Home > “THROUGH EDUCATION TO VOCATION!”, project code PN2025

The project benefits from a total grant of 4,720,491 lei offered by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through EEA and Norwegian Grants under the Local Development Program.


Main Partner: Alba Iulia Orthodox Philanthropy Association

Partner 1: HEKS/EPER Romania Foundation

Partner 2: Foundation for the Promotion of Agriculture and Regional Economy – FAER Reghin

Partner 3: NEW SCHOOL AS

Total project budget: 5,244,990 lei (1,104,208.42 Euro) of which Grant: 4,720,491 lei and private contribution: 524,499 lei

GENERAL OBJECTIVE of the project: Support in the education system and an increase in the degree of social inclusion for 645 students in risk situations from the Central and North-West regions by creating activities such as “School after school”.

Specific objectives of the project:

SPECIFIC OBJECTIVE 1. Reducing the dropout rate and increasing school performance for 645 students in a period of 24 months, by creating 17 “school after school” groups in 13 localities and organizing a Parent Education Program for 110 parents.

SPECIFIC OBJECTIVE 2. Develop the professional training of 49 teachers / school counselors working with children at risk of early school abandonment and with children with SEN, for a period of 4 months, by Organizing a Training Program, which includes 4 courses.

SPECIFIC OBJECTIVE 3: Develop sustainable partnerships for 8 Schools and 8 Local Public Authorities, in order to increase confidence in the education process over a period of 3 months, by organizing 3 Conferences to promote inclusive education and a plenary training session and dissemination.


THE MAIN TARGET GROUP consists of students at risk of early school abandonment, structured as followed: 635 students (6 and 16 years), at risk of dropping out fromm which: primary education 295 students, secondary education 320 students, and vocational education 20 students; from socially disadvantaged families (disorganized / single parents, affected by poverty, Roma, low parental educational level, Hungarian nationality), from the Central Region (Alba and Mureș County) and North-West (Bihor County). Quantitative: at least 40% girls, about 75% students aged 6-10 years, 25% aged 11-16 years, at least 80% of socio-economically disadvantaged families, at least 20% of Roma families. Regarding the distribution: 81.39% – Central Region (Alba County with the localities: Rădești, Berghin, Miraslău, Aiud, Ighiu, Șard, Ighiel, Țelna, Sîntimbru Sat, Sîntimbru Fabrică, Sebeș, Cugir, Alba Iulia, Mureș County with Reghin locality), 18.61% – North-West Region (Bihor County with Diosig and Cadea localities).


Parents: 170 parents of the 645 children (110 parents from the Project Promoter, 40 parents from Partner 1 and 20 parents from Partner 2) from the main target group will participate in a Parent Education Program to raise awareness of the parent’s role in the child’s education – 110 parents, family counseling sessions 170 parents.

Education staff: 49 people: teachers / school counselors / school mediators / managers working with children and young people from the main target groups (40 from Project Promoter, 7 from Partner 1 and 2 from Partner 2). The 49 teachers / school counselors / school mediators / managers / will go through a training process throughout the project’s implementation period aimed at increasing professional skills and intersectional education-social collaboration, in order to reduce school abandonment and promote inclusive education .

Social services professionals / volunteers: 16 volunteers (Project Promoter) from the social services sphere, who provide services to children and young people from the main target groups. Volunteers will be involved in inclusive and remedial education activities with children.

Other secondary target groups: 120 students in secondary and vocational education (Partner 1), who are not in the risk situations mentioned above, but who interact with children and young people in the main target group (study in the same educational unit, live in the same community) will participate, together with the students from the target group, in workshops with special guests that can give students a personal, concrete example of how, in relatively harsh conditions, they managed their career advancement optimally.


