VET programmes provided by the school, inter alia, underpinned by the following resources:
· 21 general classrooms and 2 specialized classrooms in the field electro-technics;
· 9 specialized VET laboratories and 11 specialized VET workshops for practical learning with modern didactic equipment;
· CISCO laboratory for the delivery of the training “Cisco Certified Network Associate”.
· member of the “Microsoft IT Academy Program”. It is designed to offer students learning solutions for the Microsoft IT skills training and certificate following the latest Microsoft technologies
ACTIVITIES IN THE FIELD OF INNOVATION
The school has considerable experience in promoting innovations among VET students within the framework of the Association of Inventors Končar-Idea. Subsequently, the school participates on different international exhibitions of innovations on a regular basis such as: IENA (Nurnberg, Germany), EUREKA (Brussels, Belgium), GENIUS (Budapest, Hungary), MOS (Celje, Slovenia), Geneve (Switzerland), ARHIMED (Moscow, Russia), BIS (London, UK), INPEX (Pittsburg, USA).
INTERNATIONAL CO-OPERATION / EU-FUNDED PROJECTS
The huge need for pursuing modernisation of Croatian VET system must, inter alia, involve wider measures based on the bottom-up approaches. This also implies that the VET schools in Croatia have to be equipped with the necessary skills/know-how to master this VET modernisation in line with the EU Copenhagen Process in VET / good-practice examples at the EU level and introduce school-based innovations on a regular basis. This is particularly true for the VET schools in the fields of electro-technics, electronics and ICT where the main challenges related to the school-based innovations are coupled by relatively fast pace of technological changes.
Consequently, School of electrical engineering Zagrebhas duly recognised the need for international co-operation so as to:
· Advance understanding of its VET teachers on the EU Copenhagen Process in VET, including relevant school-based initiatives/best-practice examples in the EU member states/other countries that are applicable in Croatian context both in the school’s short-term and long-term perspective;
· Ensure more efficient transfer of knowledge, skills, experiences and attitudes as regards the development of (i) innovative VET curricula/VET school curricula, (ii) effective teaching and training methodology/pedagogical innovations and (iii) application of modern technologies in the VET schools, through an awareness of the context in which they took place (e.g. study visits to VET counterparts in the EU member states/other countries, peer-learning activities);
· Design more complex school development projects that are organised around the introduction of new VET curricula and/or innovative in-service teacher training activities, including the upgrading of the didactic equipment for VET laboratories/workshops.
In the period 2003-2011, the key achievements and activities of the School of Electrotechnics Zagreb in the area of international co-operation are as follows:
Total budget / EU Programme
290,000 EUR (EC contribution: 90% of the total budget) / EU CARDS 2003 Programme for the Republic of Croatia (CARDS programme was the main pre-accession fund for the Republic of Croatia in the period 2001-2005 and has underpinned the objectives and mechanisms of the Stabilisation and Association Process through investment, institution-building and other measures)
12 months (June 2006 – June 2007)
· To reinforce the application of interdisciplinary learning approaches in the sectors of electrical engineering and information technology based on competencies, modern technologies and proactive involvement of VET teachers;
· To catalyse efficient usage and sharing of existing resources (human, equipment) at VET schools for regular in-service VET teacher training in the sectors of electrical engineering and information technology
Key outputs / accomplished results
· Highly specialized in-service VET teacher training in modern learning methods / VET didactics in co-operation with the leading Croatian experts in VET didactics as well as research institutions / companies in the field electrical engineering, information technology and innovations;
· Study trips to Odense Technical College, Denmark and the Siemens Technopark Berlin GmbH & Co, Germany;
· Peer-VET teaching (joint activities of Croatian and Danish VET teachers) in co-operation with the Odense Technical College, Denmark;
· Pilot-implementation of the school-based E-learning (web-portal, virtual community of VET teachers);
· Introduction of VET school entrepreneurship incubators based on innovations in the field of electrical engineering in co-operation with the Technological Park Zagreb and private economic school “Katarina Zrinski - Zagreb”;
· Upgrading the quality of the VET laboratories with state-of-the-art didactic equipment in the areas of Sensor Technology, Process Stimulation and Control Technology and delivery of relevant manuals for VET teachers;
· Mechanisms for dissemination of skills and experiences to other relevant VET schools in Croatia.
