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Ma'mura NASIROVA
on Wed, January 23, 2013 at 04.42 am

E-Discussion THREE - CLOSED - Week 1 Questions - Global Citizenship, Jobs and Skills

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Welcome to Discussion Three – GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP, JOBS AND SKILLS

This e-discussion is one of a series of four thematic e-discussions of the Education Global Thematic Consultation on the World We Want platform. The UN jointly with civil society is gathering views from people around the world and building a collective vision on priorities for a Post-2015 framework. Opinions gathered will inform the UN and world leaders to plan a new development agenda. Each of the education e-discussions will run for approximately 2 weeks and we want to ensure as broad and diverse consultation as possible.

To kick off the discussion, we invite you to reflect on the following.

Education for Jobs and Skills

At the most basic level, education is an important requirement to enter the job market. Over the last ten years, the number of 15- to 24-year-olds in the Arab States, South and West Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa has increased from 474 million to 566 million. By 2020, it will reach 623 million. An additional 57 million jobs will need to be created for new entrants to the labor market to prevent unemployment rates from rising above current levels. Young women are equally if not more adversely impacted. Girls of lower secondary school age are more likely to be out of school than boys, regardless of factors such as wealth and household location[i].

Provision of basic literacy and numeracy skills, which are essential to learning further skills for work, equal access to quality primary and secondary education and vocational and skills training that match job market opportunities are critical for young people in urban and rural areas especially in low income countries. These trigger getting out of poverty, coping with climate change, food insecurity, migration and other issues. It helps young people to find new ways in which to respond to the impacts of the different types of crises and prevent new ones from occurring. It makes their entry to the labor market easier for better job opportunities.

 

Global Citizenship and Education

The world faces global challenges, which require global solutions. Globalization has increased the interdependence, connectivity, and integration on a global level, with respect to the social, cultural, political, technological, economic, and environmental areas. Global citizenship is an umbrella term for the social, political, environmental, or economic actions of globally-minded individuals and communities on a worldwide scale that shape the future of the planet.

It is not enough for education to produce individuals who can read, write and count. Education for global citizenship empowers people and especially youth around the world by providing them with the necessary knowledge and skills and by raising their awareness, thus equipping them with the tools needed to become responsible global citizens who can take joint actions. Education must be transformative and bring shared values to life. Technological solutions, political regulation or financial instruments alone cannot achieve sustainable development. It requires transforming the way people think and act. Education must fully assume its central role in helping people to forge more just, peaceful, tolerant and inclusive societies. In practice, education for global citizenship is quality and relevant education through a holistic approach, involving every stakeholder. Equipping young people with knowledge and skills to navigate the fundamental transition from childhood to adolescence, be it through information on healthy life-styles, through comprehensive sexuality education or by fostering positive gender norms, values and behaviors, fits into this vision.

During the first week we invite you to discuss the followings:

  1. What kind of policies, strategies or interventions have been most successful in your country or region in  (a) imparting relevant and adequate skills development (b) providing education for global citizenship; and (c) addressing interconnection between the two?
  2. What are the key problems and challenges in your country or region caused due to (a) lack of skills training for young men and women; and (b) inadequate learning for global citizenship?
  3. What kind of learning is required for global citizenship and for preparing children and youth to participate meaningfully in local and global economy, as well as democracy and social cohesion?
  4. How can technology, especially social networking and mobile devices, be used to improve global citizenship, increase access to information about jobs and support skills development?

 

We ask that you begin your comment with one (or more) of the following sentences. If you are posting on behalf of your organization, network or community, please include the name/details at the top of your comment.

  1. In my experience, the policies and initiatives developed and implemented in my country to (a) address skills development are... and/or to (b) provide education for global citizenship are… (please answer to one or both). These initiatives and policies have brought the following impact (please be specific)…
  2. In my opinion, the challenges and main obstacles in my country or region caused due to (a) lack of skills training for young men and women; and (b) inadequate learning for global citizenship are… (please answer to one or both) The followings are done or could be done to overcome these obstacles (please list them and be specific in your examples).
  3. In my opinion, learning required for global citizenship and for preparing children and youth to participate meaningfully in local and global economy, as well as democracy and social cohesion is as follows…
  4. Technology can be used to improve global citizenship, increase access to information about jobs and support skills development in the following ways…

 

The discussion will take place here from 23 January to 6 February.  We look forward to hearing your views, experiences, ideas, suggestions and recommendations.

