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What is Comenius?

The Comenius Programme for Lifelong Learning is an initative of the European Commission to promote cooperation between schools in different European countries. It was named for the Czech philosopher, theologian and educator John Amos Comenius (1592-1670) who strongly believed that only through education people can reach their full potential and live a harmonious life. Having lived and worked in several European countries (e.g. Sweden, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, Transylvania, the Holy Roman Empire, England, the Netherlands, and Royal Hungary), he might be called a cosmopolitan who fought for human rights, peace, and the union of nations without cess. Also, he is considered the father of modern education.

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In the past years, more than three million pupils have already participated in the Comenius Programme. It aims at helping pupils and teachers alike to better understand the range of European cultures, languages and values. Teachers and pupils visit their partner schools and take part in joint activities with their partners. They learn with and from each other - and make new friends abroad. Moreover, the programme is focusing on the promotion of learning and learning-to-learn skills as well as digital educational content and services.

As part of the programme, schools and pupils work together on projects. During two school-years, while work is done at the two separate schools, collaboration is possible via modern media (foremost the internet), but also using more traditional ways of communication (e.g. the phone). Several times the two years, students will meet each other - once in the one country, another time in another country. These visits as well are used to further develop the project, and of course also to develop an understanding of another European culture (discovering not only differences but often enough a lot of similarities). For these visits, the Comenius Programme provides the participating pupils and teachers with grants to finance the mobilities.

More information on the Lifelong Learning Programme and the Comenius Programme can be found on the website of the European Commission.