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Frontpage News 2012 Connecting Sami and Slovak culture


Connecting Sami and Slovak culture

  • Two upper secondary schools in Norway and Slovakia are co-operating on a 2-year project teaching students about protecting the environment and the cultural heritage.

    Students from the Sami Upper Secondary School in Karasjok, Norway, and the Upper Secondary Vocational School in Detva, Slovakia, are co-operating on the "Natural and Cultural Richness of Norway and Slovakia" project supported by the Slovak scholarship fund of the EEA and Norway Grants.

    Through seminars, excursions and workshops, students will conduct their own research and learn how to protect the environment and preserve the common European cultural heritage. Special emphasis is placed upon folk traditions and history, and on how to present aspects of these to foreign visitors.

    The project also aims to strengthen and raise students` interpersonal and social skills. Students will be hosted by the families of their peers during the exchange visits, which will give them an opportunity to use English in everyday situations and develop confidence in their communicative skills. In addition, the project aims to teach the students elementary Norwegian and Slovak.

    A group of teachers from the Sami Upper Secondary School participated at the opening of the school year in Detva in September, before returning with a group of students in March. They learnt about folk traditions, music and traditional craftsmanship, and visited the UNESCO-listed Polana mountain range as well as the cities of Banská Bystrica and Zvolen.

    Northern lights and -38 °C
    In February, a group of students and teachers from Detva visited the Sami Upper Secondary School in Karasjok in the north of Norway. The programme had a special focus on learning about the culture and history of the Sami people, and included a visit to the Sami Parliament and celebrating the Sami National Day on February 6. The students had the opportunity to learn about traditional reindeer herding, and they experienced the polar lights as well as temperatures as low as –38 degrees Celsius.

    The project co-ordinators emphasise that despite the differences in climate and geography, Norway and Slovakia have many things in common: a landscape characterised by forests and mountains, a rich and diverse cultural heritage, and roughly the same population size.

    The Upper Secondary Vocational School in Detva is one of 18 Slovak secondary schools and higher education institutions to participate in partnerships with schools and institutions in the EEA and Norway Grants donor countries. The scholarship fund`s overall objective is to contribute to the training of a flexible labour force able to adapt to the requirements of a knowledge-based society in Slovakia.

  • Country:


    Project title:

    NIL Fund Supporting Cooperation in the Field of Education

    Case number:


    Priority sector:

    Human resource development


    € 55 765



    Type & project assistance:

    Block grant

    Project promoter:

    Detva Upper Secondary Vocational School

    Type of institution:

    Education/research institution

    Project duration:

    46 months

    Project cost:

    € 2,245,722

    Grant rate:


    Grant from:

    EEA and Norway Grants, Slovak Scholarship Fund

    Grant agreement date:

    27 August 2007

    The purpose of the Fund is to develop cooperation among students, lecturers and experts of secondary schools and higher educational institutions in Slovakia and the donor states, with the overall objective of contributing to the training of a flexible labour force able to adapt to the requirements of a knowledge-based society in Slovakia . Reference is made to the application, dated 13 January 2006, and information from the Focal Point, dated 30 August 2007 and 5 April 2007.

    The completed Fund shall include the following activities and results:

    - Re-granting towards secondary school and higher education institution projects;

    - Fund management;

    - Publicity measures.

    The Intermediary is the Slovak Academic Information Agency (SAIA).

    The Focal Point shall ensure that the state budget of the Slovak Republic will provide at least 15 percent of the estimated eligible costs of the Fund.