With kind regards, the moderators of Discussion Three

Dr. Jean D'Cunha, UN Women

Lily Talapessy, UNFPA

Steve Vosloo and Katerina Ananiadou, UNESCO

Kjersti Mowe, Global Campaign for Education

Will Paxton, Save the Children

 



[i] The Millennium Development Goals Report 2012, Goal 2, p. 18

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Anonymous from
Thu, January 31, 2013 at 08.50 am

Summary of Week One and additional follow up questions to the participants


 


The end of week one of the conversation about global citizenship, jobs and skills is a good time to take stock.  What have the main themes been of the discussion so far?  It would not be possible to capture the richness and range of contributions made so far, but below I try and draw out four of the prominent themes.  In each section some additional questions for further discussion are suggested and we invite you to reflect on them. 


 


1.      An ambitious account of global citizenship, but this raises questions: 


 


Where respondents discussed global citizenship most adopted an ambitious approach.  There was an assumption in most responses that it would be possible to develop a set of quite broad values and behaviours which would constitute global citizenship.  There was some discussion of the tension between national citizenship and global citizenship, but further debate about some of the dilemmas raised by thinking about global citizenship might be interesting.  For example, questions raised include:


 


  • How is it best to make education for global citizenship compatible with education systems that reflect the different cultures of different countries and places?

  • What are the implications for the teaching of global citizenship when there are clashing accounts of what values global citizenship should include?  Some of the terms used in the quote above – equality, justice etc. – are contested and different people will have different versions of them?  How should these tensions be reconciled in the development of any educational interventions?

 


2.      Significant concern about the quality of skills systems


Some of the responses from southern participants were focused on the challenges around the quality of the education and skills system.  These general concerns were linked to a worry about the quality of TVET and tertiary education more generally.  For example: “There are many challenges for TVET in terms of systematic professional development of instructors / teachers demands.” This raises a number of questions:


  • What do we mean by “quality” in technical and vocational education?  Are there good examples of countries which have provided quality TVET?

  • How important is to ensure that children achieve foundational skills, including in literacy and numeracy, before they enter tertiary education?  And if they have not gained foundational skills should “second chance” catch-up education be more available?   

 


3.      Challenges about linking skills systems and labour market policy


There is agreement from a number of respondents that skills-systems needed to be effectively linked to labour market institutions and policies.  In a closely linked point some respondents also argued that thinking about youth jobs and skills required an understanding of the changes which are shaping the labour markets in low and middle income countries. Thinking about the integration between skills/education and the labour market in this way raises a number of questions:


 


  • In often rapidly changing economies, what are the core skills which young people need to be able to enter employment and to lead a fulfilling life? 

  • What role should employers play in the skills system and TVET in particular?

  • In terms of a potential post-2015 target would it make sense to focus on levels of youth unemployment (as one of the main desirable outcomes) rather than a measure of skills acquisition (which is more of an input)?  The case for this is that it would incentivise the integration of education/skills and labour market policy.

 


4.      Gender and sexual and reproductive health


One theme which came through in a number of responses was sexual and reproductive health and gender equality.  The argument made by a number of respondents was that this should be a core part of the education for teenagers and young people.  This was linked by some to the issue of underage marriage.  In the context of the post-2015 discussions this raises a few questions:


  • How can Post-2015 framework seek to ensure universal access to sexual health and sexuality education? 

  • How do the core elements of global citizenship, of which this is one, interrelate and what are the synergies?

 


 


5.      Other important points made:


 


  • Enterprise skills: a number of respondents discussed enterprise skills, arguing that Education and other ministries working together to prepare the next generation to be entrepreneurial with knowledge and practice.”  The sense was that this was a much neglected area at the moment.  

 


  • Formal vs. non-formal provision: There was some discussion of the mode of delivery for citizenship education.  Some argued that it is as likely to be through non-formal learning as formal learning in schools/colleges.

 


  • There was relatively little discussion of technology.  Some did suggest ways in which technology could support skills development.  For example by (a) developing cooperative and participatory learning skills (b) facilitating intercultural exchange with countries and cultures very different from their own; (c) disseminating good practice in a large number of recipients and (d) expanded opportunities for e-learning.

 


Will Paxton, Co-Moderator, Save the Children

Anonymous from
Mon, January 28, 2013 at 01.05 am

In my opinion, education for global citizenship – formal or otherwise - facilitates critical thinking and understanding of our development paradigm that has produced inequality and impoverishment of every kind within and between countries worldwide. Further it must facilitate individual and collective transformative action towards sustainable human development which respects our common humanity, the human rights and dignity of all people and embraces all forms of equality, justice, appreciation for diversity, peace, and environmental sustainability.

