Junior Achievement Estonia has been engaged in the projects delivered by the Nordic Council of Ministers for years. The current project under the Nordplus Horizontal programme is called “Creative and entrepreneurship education in schools” and in the 2008/2009 and 2009/2010 academic years we have focused on relationship marketing as a tool for entrepreneurship and business but also for teaching entrepreneurship at school. The project involves 5 countries: Norway, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Finland.
These past years have been very successful - we have had 4 meetings per year for discussions and to learn from one another. Whenever possible we try to schedule our meetings to take place at a time when there is an entrepreneurship event taking place in the hosting country, so that the participants can see the real effect of their every day work.
During these meetings we have discovered new and effective learning programmes in the other countries and learned new tips for teaching more effectively in the classroom. The Innovation Camp, as a European programme, started to spread after our meeting when the Norwegian representative spoke about their attempts to organise a new learning-by- doing programme in Norway. JA-YE Finland joined the programme shortly thereafter and Estonia followed quickly.
Dealing with Relationship Marketing as a subject has helped participants focus very precisely on their main target group: students, but also teachers, parents and the local community. We have shared methods for teaching at school so that all those involved can get the most out of entrepreneurship education in our region. Finding resources for getting information about Relationship Marketing enables us to enrich the lessons carried out at school. Our meetings are also attended by people who train teachers, so that new methodologies are spread into classrooms quickly. The list of materials is published on our webpage www.rm.ja.ee, as well.
All knowledge, new skills, methodologies, teaching tips that we have obtained are extremely valuable but what count even more are the relationships among people participating in the process. Educators have become friends with one another and started to communicate even outside the meetings. Various things are discussed and problems of everyday school life are solved in the meetings. Finnish and Estonian youth organisations (JA-YE alumni) have started to help each other in organising national events. Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania are writing proposals together for solving their common problems in the Baltic States. Schools are cooperating by sending students to visit schools of partner countries.
We are absolutely sure that relationships we have established by learning Relationship Marketing together will last. We are confident that our goals, vision and attitudes toward educating the young generation are very similar. We really enjoy our Nordic-Baltic team working together in the framework of the Nordplus Horizontal programme and we are very grateful to the Nordic Council for supporting these initiatives.
Epp Vodja, CEO of Junior Achievement Estonia.