The European Parliament Ambassador Schools programme aims to raise awareness amongst young people in secondary education of the impact of the European Union in their daily lives. It offers an engaging and interactive format, training material for various levels, and is free of charge. On 15 January, secondary school teachers from all over Ireland came to the Parliament’s Information office in Dublin for the first ever Ambassador School Workshop.
European Parliament Vice President Mairead McGuiness welcomed the teachers to the workshop and said "I am delighted that Ireland is one of just six EU Member States selected to participate in the Ambassador School programme this year. The programme will provide students with a better understanding of the EU and their rights as EU citizens. It is really important to have more and better interaction with young people and the Ambassador School Programme can play a key role in reaching out to the voters of tomorrow".
The European Parliament Ambassador School Programme (EPAS) for post—primary schools was launched in six of the 28 Member States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Poland and Ireland. This is a pilot project which will run during the 2015-2016 academic year. If it proves to be successful in the six selected countries it will be rolled out in all Member States in 2016.
The programme is aimed at 16-18 year olds and is suitable for Transition Year students. Schools successfully completing the programme will be awarded an Ambassador School plaque and become a certified “Ambassador School” of the European Parliament. Students will receive an EPAS Certificate of participation in the programme.
Schools taking part in the pilot project in 2015-2016 are:
Coolmine Community School, Clonkeen College, Blackrock and Our Lady's School, Terenure,
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St. Columba's College, Stranorlar, Co. Donegal, St. Oliver's Community College, Drogheda, Presentation College, Athenry, Co. Galway and Mercy College, Sligo
Colaiste Chiaráin, Croom, Co. Limerick, Christ King Girls Secondary School, Cork, Gaelcholáiste Choilm, Ballincollig, Cork and Gaelcholáiste na Mara, Arklow, Co. Wicklow