The current global financial and economic crisis paralleled by the food and climate change crisis is anchored in a neoliberal development agenda that since the 1980s has promoted active privatization including of public goods and services, a deregulated market (trade, capital, financial and labor) model of development and limits on the role of the State. Human beings have been treated as factors of production and natural resources rapaciously plundered in the interests of economic growth. Individualism, competition at any cost, aggression, instrumentalism, consumerism, commercialization of life and human beings, a lack of people-centeredness, a lack of genuine respect for diversity, inclusiveness, transparency, and accountability, priveleging the synthetic over the organic and having over being, are a web of values that bolster the current development regime and permeate our governance structures.

·          Share with us promising education/advocacy interventions that have reoriented economic, including macro economic policies to generate more employment and social protection, including for women. With what specific impact and why?

Further and ironically while trade and capital flows have been liberalized globally, there are barriers to transnational people flows, in the form of restrictive immigration/emigration and labor policies and practices governing migrant workers, especially low skilled temporary migrant workers, about half of whom are women.

·          From your experience, share with us examples of such discriminatory immigration/emigration and labor policies and practices governing low skilled temporary migrant workers, especially women, and the impact of these on the worker, their families and dependents.

·          Share with us promising education/advocacy interventions that led to positive changes in immigration/emigration and labor policies and practices governing low skilled migrant workers, especially women. What was the impact? What made for success? How can these be upscaled?

·          Share with us promising education/advocacy interventions that have effectively countered gender and other cultural stereotypes, xenophobia against migrants including women migrants . What was the specific impact? What made for success? How can these be upscaled?

·          Share with us promising education/advocacy interventions that led to positive changes in policies and practices to better integrate immigrant communities? What was the impact? What made for success? How can these be upscaled?

Women and girls constitute half the global human population and make significant economic, political and social contributions to human development worldwide. But even as the ‘global community’ enters the 21st century, data suggests that up to six out of ten women face physical or sexual violence at least once in a lifetime. Violence is a violation of women’s/girl’s human rights, with hefty emotional, physical and economic costs to the individual, families, the economy and society as a whole. It also thwarts women’s human rights in other areas such as restrictions on mobility, interactions, education, public paid work, and full participation in in socio-economic and political processes.

·          Share with us promising education/advocacy interventions that have positively impacted the incidence of discrimination and violence against women and girls in communities. What made for their success and how can these be upscaled?

·          Share with us promising education/advocacy interventions that have engaged men and boys to take action on discrimination and violence against women and girls. What made for success and how can these be upscaled?

 

 Dr. Jean D'Cunha, UN Women, Co-moderator

Anonymous from
Tue, January 29, 2013 at 10.29 am

It is sad to see a topic as important as empowering people with skills for work and global responsibility being presented in a polarized ideological angle (more so from UN officials). Economic liberalization may not be your thing Dr Jean D'Cunha, but bringing politics into schools (“Advocacy interventions to reorient economic, including macro-economic policies” , “development paradigms”, “neo-liberalism”) is a heedless suggestion; if not deliberately dangerous. Schools cannot solve all of society's problems. They can help by giving people some skills to solve problems - stand up and do on their own, collectively, inclusively, beyond respective ideologies. That’s a challenge we want to hear more about, and I’m surprised that simple points are not made about foreign language education for instance, computer literacy, the use of open educational resources. A basic push that could be enormously beneficial and enlightening to young people from less integrated communities.

Samuel Chamon Assú from
Fri, February 15, 2013 at 04.14 pm

Educação Brasil-Samuel Chamon 15 anos                                                                                                                                 Falando sobre a realidade do Brasil,presente em todo o país,acredito que a nossa maior dificuldade em lidar com o setor da educação ou qualquer outro seja principalmente a incopetência política em dividir a renda entre os setores mais necessitados e principalmente a corrupção,que aqui existe a muito tempo, o nosso setor de educação pública é uma vergonha,as nossas escolas públicas são incapazes de formar bons profissionais que o futuro necessita.

Constantemente existem greves de professores e outros profissionais da educação,num futuro proximo so irá ficar mais concorrido a busca por trabalho,e poucos estudantes vindos de escolas públicas conseguirão um trabalho digno(existem excessões claro), se o setor da educação publica não fosse tão deficiente não  haveria motivo para a existencias de tantas escola particulares no Brasil,e sem um sistema publico de ensino eficiente nao haverá cidadãos criticos para julgar a realidade que vive a politica brasileira,isso se tornara um ciclo vicioso,amo meu país,mas existem varias coisas que é preciso mudar.