PROVISION OF TARGETED INPUTS WITHIN THE EU FUNDED VET REFORM IN CROATIA
Pursuant to the good-practice elements accomplished within the aforementioned grant contract, the School Director and VET teachers provided significant inputs to foreign consulting consortium engaged within the large-scale CARDS VET reform project (CARDS 2003 service contract, main beneficiary: Agency for VET of the Republic of Croatia) that was implemented in the course of 2006-2007, i.e. preparation of pilot in-service training for VET teachers. Relevant inputs by the school’s VET teachers were delivered in close co-operation with the experts from the DEL (Danish Institute for Educational Training of Vocational Teachers), Denmark.
An overall objective of the project: To increase the responsiveness of the VET programmes in field of electrotechnics / electrical engineering and information technology (IT) to demands of relevant industries at the national and EU level and, thus, facilitate more efficient access of the VET secondary school graduates into the labour market.
The specific objectives of this 12 –month project are as follows:
Specific objective 1 - To foster further flexibilisation and innovation of the VET school curriculum content and delivery in the field of electrotechnics and IT based on the Flexible Learning approach / model as well as emerging sectoral / labour market needs; Specific objective 2 - To strengthen capacities of the VET teachers in the field of electrotechnics and IT as well as relevant VET school staff needed for their more active and sustainable role in the planning of curricular innovations and delivery of flexible learning / VET students’ guiding a description of the proposed activities and their effectiveness;
The following activities are envisaged:
The VET teachers / VET staff members of two VET schools-project partners have strengthened their understanding and know-how regarding the Flexible Learning approaches / models that are applicable within Croatian VET system as well as understanding on a complete range of factors that my affect the integration of the curricular / teaching innovations already introduced by the VET schools.
• Activity 1.1.1. – Stock-taking of the accomplished modernisation of VET programmes by the project partners and relevant milestones in the reform of the VET system at the national level
• Activity 1.1.2. – Training of VET teachers / VET school staff on Flexible Learning models
The common ground among two VET schools and key stakeholders is reached on the basic strategic elements / practical implementation of the tailor-made Flexible Learning Model that allows for the further VET school curricular innovations, i.e. adoption of a wider range of flexible curricular contents and learning methodologies in a variety of learning environments to cater for individual needs / interests of VET students.
• Activity 1.2.1. – Delivery of the school developmental - strategic document for the introduction of the tailor-made Flexible Learning Model / Delivery of the Tool-kit for VET teachers
• Activity 1.2.2. – Round-table on the introduction of the tailor-made Flexible Learning Model
VET teachers / staff members strengthened their knowledge and skills needed for (i) making effective transition of VET students from school to further education/training and employment as well as for (ii) maximising their teaching and learning potential through the usage of Neuro-Lingustic Programming tools.
• Activity 2.1.1. – Training of VET teachers / VET school staff on educational / career guidance and counselling;
• Activity 2.1.2. – Training of VET teachers / VET school staff on Neuro-Linguistic Programming
VET schools gained necessary knowledge and skills needed for accreditation and successful integration of the Solarteur® - Specialist in Renewable Energy Certificate and Konnex Certificate for Home and Building Control into the VET school curriculum / Flexible Learning Model
• Activity 2.2.1. – Train-the-Trainer / Tutor programmes for VET teachers on the extension of educational opportunities international certificates (i) Solarteur® - Specialist in Renewable Energy and (ii) Konnex Certificate for Home and Building Control
VET schools gained necessary knowledge and skills needed for the application of the e-learning software that integrates best-of-breed tools for rapid e-learning, courseware authoring, simulation, and media editing
Activity 2.3.1. – Training of VET teachers / VET school on New Adobe® eLearning Suite software
Different elements of the tailor-made Flexible Learning Model are pilot-tested
• Activity 3.1.1. – Piloting of the tailor-made Flexible Learning Model at two VET schools-project partners / Selection of pilot-group of VET students
• Activity 3.1.2. – Piloting of the VET Career Guidance Centre
• Activity 3.1.3. Pilot-implementation of the extension of educational opportunities through access to internationally recognised certificates / Pilot-implementation of the extended e-learning solutions involvement of any implementing partners, their role and relationship to the applicant, if applicable;
The School of Electrotechnics Zagreb
Tel / Fax: ++385(0)1 36 66 114