School of Economics and Tourism Daruvar is one of the oldest high school institutions in the town of Daruvar with continuous work since 1928 when the Dual-grade Commercial School was founded. It is a medium-sized vocational school in which students get a degree in fields of economy and hotel and catering industry, studying to become economist (four year schooling), hotel-tourist technician (four-year schooling), agroturist technician (four year schooling), salesman (three year schooling), chef (three year schooling) and waiter (three year schooling). There are around 300 pupils and 50 teachers work here. The emphasis of our work is on the educational component, on preparing students for their future studies and on training students for their future professions. In addition to formal education, our students and teachers are involved in various projects and competitions, because the implementation of informal educational programs is an integral part of the school curriculum. In addition to implementing a large number of European projects, our school is the first peace school in Croatia, and there are many activities we carry out related to civic education, educational and prevention programs against violence, responsibility and safety on the Internet, interculturalism and promoting the European dimension.
The school has been taking part in many Comenius and Erasmus+ projects since 2011 and a few eTwinning projects. We received eTwinning quality label for our projects Europe as a Workspce, Route Docs and Feeding our Mind. Currently we are running two KA1 projects and five Erasmus+ KA2 projects. We see participation in the European projects as an excellent and innovative way of learning, meeting peers and getting to know other cultures by students and teachers. Many of our students are very keen on taking part in our projects, hosting students from abroad and getting some experience abroad, and they will not only learn more about how to protect the environment but also about how other European countries deal with the environmental issues. We want our students to get a possibility to take part in international projects in order to improve their communication skills, in their mother tongue and in foreign languages, ICT and digital competences, and learn about intercultural understanding to overcome any biases they might have.
Apart from the Erasmus+ programs, the school has participated in numerous international projects and competitions. One of them is E.S.C.O.T., a project about the promotion of thermal spas in Europe, and we got involved as Daruvar is a well known spa resort and we frequently collaborate with the spa hotel Termal. We regularly participate in national competitions and we have very good results especially at the "Young Entrepreneur" competitions, bookkeeping competition with balancing, competitions of salespeople, we are very successful at the "Gastro" competition with regard to catering and tourist professions. We also participate in the State Exercise Companies' Fair, where we present some of the entrepreneurs from our town. Since 2012 our school has been involved in the experimental implementation of Civic Education and Citizenship. We got the award as the first peace school in Croatia in 2015.
Our students are ages 14 to 19, they are open to new experiences, they show a wide range of interests and like to get involved and actively participate in the activities that are important for most young people today. They want to develop their knowledge, skills and competences in different areas, most of them want to continue their education. They show well-developed communication and language skills, they are enterpreneurial and cooperative, love teamwork and have a desire to achieve their goals. They are aware that non-formal education affects their socio-emotional development, as well as their educational outcomes, and gives them the opportunity to reach their full potential. By participating in extracurricular activities, they gain greater self-confidence, recognize and develop their competences, get to know themselves better and develop their self-esteem, help each other and learn from each other.
We got involved in this project because we want to raise our students' interests and awareness of what people are doing to the planet. We have realized that our students are not completely aware of the importance of sustainability and environmental issues, thus we have decided that it is important to get additional knowledge and raise their awareness through a project about the protection of our environment. We need to change our students mindset and make them realize they can make a difference as indiviuals, that each one of us can contribute and we have to start with changing our attitudes and behaviour to help change the world and make it a safer place for us and future generations.