O Brasil não só não é mais desenvolvido por ser tão burro.

Anonymous from
Tue, February 12, 2013 at 06.54 am

In my opinion, learning required for global citizenship and for preparing children and youth to participate meaningfully in local and global economy, as well as democracy and social cohesion is as follows; awareness of the cultural mores that may restrict certain educational programs, a global achievement scale that requires certain basic for all children, early childhood education available to all children (3 years+);global awareness of "special needs" of certain children and what they bring to the table as an adult.


Although the above would be the basic realities of a programs for all global learners, the main focus should be on gaining acceptance by all global adults that all children must be educated to sustain their future's. If we do not give our global children the tools to interact with each other and interchange with each other the world could become even more fragmented then it is today. Our children future's must be based on the technologies we have developed in this and preceding generations. There is no going back the children of today are vulnerable to the influence of their global brother and sisters, if they have no awareness of their differences and acceptance of those differences their chances of having a united global community will be minimized. Education through our social medias will allow our children of today and the leaders of tomorrow to know about other communities and how policies in each country influence and cause reaction in all other countries around the world. They will be responsible for each other's wellness because today's technology does not allow us to be ignorant to the lives of children in far off countries anymore. They are in our backyard everyday..technology is to thank for that. We must unite and allow our children to appreciate and learn from each other. 


 

Anonymous from
Tue, February 12, 2013 at 03.06 am

Education breaks so many barriers, ignorance, awareness, intelligence among others.  Education is my opinion should be free for all, the world would benefit from it and it would bring a higher level of intelligence and a lessor of entitlement.   There may be a person that does not have access to education or the financial ability to get the education that may discover the cure for AIDS or cancer.  When we as humankind limit ourselves by limiting the access to education we all sufffer.  Women especially would benefit from education and higher education.  My opinion is because when we as a womanhood empower ourselves with knowledge we wont have to wait for men to fight battles for us we will have the knowledge to fight for ourselves.

Karen Mason-Bennett from
Sun, February 10, 2013 at 06.10 am

In my opinion, the challenges and obstacles in northern British Columbia (Canada) relating to global citizenship are not a lack of skills training for young men and women. In an area of the province that generates $7 out of every $10 of provincial revenue (Oland, H. Oct. 29, 2012. Northern B.C.’s Growth Benefits Entire Province. Vancouver Sun), students attending school in this area have very lucrative employment awaiting them after graduation and the pull of these opportunities is difficult to counter. The oil and gas industry is the bread and butter of our part of the province and growth in this industry is able to absorb all (responsible and sober) local job seekers and many others as well. Because students can leave school and enter a career that pays well, there is little, if any, incentive to continue to post-secondary education for many males and some females as well. The lucrative nature of this industry also poses some unique social challenges with increased rates of domestic violence, drug and alcohol abuse and gang activity in the area (RCMP. Police Services Division.)

While the elementary and intermediate school system here does attempt to expand students horizons by exploring other cultures practices surrounding holidays, culture and the environment, we still have some of the highest teen birth rates in the province, >25.89 per 1000 15-19 year olds (www.gov.bc.ca Live Teenage Fertility Rates by Local Health Area 2006-2010), and our high school has a day care onsite. Only 52% of BC students graduating from high school will go on to post-secondary education, and another 20% will fail to achieve their high school diploma (BC Ministry of Education, 2010. STP Fast Facts #8. Retrieved from aved.gov.bc.ca Feb.7/13). These numbers are consistent across the country. Despite efforts of the education system to broaden student’s horizons and impart the importance of community engagement, the provincial voter turn out reached a new record low of 51% in 2009 (B.C. Elections. www.elections.bc.ca). I am honestly, not convinced that changes in the education system alone are necessarily able to reverse trends that have been taking place for years. I do think that the more hands on experience that students get from kindergarten to graduation, the more likely they are to value their role within the community they live in. Regardless of the education students receive, it will be hard for them to turn a blind eye to the economic opportunity in their backyard. 

Karen Mason-Bennett

Anonymous from
Sat, February 9, 2013 at 10.39 am

Many thanks for a very interesting discussion, including on the follow-up questions.