– Inclusive and remedial education activities

– Formative-educational activities

– Activities for meeting the primary needs of children

– Information, counseling and vocational guidance

– Family counseling

– Students’ visits to companies

– Elaboration of the work strategy in the management team and formation of new work skills in the project team

– Curriculum development / inclusive education manual

– Activities of organizing a vocational training on vocational education, with the entity NEWSCHOOL from Norway and transfer of good practices in the activities carried out with the beneficiaries of this project

– Human resources development activities in schools and in the field of social services

Project indicators:

Number of children or young people at risk of early school abandonment receiving support services – 635

Number of children or young people who have improved their school participation by at least 10% – 635

Number of counties in which educational or social services were provided to children or young people with SEN – 1

Number of counties in which support services were provided to children or young people at risk of early school abandonment – 3

Number of teachers trained in working with children and young people at risk of early school abandonment – 39

Number of teachers trained in working with children and young people with SEN – 2

Number of parents of children or young people at risk of early school abandonment who received support – 170

Number of parents of children or young people with SEN who received support – 10

Percentage of cooperating entities applying knowledge acquired under the bilateral partnership – 100%

Number of intent letters for future collaboration – 3

Number of participants in exchanges from the Beneficiary State – 18

Activities implemented by HEKS/EPER Romania Foundation in the first project year (November 2020 – November 2021)

In the 2020-2021 school year, 58 8th grade students from Gymnasium School Nr. 1 Diosig participated in remedial activities (tutoring for Romanian language and literature, Hungarian language and literature and mathematics) and benefited from individual and group/collective counseling services. The main topics addressed in counseling sessions were the role of self-knowledge in choosing a profession; educational offer depending on personal profile; the difference between professional school and high school; labor market; the difference between employee and entrepreneur status; ways to start a small business; effective strategies in making optimal decisions. Students who participated in group counseling meetings and remedial activities received a main course meal in the catering system, and those who participated in individual counseling meetings received a snack.

The first results, in the context in which the activities started in the second semester of the 2020-2021 school year and were also influenced by the coronavirus pandemic, are encouraging:

– The percentage of students who passed the National Evaluation increased with 11% in the Gymnasium School Nr. 1 Diosig;

– The percentage of 8th grade students who transitioned to the 9th grade was 96.55% for the 2020-2021 promotion.

49 parents/legal representatives/tutors of students from the target group of the HEKS/EPER Romania Foundation participated in individual meetings with psychologists or school counselors. During the individual meetings, among the discussed topics were: the vocational profile of the student (after the evaluation with the Cognitrom platform) and the educational offers; issues related to family support for the student’s school choice; situations that may interfere with school results as well as various particular situations.

In February 2021, two psychologists and two school counselors participated in a training on how to use Cognitrom Career Planner, a specialized platform through which students can find out their relevant features for career guidance, learn about the school and career options, find out which are the most suitable alternatives.

Between August 30 and September 3, five school counselors and teachers from the Gymnasium School Nr. 1 Diosig participated in a training course on inclusive and vocational education supported by Newschool Norway – design agency in the field of education, a partner in the project. During the five days of training, the trainees learned different educational techniques specific to the Norwegian model, and experiential learning modalities for personal development and cohesion of the group of teachers were explored. Participants had the opportunity to explore together, guided by the Newschool Norway trainer, how they can facilitate creative exercises that increase motivation and inspire children’s creativity.

On 7.09.2021, HEKS/EPER Romania Foundation organized the Conference for launching the Inclusive Education Manual developed within the project. The participants included representatives of the partners and collaborators of the project, representatives of the Bihor County School Inspectorate and of the Program Operator. The manual will be used by teachers, counselors and school mediators working with students in primary and secondary education. For more details please access the Transilvania Reporter article here.

In the 2021-2022 school year, another 58 students from lower secondary education (8th grade) were selected to participate in remedial activities and individual and collective counseling. The participating students will also receive a hot meal.

Five school counselors and teachers from the Gymnasium School Nr. 1 Diosig participated in a course, being trained to discover new methods of inclusive education and personal development. The course was organized on October 12 2021, by Nicoleta Presecan, psychologist and co-author of the Inclusive Education Manual.

Seven counselors and teachers from the Gymnasium School Nr. 1 Diosig participate, starting with October 19 2021, in a 100-hour counseling and orientation course, organized by CCD Bihor.

“School Counseling and Orientation” training

From October 19, 2021 to January 14, 2022 within the project “Through education to vocation!”, took place online the training “School Counseling and Orientation”, a course held by Teachers House from Bihor County.

The course was attended by 7 teachers and school counsellors from Diosig Secondary School No. 1, a partner school of the HEKS/EPER Romania Foundation in the above mentioned project.

