The Project

The «Geo-ergon Paideia» project (in Greek: Γεωργών Παιδεία – Γεωργών Παιδιά) is a transnational exchange program which aims at training school students of the secondary level of education in becoming future eco-farmers. The main purpose of the project is to implement a sustainable strategic partnership between European universities, research centres, municipalities and schools in order to reinforce the concept of agricultural education and sustainable development in rural areas through an integrated interdisciplinary approach.
University of the Aegean is coordinating the project and is responsible for the project management as well. A school from Greece (Gymnasium of Geraki in Lakonia), a school from Romania (Gymnasium school Adrian V. Radulescu), Municipality of Evrotas (Greece) and Municipality of Murfatlar (Romania) constitute the partnership along with the Research Institute IZES (Germany) and the Non-governmental organisation KEAN (Greece).
The project’s objectives are:
1. Setting up a series of online open courses on eco-farming and start-up business
2. Teaching agricultural entrepreneurship to school students
3. Providing learning environment for current and future eco-farmers in innovative entrepreneurship
4. Empowering a large number of students, parents, and stakeholders to set-up or develop their own business
5. Supporting school students, through capacity building, to ensure the sustainability of the natural environment and the development of the local economy.
6. Development of a network which will include students, stakeholders, entrepreneurs, academic professionals to promote innovation and sustainability in the agricultural sector in rural regions.
7. Enhancement of transnational cooperation among schools in Europe.
The program is addressed to students attending the second class of lower secondary school (gymnasium), who live in the selected rural areas in Greece and Romania. Apart from the students the participants of the project (around 200) included farmers, the parents of the students, local and governmental authorities, young entrepreneurs, academic professionals and researchers and stakeholders.
The training program is organised with the following transnational learning activities:
a) Open courses “Start-up Farm” to school students at the Gymnasium of Geraki in Greece
b) Open courses “Start-up Farm” to school students at the Gymnasium School Adrian V. Radulesku in Romania and
c) Experiential learning workshop in Saarbrücken (Germany) through a study visit at the research institute IZES and the Bliesgau UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.
Through multiplier events (Local workshops with stakeholders and Final Event -Networking) all the interested parts participated in a social dialogue for the development of the eco-farming business sector, exchange knowledge, good practices and innovative methods of entrepreneurship.
The expected results could be summarized as:
1. Raising awareness of school students regarding professional perspectives in the agricultural sector in their region.
2. Raising awareness regarding the importance of transferable skills for professional development.
3. Introduction of school students to basic concepts of entrepreneurship.
4. Development of an integrated educational approach towards a rural sustainable development concept.
5. Ideas for the development of a new summer school on eco-farming.
6. Increase in students’ business skills and positive attitude towards launching their own farm company.
7. Transfer of entrepreneurship-related knowledge and experience, between project partners, and stakeholders.
This program intends to develop an integrated approach in order to bridge the gap between skills, education and labour market needs at local level in the agriculture sector that could potentially serve as a model for future use and adjustment. In addition, this project tries to promote interdisciplinary collaboration among different organizations, institutions and stakeholders. The development of a network of stakeholders will enhance the exchange of good practices and further collaboration leading to potential synergies.
The intellectual outputs produced by the project are available to the wider public through the e-learning platform, managed by the University of Aegean. An open access policy will be maintained throughout the duration of the project and at least two years after the completion of the project.