How can the Post-2015 Framework ensure universal access to sexual health and sexuality education? First of all, by recognizing the strong linkages between education, health including sexual and reproductive health, and the chances for people of reaching their full potential in life. At the heart of addressing these issues, including through evidence-informed comprehensive sexuality education, are human rights and gender equality. Adolescents and youth have a right to education and skills building as they experience physical and emotional maturation, begin relationships and face decisions about sexual activity, substance use, diet and exercise, decisions that will affect their life-long physical and mental health and well-being. However, education and information are insufficient in themselves. Health services mst also be readily available to help prevent and manage the major causes of death, ill-health and school drop-out in adolescents and youth: unsafe sex and the related risks of pregnancy, childbirth and sexually transmitted infections including HIV; coertion and violence; traffic incidents; and mental ill health.


The Bali Global Youth Forum of UN Member States, youth groups, individual youth participants, non-governmental organizations, private sector institutions and other stakeholders, as well as thousands of virtual participants, was held from 4-6 December 2012 in Bali, Indonesia in the context of the review and follow-up to the implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development beyond 2014. The Bali Declaration offers recommendations highly relevant to the questions under discussion here. In particular, it discusses not only education and health, but also the interlinkages with particularly affect adolescents and young people. http://icpdbeyond2014.org/whats-new/id/31/youth-rights-placed-at-the-heart-of-development Obviously these issues are relevant for people of all ages, albeit differently for each age group. A life-cycle approach, a holistic view (in which interlinkages between sectors like the ones mentioned above are recognized and hence, logically, explicited and reflected throughout the Post2015 framework instead of categorized in one sector only), as well as a determination to especially reach the poorest, most marginalized, most vulnerable groups, and including an accountability framework, now that would go a long way.


How are the core elements of global citizenship, of which this is one, interrelated and what are the synergies? The Education First initiative, that was launched in 2012 and aims, among other things, to give an extra impulse to the Education First goals, calls on education to be 'transformative and bring shared values to life. It must cultivate an active care for the world and for those with whom we share it. Education must also be relevant in answering the big questions of the day.' (EF, Priority Area 3, Foster Global Citizenship). Human rights, gender equality, peace, justice, tolerance and diversity are among the core principles. For instance, think about some of the reasons that can determine whether an adolescent girl stays in school or not. Think of poverty; do parents see value in investing in a girl's education? is child marriage the norm? is the road to school safe? are there sanitary facilities in school to support girls once they start menstruating? is sexual coertion and peer pressure for an early sexual debut, prevalent? what are the demographic trends in that region (youth bulge or ageing? migration? urbanization?) and how do these affect decisions about staying in school or dropping out? Most of these issues have, in some way or other, linkages to the core elements of human rights, gender equality et cetera. To navigate and flourish in her surroundings, this adolescent girl certainly needs an education that equips her for a productive working life, but also she needs skills to empower her and fend for herself, like negotiating skills and evidence-informed knowledge about her body. In turn, those surrounding her could discourage or obstruct her continued education, or instead they can support her by creating an environment based on, again, said core principles. This is just to illustrate that if you start with a focus on one sector, or one decision, as you broaden your focus (zoom out, as it were) you will encounter elements of global citizenship education in one way or another. I note here that my response is informed professionally through my work with UNFPA, but also personally, as a proud daughter of parents for whom my education was the highest priority and for which they made huge sacrifices. Their support (and, at times, push) got me through university (a first in my nuclear family and completely unknown territory for my parents to get a grip on) and into a diplomatic career (a first for all of us). Looking back, I can see that my parents' support was strongly rooted in the core principles discussed, even though this was never named or discussed. And I needed that support because some of the issues listed above where real where I grew up. It makes me admire my parents even more.


Lily Talapessy

Anonymous from
Sun, February 10, 2013 at 01.23 pm

Vous savez, ce problème est très difficile parce que les enfants négligent ce que les parents leur donnent comme éducation et apprennent des bêtises che leurs pairs. toutesfois les parents ont le devoir de faire l'éducation sexuelle, à la santé reproductive aux enfants.

Anonymous from
Sat, February 9, 2013 at 03.49 am

In my opinion, learning required for global citizenship and for preparing children and youth to participate meaningfully in local and global economy, as well as democracy and social cohesion is highly complicated and relies on a strong community-based foundation that in many places is fragmented or missing altogether. Because the complexities found in communities on a local, regional and national scale are unique, education systems needs to be flexible and sensitive to these differences if they are to succeed.  After looking through the EFA Youth and Skills: Putting Education to Work (2012) document, it seems that the initial goal of preparing students to engage in meaningful ways in their communities, is far from over. Without trying to state the obvious, when students are not attending school regularly, or are not present for consecutive terms, this goal will never be reached; there are not many advantages to putting the cart in front of the horse.