The course is accredited by the Ministry of Education (OME 4618 / 11.08.2021). It comprises 6 modules:

Module I: Educational counseling – conceptual approaches

Module II: Self-awareness and personal development

Module III: Communication and social skills

Module IV: Information and Learning Management

Module V: Career Planning

Module VI: Quality of Lifestyle

During the almost 3 months of training, the following competencies were targeted:

  • Understanding and correctly using the specific concepts of educational counseling and career, as well as the methods, techniques and tools used in this field;
  • Practical implementation of methods and techniques used in the process of self-discovery and personal development;
  • Identifying the elements of effective communication in real and virtual environments;
  • Practising skills in the use of information and communication technologies to clarify the educational and professional path;
  • Practising skills in the use of personal marketing documents and Europass, to continue studies or to enter the labour market;
  • Analysing the concepts of equal opportunities and gender equality, from a career planning perspective.

The knowledge acquired will be used in the following period in the activities carried out with pupils.

Highschool or professional school – this is the question

In the school year 2021-2022, 58 students from the 8th grade of Diosig Secondary School No. 1, collaborating school of HEKS/EPER Romania Foundation within the project “Through education towards vocation” participate to career counseling and orientation.

These services are designed to support the target group in choosing the educational path to follow according to their aptitudes, school results and career dreams.

One of the topics covered in individual and group counselling was the difference between high school and professional school.

What would be the advantages and disadvantages of each option in the short, medium or long term? What will be the future educational pathway: a professional one (qualifying for a job – in this case what would be the options and what steps should be taken) or a theoretical one (get a degree at a university or postgraduate institution).

Information and counselling services for 7th grade students from Secondary School No 1 Diosig

Since February 2022, 68 7th grade students from Secondary School No. 1 Diosig benefit from career counseling and orientation services as well as hot meal (main course) within the „Through Education to Vocation!”  project.

In the 2021-2022 school year, we also continue working with the 58 8th grade students. They continue to benefit of:

career counselling and orientation services, aiming to support their choice regarding the future educational path, according to their aptitudes, school results and career-related dreams;

remedial activities for: Romanian language and literature, mathematics and Hungarian language and literature;

a hot meal (main course) during group career counselling sessions and remedial activities and a cold snack during individual counselling sessions.


In the school year 2021-2022 a number of 58 pupils from 8th grade and 68 from 7th grade from the Diosig Secondary School No. 1, benefit from hot meal services (main course) in catering system that corresponds in terms of calories and nutrition to the child’s age. These services are offered within the framework of career counseling and orientation activities as well as remedial education activities (tutoring in Romanian language and literature, Hungarian language and literature and mathematics).

Self-awareness activities in individual and group counselling sessions

During the individual and group counselling activity, one of the favorite themes of the students of Diosig Secondary School No. 1, a collaborating school of HEKS/EPER Romania Foundation in the project “Through education towards vocation”, was self-awareness.

The psychologists and school counsellors included the following sequences:

– Activity game (show, describe, draw the word on the note);

– free discussions on the 4 profiles (MONKEY, TIGER, ELEPHANT AND ANT);

– application of a personality test;

– identification with one of these characters/profiles;

– applying these profiles to examples of professions (minimum 2 examples for each character) advantages and disadvantages for each typology;

– homework: find the typology (based on the personality test) corresponding to the people close to you: colleagues, friends, family members and associate them with different occupations.

The role of this activity is to help in: awareness of skills; awareness of interests and value system and self-concept (self-image, self-esteem).

Learning motivation in group counselling sessions

In March, the topic of motivation for learning was addressed in group counselling sessions.

The factors underlying the learning motivation process of the students (further studies, curiosity/interest, perseverance, results, social position and reward) were discussed and analyzed, the learning motivation questionnaire was applied, the results of the questionnaire were interpreted and discussed in class.

The stages of procrastination and the planning of long-term and medium-term goals were also discussed.

The students of the 8th grade of the Secondary School No. 1 Diosig, Bihor consider that behind their motivation to learn is the desire to continue their studies, to overcome their condition.

Online workshop with special guests in the project “Through education to vocation!”

Yesterday, 11 April 2022, students and teaching staff from Diosig Secondary School No. 1 attended a workshop with special guests who could present students with personal, concrete examples of how, under relatively difficult conditions, they managed  optimally their career development.

