Timely support for entrepreneurship experts from Bosnia and Herzegovina
Entrepreneurial learning and entrepreneurship education have been the focus of a peer-learning visit to Austria of the “core expert team” from Bosnia and Herzegovina on 19-21 June. The experts are involved in the development of in-service teacher training for entrepreneurial learning.
The team includes 15 members from different ministries, pedagogical institutes, primary and VET schools as well as the countries agency for pre-primary, primary and secondary education.
The visit was an occasion to address a number of questions:
• how entrepreneurship learning is embedded in the education system in Austria,
• which institutions are involved and how they cooperate,
• how responsibilities are distributed,
• what are the major obstacles in the practical implementation,
• how the impact of entrepreneurship education can be measured
• what is the feedback from students, teachers and school management.
The sessions generated new ideas for the two modules of the teacher training. They are part of the draft proposal for in-service teacher training on entrepreneurial learning across all levels of education in the country.
Despite the economic crisis Austria is managing to keep one of the lowest youth unemployment rates in Europe. A well-developed VET system seems to help here, offering graduates good career opportunities including setting up of their own businesses.
During the study visit the experts discussed the different dimensions of entrepreneurial learning, which can be seen as made of three levels:
• the first level is business related;
• the second level is focussing on the development of creativity, innovation and sense of initiative of the individual;
• the third level relates to the development of a culture of responsibility, autonomy and solidarity as the basis of a civic society.
To introduce entrepreneurial learning as an educational principle at all levels of education and in all subjects, there is a need for a change in the education system, approaches and teaching methods.
The participants visited Ministry of Education, the Chamber of Commerce, the Schumpeter Secondary College of Business Administration, KulturKontakt Austria and the Austrian Centre for Practice Firms.
Special attention was paid to the role of training firms and virtual companies as tools for entrepreneurial learning in a protected environment. The issue of teaching methods and teacher training and the impact on the school environment were also discussed in depth.
The peer-learning visit provided a timely support for the experts. In the coming months they will be involved in the implementation of the new “Strategy for the introduction of entrepreneurial learning in the education system”, as well as the implementation of in-service teacher training for entrepreneurial learning in the country.