Increasing Attendance

Education systems need to be able to address various types of poverty that students and their families may be experiencing, including financial, social, political or cultural poverty. Families and children that are already feeling marginalized are less likely to make positive, long-term, decisions regarding education in favour of more immediate concerns. For example, children may be enrolled in school initially, but then fail to complete due to the weight of “indirect opportunity costs” (UNESCO. EFA Youth and Skills: Putting Education to Work. 2012. p.83) on their families. The value of an education is like investing in a 10-year (or 20-year) GIC where the pay back is not immediately apparent; for families to support this, the benefits have to be obvious, outweigh the costs 10:1 and be affordable in the present. Similarly, families and communities dealing with widespread discrimination are less likely to be in a position where they feel confident planning long-term. Creating a system that is flexible enough to deal with poverty may include offering classes in staggered hours so students can continue to help their families economically; offering classes in various languages; having a garden at school to provide food for student lunches; offering family classes where students and their parents/siblings can attend together; or providing incentives to parents whose children attend a certain number of days per month may all be strategies worth investigating.  

Community Engagement

“Community engagement can substantially amplify the impact of investments in other health or education inputs” (World Bank. Localizing Development: Does Participation Work? 2013. p. 8).  In my opinion, the education systems in developing nations have a distinct opportunity to spearhead the development of literacy and numeracy skills as well as fostering widespread involvement within the community by teaching the entire community. This may sound impossible, however, I would argue, involving parents in the education target population will help increase adult literacy skills (ETA Goal #4), increase the value of literacy and numeracy skills within a community, and potentially increase the number of children attending school regularly. Helen F. Ladd (Presidential Address. Education and Poverty: Confronting the Evidence. 2012) points out that children of parents that have poorer educational backgrounds perform consistently lower than their counterparts in both math and languages. The World Bank (2013. P. 9) also reports “an increase in school access, an improvement in retention rates and attendance, and a reduction in grade repetition” when there is strong community engagement in the education system.

Maybe community involvement is the answer. No longer would the education system be responsible for only teaching students from grade 1 to 12, but rather to be a catalyst for the advancement of communities as a whole. Schools, grouped with markets, medical clinics and wells, can easily become the focal points of a community in less developed countries. By gathering services into one area it is all but guaranteed that people will gather there too. Allowing – indeed requiring – the education system to be flexible enough to teach parents health and nutrition over breakfast, offering children’s classes during the day alongside faster paced classes for students that have enrolled later than their peers, and adult literacy during lunch and in the evening, schools becomes, not only the educational centre of the community, but catalysts for deep and lasting change.  And when students see their parents and siblings growing as part of their community, they will embrace their role in the community as well. Seeing beyond themselves, students become involved in the social and political arenas as they begin to understand that a community is a living thing that needs education in order to grow.

Laud Kpakpo Addo from
Fri, February 8, 2013 at 12.02 pm

In my opinion, learning required for global citizenship and for preparing children and youth to participate meaningfully in local and global economy, as well as democracy and social cohesion is as follows…

  1. Must inspire confidence in the child
  2. Must be broad-based and equip students with more than literacy (reading and writing) abilities: communication and interpersonal abilities, analytical,  team-spirit; leadership and innovationa and creativity must some of the fundamental issues that the new educational system must provide
  3. Course work on local and foreign culture must be included in th learning process. Active international cultural exchange programs should be actiely encouraged and supported to achieve this objective.

Anonymous from
Thu, February 7, 2013 at 12.13 am

How can technology, especially social networking and mobile devices, be used to improve global citizenship, increase access to information about jobs and support skills development?

 

Technology can be used to improve global citizenship, increase access to information about jobs and support skills development in the following ways…

Technology has a way to bring an array of people together; it is a platform that can be used to research, exchange ideas, and spark discussion on various topics. Social media outlets have done a great job bringing together youth and having discussions about issues, social problems, and ways to come adversaries. Two main examples come to mind: Haiti 365 and Google+ Hangouts.

Haiti 365 is a unique project that was launched by the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, making sure that children’s voices and demands are at the forefront in the efforts to rebuild Haiti after the devastating earthquake. The website showcases a collection of stories from the children themselves. They ask questions and reveal heart-breaking, yet hopeful stories about their lives and what it means to be a young Haitian. This platform allows people to create accounts and respond to these videos, offering advice and insight to social issues, personal problems, etc. This is in every essence a communal effort to bring upon social change.

