"Have a say - liven up Europe, move Europe"
Nearly 4000 young people from all parts of Austria participated in the "Europe at School" activities 1999 - 2000. Since 1994 the competition has been reorganised and run by Österreichischer Kultur-Service (ÖKS) on behalf of the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Culture.
"Europe at School 2000" was open to pupils from all types of schools, including primary schools for the third time. The competition offered two strands of activities, one focusing on projects ("Art - Culture - Creativity", including texts, video-clips and documentaries, objects, games, etc), the other one encouraging individual art works ("Drawing - painting - media", including graphic art, painting, collage, computer animation, video-clips, new technologies).
The expertise and support of the ÖKS continues to be a guaranty for the quality of the project activities. In addition, the inspectors of arts education in Austria, taking into account the specific capabilities of art and design classes, state the constant improvement of the individual works.
Through a broad range of services the information office of "Europe at School" has intensified contacts with schools and, within the purview of the school-autonomy statute, has established contacts with private and public, regional and federal institutions. The advertising folder and the poster were again very well received by the Austrian schools.
"Europe at School 1999/2000" had "Have a say - liven up Europe, move Europe" as its motto. The pupils' works handed in for the competition were focussed on considerations regarding the question how every single European citizen could actively organise his or her immediate environment in order to create a Europe without exclusion, discrimination and violence.
A considerable number of works treated the question of awarenessraising among young Europeans for the chances of participation that a united Europe provides for everyone. This issue was tackled e.g. by the creation of special maps or party games testing the players' knowledge about Europe.
Some works presented very good examples of a complex and differentiated approach to the topic. The pupils proved to be conscious not only of the advantages but also of the problems raised by the unification process in Europe - problems they are convinced can be solved in the future through argumentation and information.
This year, many projects, predominately those of upper school classes, made direct reference to the changes within the political landscape in Austria.
As every year, the best works are presented in an attractively designed brochure. This publication serves on the one hand the winning schools to document and show their successful projects, on the other hand it is used to motivate other schools to take part in the competition in the future.
On the 6th of June, the final presentation of awards took place in St. Pölten, at the seat of the Federal Government of Lower Austria. 120 pupils from all parts of Austria were presented with prizes and certificates by representatives of the Federal Government and of the Ministry for Education, Science and Culture. The generous support of the occasion by the Federal Government of Lower Austria turned the presentation into an unforgettable event for all invited guests.
Monika Goodenough-Hofmann / BMBWK , Peter Hamm /öks