There were 4 special guests:

– Mr. Daniel Anca, agronomist engineer and head of a famous farm in Diosig – he started from simple work and got promoted, then went on to higher education;

– Mrs Budai Elisabeta, medical biologist in Brasov – who didn’t speak Romanian language but decided to go to school in Romanian and pursue her desire to become a biologist;

– Dr Joszef Szabo, a neonatologist in Marghita, from Diosig, whose parents did not want him to go to high school but rather wanted to see him employed as soon as possible to support himself;

– Mr Füzesi Tibor, a farmer in Diosig, who did very well at school but wanted to take up farming and now runs a large farming business, where he works side by side with his employees and does physical work.

They talked about the role of learning and making the right career choice, combining both interest and passion but also about opportunities in the job market. The guests talked about trying abroad and the fact that if you want to work you can also achieve your goals in the country, about language barriers for Hungarian speakers and how they become irrelevant if you are a good professional (because no one looks at nationality or language but at professionalism first), about the fact that there are countless opportunities in reality, but which we often do not pay attention to.

Career advancement opportunities, motivation for learning and personal development are themes that will continue to be discussed in individual and group career guidance and counselling sessions.

Visits to companies

From May to June 2022, several student visits to companies took place. One of the targeted companies was SC CELESTICA ROMÂNIA SRL from Borș, Bihor county. Celestica is a multinational company, one of the leaders in the electronic manufacturing services market.

Through these visits, the students of the 7th grade from the Secondary School No. 1 Diosig had the opportunity to get acquainted with the labour market, employers’ requirements and working conditions in Romania.

The theoretical information obtained during the information, counselling and vocational guidance sessions within the project “Through education towards vocation” was harmoniously complemented by the practical information obtained from the representatives of the Human Resources department.

In May 2022, students of the 8th grade participated in similar visits to other companies.

Camp in Maramures 27-30 June 2022

From 27 to 30 June 2022, 49 students from the 8th grade and 6 teachers from Diosig Secondary School No. 1 attended a camp in Maramures at the Podina Resort.

The aim of organizing the camp was to develop practical skills and abilities needed in life. The camp was also an activity carried out in a context other than the school environment and was a great experience after two years of pandemic, while social interactions were limited.

Camp activities included: pizza workshop, photo frame workshop, pancake workshop, map orientation trip, visit to the farm and marshmallow bake, how to take good photos with phones, campfire; tennis, volleyball, basketball championship.

We wish the students good luck in their admission to secondary and vocational education, and we mention that the pass rate in the National Evaluation at the Diosig Secondary School No. 1 was 82.86%.

Congratulations to the students and teachers for their results!

In 2022-2023 school year, 64 8th grade students from  Diosig Secondary School No. 1 participate to activities within the project, respectively during sustainability period.

One of the topics addressed at the beginning of this school year in the group counseling sessions was THE RIGHT CAREER DECISION.

Most of the 8th grade students from VIII D, for example, want to continue their studies in a professional school: the boys in construction and the girls in catering industry.

PURPOSE OF THE ACTIVITY: – awareness of the stages of work in the 2 fields, with the aim of consolidating the personal decisions.

CARRYING OUT THE ACTIVITY  – the boys’ group received some building blocks and the girls’ group a book with traditional recipes.

The boys’ task was to build a certain building, then draw and calculate the material needed for its construction. Each group also received a ruler, it was established that 1 cm = 1 m, and the bricks have a size of 40×40 cm2.

The girls’ task was to compose a 3-course menu for a group of 40 people, the amounts found in the cookbook corresponding to 4 people. After establishing the menu, the amount of needed ingredients for the festive meal was calculated.

The students were very cooperative, they tried to complete the task, they did not abandon it, they asked for help in calculating the quantities. They enjoyed the activity.

In October 2022, another topic discussed within the group counseling sessions was continuing education.

The 8th grade students from Secondary School No. 1 Diosig expressed in front of their colleagues their option for the form of education they want to follow after finishing secondary school.

Most of the students involved in the activity opted to continue their studies in a professional school, to learn a job, but not few were also those who, thanks to the individual and group counseling sessions, gained the courage to dream of being admitted to a high school with a vocational or theoretical profile.

Counseling sessions with students are designed to support them in choosing the educational path to follow according to their aptitudes, school results and career dreams.