Another great platform than many organizations have been using is Google+ Hangout. This interactive module brings forth anywhere from 2 to 10 people and puts together an online panel, known as a “Hangout”, and allows people to converse about a specific topic. People watching in can send questions and bring up discussion points as well, just like a real panel. The UN created a Hangout on behalf of global youth activism, where youth from all over the world addressed issues about security, jobs, the economy, etc. with Ban Ki-moon where he addressed all these topics. 

Anonymous from
Wed, February 6, 2013 at 08.55 pm

In addition to earlier comments about policies which prepare children for contributing to a globalized world and enjoying their lives, I would like to share a relatively new policy of the Ontario Government. They have instituted full day kindergarten several years ago for five year olds and are now phasing in full day kindergarten for four year olds. This has been a significant and hugely intentional investment to create a policy born out of research and put into practice. Ontario is the only Province in Canada which has had fully funded half-day junior kindergarten for three to four year olds for over thirty-five years. The Ontario model of full day kindergarten hires two staff, one the usual kindergarten teacher and the second an early childhood educator. Their skillsets complement one another. There were substantial union challenges in addition to the human challenges of sharing the same work space but being remunerated differently. The Ontario model grew out of a report that the Government commissioned in 1998. Dr. Fraser Mustard headed up the Early Years Report, published in 1999. This was the first such document in Canada to bring all the evidence of neuroscience, social science, education, health, etc. together to advocate for early learning. The Government of British Columbia more recently created a similar policy of staging full day kindergarten for five year olds. The British Columbia model employs one classroom teacher to teach this model; to capitalize on this early investment, the Government is phasing in the Roots of Empathy program of social and emotional learning. These policies in British Columbia and Ontario resulted from informed leadership at the Provincial level. The overarching message here is lobby, lobby, lobby the leaders and bring them up to speed on the best investments for human development and the developmental health and wealth of the nation.

Karen Mason-Bennett from
Sun, February 10, 2013 at 03.46 am

Hi Mary,

I agree with your comments. I have recently been a beneficiary of the full day kindergarten program in BC, which helped us on a multitude of levels. First, my son has autism and a full day in kindergarten helped regulate his day as we did not have to split a half day at school and a half day at home/day care, and he was able to benefit from an educational assistant. Second, all of our children have attended pre-school (which is private in Canada), and were more than ready to have the 'official' challenge of a school day. And third, daycare currently costs $40 a day, or $800 a month, give or take, and once all three of them are in school full time, we will be able to pay off some debts and buy a second car!

One of the challenges I find with this particular question is that every educational system is different, has different histories and serves different communities, each with unique needs and goals. While lobbying government for educational improvements does take place regularly on a variety of levels within Canada, in many countries, the freedom to stand up and converse with government is not yet fully developed or openly discouraged. In countries such as Canada, where the education system is fairly standardized (within provinces at least), the danger is that parents feel that they system is self-sustaining and does not require active participation on their part. They send their kids to school, the kids learn, the kids come home and 12 years later they graduate with any luck at all. Whereas, countries where education, and possibly political and health systems as well, are all in various states of development, probably do not have educators or parents that are willing or able to lobby government. 

Karen Mason-Bennett

Anonymous from
Wed, February 6, 2013 at 08.20 pm

In my opinion, learning required for global citizenship and for preparing children and youth to participate meaningfully in local and global economy, as well as democracy and social cohesion should be of the highest priority at this time. There was a time when urgency was being placed on the type of education that was mostly inclusive of the act of being able to read and write. We are beyond that at this point. Being a global citizen (charging youth with identifying interconnectedness as well as the responsibility to take meaningful action against injustice) can no longer be something that we hope to happen. It can no longer exist as an option. It’s a necessity. Without the understanding of where several of the world’s problems root from how can we expect future generations to prevent them from happening? How do we identify this learning? How do we create global citizens? We educate without limits. We support teachers and provide them with resources to educate our future generations. To be a global citizen one should not feel the need to be a part of an institution or program. He/She should be able to learn it through societal junctures and cultural platforms. These skills need to be integrated into our ever day social, political, cultural and economic influences. Then and only then can we begin to see a significant shift that would contribute to a larger movement of individuals standing up and lending their voice against injustice.

