First project meeting in Berlin (November 2009)

10 - 13 November 2009
Theo van de Veerdonk, Rob van der Meijden, Henk Schenkelaars, Sahba Alhouj, Hub Quaedflieg and Anna van Nijnatten visited Berlin-Neukölln for the first regular project meeting.
Here the groups from two different cultures met for the first time but very quickly they felt comfortable with each other and enthusiastic discussion about the project began. In small mixed groups the “job-shadowing” started in the areas school authority, school management, teaching and social work.
Participants visited a number of schools, school authorities and administrative offices. The participants were able to receive an impression of what daily life at the schools was like – apparently very different from in ‘s-Hertogenbosch! The Dutch groups particularly noticed the older school buildings and they also commented on the more traditional school approach in Berlin, in the Netherlands they are used to encouraging pupils to be entrepreneurial.
During a tour around Neukölln the Dutch partners were also able to get an insight into Neukölln’s demographic. In an area where there are such a large number of immigrants a special approach is clearly needed in schools. All Dutch participants were highly impressed by the quality of the teaching staff who are required to work with classes made up almost entirely of immigrants. They also commented on the level of parent participation which acted as a stepping stone between the pupils’ school lives and personal lives. This is something the group is particularly keen to take back to the Netherlands. However, they also saw how the different school bodies involved in the work in Neukölln seem to work separately from each other and how working together more closely could positively influence results.

The Berlin partners had created an integrated programme with common and shared aspects. Therefore we built up four teams (tandems).

The first tandem was between Theo van de Veerdonk and Angelika Prase-Mansmann. Theo is projectmanager for Education and Labourmarket and European Cooperation at the Department for Youth and Education in 's-Hertogenbosch. Angelika is a school inspector at the Regional School Authority Berlin-Neukölln.

The second tandem was between Rob van der Meijden and Detlef Pawollek. Rob is headmaster of a school for pupils with special needs in 's-Hertogenbosch. Detlef is the headmaster of the Röntgen-Schule in Berlin-Neukölln.

The third tandem was between Henk Schenkelaars and Thomas Rzesnik. Henk is a teacher at the Hervion College in 's-Hertogenbosch and Thomas is a teacher at the Röntgen-Schule.

The fourth tandem was between Sahba Alhouj, Songül Aslan and Alfred Kleinert. Sahba works at the Hervion College, not only for teaching but also doing social work in the school. Songül works at TandemBQG as social worker (Elterncafé) at Röntgen-Schule as well as Alfred does social work there.