This article was thought and written by Jóhannes Árnason, teacher at VMA, Akureyri [Iceland]
During our VET4Change week in the Vosges from October 11 to 15, 2021, we observed some interesting things. One of the revelations was to dine at the MFR of Saulxures. Like many MFR schools, MFR-Saulxures has gone through difficult times, with students aiming for larger academic schools or VET colleges. Recently, MFR Saulxures found that they could work much more with the community and local authorities, to strengthen the school and provide services to their community.
MFR Saulxures offers programs in catering/kitchen and care. The cooking program provides up to 250 meals per day for preschool and school-aged children. They plan and prepare meals and transport food to schools.
Saulxures-sur-Moselotte has 2000 to 2500 inhabitants, so young people must learn elsewhere after 16 years. The next major academic or vocational college for students over 16 is in Remiremont, 20 km away. Having an MFR school is therefore a great opportunity not only for young people looking for training but also for teachers looking for specialized jobs and for the community as a whole. The community benefits from young people who learn to prepare food from the products of the region's agriculture and also from young people who learn to care for children and others in need of help. Of course, one of the main goals is to empower each individual by becoming proficient in their life and work.
We met with members of the school's board of directors, the president of the board was with us all week. Board members are parents and former teachers of the school. They have a young director and he explained to us a very clear vision of the school. The mayor of Saulxures dined with us.
We felt a strong bond between the MFR and the community, a strong vision for the school and a determination to empower young people trained in the school. The key element for the future is to be able to maintain an open connection between the MFR and the community and at the same time allow the contributions of different groups of people with perhaps different points of view, different experiences and cultural backgrounds. different. While the MFR, staff and board of directors are open to contributions from multiple branches, the MFR will continue to be a very important part of the community.