Liceul Teoretic “Aurel Lazăr” – Oradea
“Aurel Lazăr” Secondary School is a relatively new educational institution (founded in 1990) located in the centre of Oradea – a town in the western part of Romania. The 457 students (aged 10-18) are organised in 20 classes disposed on two levels: lower secondary and upper secondary with theoretic branches: Mathematics – IT, Humanities, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences. On both levels there are classes with special English orientation very popular with students and parents.
The school provides good learning facilities (e. g. three foreign languages: English, French, German, visual art and music classes, dancing and theatre club, etc.) for the students and organises a range of extra-curricular activities: sports, cultural, volunteering, free time, etc. The educational process is performed in 20 classrooms, 3 IT labs, 1 Chemistry lab, 1 Physics lab, 1 Biology lab, 3 Language labs, 2 small gymnasiums, 1 fitness room with multi-trainer, stationary bike and stepper. More than 15,000 volumes are displayed on the shelves of the school library.
The school has a hostel and a canteen (i.e. it is a boarding-school); 29 % of the students belong to families residing in rural areas.
The school is staffed by 37 teachers who prepare the students for the upper-secondary admission exams, for the final national exam and for further studies in higher education.
Some of the missions of our institution are: to shape cooperative, understanding, active students and staff with a first-hand knowledge of European realities (social, cultural, territorial, etc.) and to make them notice differences and similarities between them; to provide students with abilities to be competitive and sustainable in a permanent changing Europe and to motivate them so as to uncover their capacity to manage great works of self and team; to involve the staff in activities directed towards knowing other educational systems, exchanging of experience, sharing of good practice.
The school is open to the realities of the region and it aims at trying to make the students aware of the European dimension of everyday reality and to prepare them to be active European citizens who live and will work in a multicultural and multilingual European environment.
The school board, the students’ council and the parents’ association strongly support the European activity of the school (the motto of international cooperation in our school is “Teaching for knowing the world and meeting the world for understanding its complexity”) as our town is situated on the western border of the country and contacts with foreigners are very frequent, consequently by strengthening the European dimension via European educational projects the institution can more easily and actively equip students with social, civic, language competences and a proper behaviour so necessary to understand the codes of conduct and customs in different cultural environments, to show tolerance, respect and appreciation of difference, rejection of violence, a sense of belonging to Europe.
As our town is situated a few kilometres from the state border, the flow of foreign tourists and foreign investors is increasing. Oradea and its surroundings display a wide range of sights worth visiting. The area includes two spas – Felix Spa and 1 May Spa – , and not far from Oradea there are the Apuseni Mountains with the beautiful resort of Stana de Vale.
In the last few years many graduates have chosen to attend the courses of the Tourism Faculty with the hope to find a job in the field. Due to these facts it is vital for our students to have good quality foreign language knowledge, to be confident when using English in out-of-school environment and to have a real European behaviour when in touch with foreigners.
Their active involvement in the project activities can help them to develop good command of English (communication skills), to acquire the basics of the languages of the partners and also of the tourism connected terms, theory and practice of tourism and to travel to other countries, to exchange ideas and experience with foreigners – students, teachers, students’ parents, other people – , to widen their cultural horizon, to have first-hand contacts with the European reality and to feel Europeans.
We have been working on European projects for 15 years so we have gained some experience in the field – both within multi- and bilateral Comenius partnerships. The teachers have participated in Socrates/Lifelong Learning Programme conferences, contact seminars and training courses. At institutional level there is a team of teachers [coordinated by the contact person Carmen Chira] who have already worked on European projects and who speak English, have project management skills and are eager to participate in European projects. Some other teachers will also contribute to the implementation of the project and will strengthen the European dimension of the school due to their skills and commitment to the project: 1 tourism trail will be created as well as a brochure on Oradea and Bihor county, a booklet about a successful Travel Agency with special attention to disabled tourists.