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Jan Amos Comenius Prize for high quality teaching about the European Union - call for applications
Reference: EAC/30/2019
Published on 06/11/2019
Deadline: 06.02.2020 17:00(Brussels time)

The European Commission has launched the Call for Applications for the "Jan Amos Comenius Prize for high quality teaching about the European Union".

The prize will reward secondary schools that help their pupils learn about the European Union in ways that inspire. It will provide EU-wide recognition and visibility to relevant work in each Member State and will highlight the importance of teaching and learning about the EU at a young age. It will showcase inspirational teaching methods that engage pupils actively in learning about the EU and will help spread these practices.

There will be up to twenty-eight (28) prizes of €8,000 each, one per EU Member State.

The call is open to ISCED level 2 and ISCED level3 secondary schools established and based in the European Union (not to individual teachers). For more details, on which schools are eligible, see question 5 in the Frequently Asked Questions below.

The deadline for applications is 6 February 2020, 17.00 CET.

  • The Rules of Contest have now been published (English version – all other official EU languages will be available soon.
  • You can submit your application only through the EU Survey website.

If the United Kingdom withdraws from the EU before the award decision (this follows soon after the assessment of the applications) without having concluded an agreement with the EU ensuring that British applicants continue to be eligible, British secondary schools will cease to be eligible for this prize. In this case, there will be up to 27 prizes (instead of 28) but the amount of the prize will remain the same (€8,000).

Frequently asked Questions

1.    Where does the idea and the money come from?

The Prize is an initiative implemented by the European Commission at the request of the European Parliament, which is financing this action.

2.    Why this prize?

Surveys show that young Europeans’ knowledge about the European Union is low and that many of them do not participate in the democratic processes that shape its future. The prize aims to showcase good practices that enhance young people's knowledge and awareness of the EU. Schools play a crucial role in this.

3.    Are you seeking to reward pro-EU propaganda at school?

No. Learning about the EU does not predefine your later position on EU affairs. The award criteria clearly say that the work proposed for the prize must be objective and evidence-based, showing balance of different perspectives.

4.    What is the amount of the Prize?

There will be up to twenty-eight (28) prizes of 8.000 EUR each, one in each Member State.

5.    Who can apply?

  • All ISCED level 2 and ISCED level 3 schools established and based in the EU. In most EU Member States, these are called (lower and upper) “secondary” schools.
  • ISCED level 0 (pre-primary) schools cannot apply.
  • ISCED level 1 schools cannot apply. In most EU Member States, these are called “primary” schools.

ISCED is the “International Standard Classification of Education”.

Depending on the structure of the education system, in some EU Member States a school level does not correspond neatly to a single ISCED level but straddles more than one ISCED levels. For the purposes of this contest, a school can apply only with work that has been done or is currently in progress in the school levels/grades/years that correspond to ISCED level 2 and/or ISCED level 3.

For more details on the correspondence between ISCED levels and school levels/grades/years in the various EU Member States, please see: European Commission/EACEA/Eurydice, The Structure of the European Education Systems 2018/2019 – Schematic Diagrams, Eurydice Facts and Figures, Luxembourg, Publications Office of the European Union, 2019.
The applicants can be schools of general, vocational, technical or any other type of education as long as they are officially recognised by the national education authorities in an EU Member State.

6.    Can several schools apply together as a team?

No.

7.    Can a university apply?

No.

8.    What about Brexit?

If the United Kingdom withdraws from the EU before the award decision is taken by the Commission (this follows soon after the assessment of the applications) without having concluded an agreement with the EU ensuring that British applicants continue to be eligible, British secondary schools will cease to be eligible for this prize. In this case, the max. number of prizes will be 27 (instead of 28) but the amount of the prize will remain the same (€8,000).

9.    Who will choose the winners?

The European Commission makes the final selection after the applications are assessed by independent external evaluators appointed by the European Commission.

10.    Who gets the money of the Prize?

The school.

11.    How will the school use the money of the Prize?

Entirely up to the school.  There is no rule, expectation or reporting about this.

12.    Will there be a Jan Amos Comenius Prize next year?

This prize is a pilot project; no decision about future editions has been taken yet.