There isn’t a scarcity of resources or organizations attempting to create change through global citizenship. Perhaps what we lack is the order of creating this as a priority. The skills that we identify as key components of a global citizen are skills that apply to solve as well as prevent emergency situations all around the world. This could apply to the world water crisis, the situation in the Sahel, the conflict in Syria, the social exclusion issues in India, and a list that could go on for pages and pages. To me, global citizenship is the epitome of a holistic approach to problem solving. However, it’s our responsibility to take it a step further and not only educate our youth but also charge our leaders. I think of accountability as the most essential of all components of Global Citizenship. We are accountable for future generations. The question is whether or not we can prevent our children and grandchildren from judging us poorly, because we failed to identify this as a priority. 

Anonymous from
Wed, February 6, 2013 at 07.52 pm

In my opinion, learning required for global citizenship and for preparing children and youth to participate meaningfully in local and global economy, as well as democracy and social cohesion should be of the highest priority at this time. There was a time when urgency was being placed on the type of education that was mostly inclusive of the act of being able to read and write. We are beyond that at this point. Being a global citizen (charging youth with identifying interconnectedness as well as the responsibility to take meaningful action against injustice) can no longer be something that we hope to happen. It can no longer exist as an option. It’s a necessity. Without the understanding of where several of the world’s problems root from how can we expect future generations to prevent them from happening? How do we identify this learning? How do we create global citizens? We educate without limits. We support teachers and provide them with resources to educate our future generations. To be a global citizen one should not feel the need to be a part of an institution or program. He/She should be able to learn it through societal junctures and cultural platforms. These skills need to be integrated into our ever day social, political, cultural and economic influences. Then and only then can we begin to see a significant shift that would contribute to a larger movement of individuals standing up and lending their voice against injustice.

There isn’t a scarcity of resources or organizations attempting to create change through global citizenship. Perhaps what we lack is the order of creating this as a priority. The skills that we identify as key components of a global citizen are skills that apply to solve as well as prevent emergency situations all around the world. This could apply to the world water crisis, the situation in the Sahel, the conflict in Syria, the social exclusion issues in India, and a list that could go on for pages and pages. To me, global citizenship is the epitome of a holistic approach to problem solving. However, it’s our responsibility to take it a step further and not only educate our youth but also charge our leaders. I think of accountability as the most essential of all components of Global Citizenship. We are accountable for future generations. The question is whether or not we can prevent our children and grandchildren from judging us poorly, because we failed to identify this as a priority. 

Anonymous from
Wed, February 6, 2013 at 07.14 pm

In my experience, the policies, strategies and interventions that have been pervasive and transformative in Canada relate to the focus on early learning. With the exception of education for on-reserve Aboriginal children, education in Canada is Provincial jurisdiction. That said, the Province of Ontario, where I live, has led the country in introducing and making policy the Parenting and Family Literacy Centers, which I started in 1981 in Toronto (http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/parents/pflc.html). These programs offer parenting support to families with infants, toddlers and pre-schoolers, while at the same time demystifying the school system for them so that they can participate in a meaningful way. These school-centered programs welcome families and embrace their contribution to their children’s learning. The lone staff person, the Parent Worker, also helps the school staff understand the circumstances, culture and values of the families who attend the Center. These are the families who will send their children to the school. In areas where parent engagement in education has been low, it is reversed because of this early and positive connection. When I started these centers, the average school readiness level of the children in the schools where we had these centers was in the lowest tenth percentile. The Toronto School Board conducted research which tracked which children from these schools attended the Parenting Centers before starting Kindergarten and compared their readiness rate in Kindergarten to the children who had participated in the Parenting Center of that school. The children who participated in the Parenting and Family Literacy Centers rose to fifty percent or higher school readiness rate. The parents of these children truly did become their first teacher in every sense. They learned how to have meaningful conversations rather than teaching letters in a rote way. They supported the development of positive attitudes and play-date problem-solving versus shallow, meaningless letter and number recognition.  


 


Other Provinces in Canada have versions of this program. The British Columbia Government, using this philosophy as a base, created a similar parenting support and early literacy program, as did the Government of Alberta. All three Provinces fund this parenting support under the Ministry of Education, realizing the huge impact that parenting has on academic performance. Other countries, such as Japan, as far back as the 90s visited with me and included this philosophy in their college education training programs for early childhood educators. Community centers for families with young children were started in Japan mirroring many of these concepts.


 


The skills that were developed in these non-instructional programs were the skills of parents learning how to relate to their children based on the child’s temperament traits and general development expectations. This allowed ample room for infusing values and culture while the parents became aware of typical developmental milestones and the unique confluence of their child’s temperament traits. Toronto is a highly diverse city which is reflected in these centers. Global citizenship is on the agenda every day. Parents from both sides of the conflict in the Middle East often came together over Lego and temper-tantrums of their children. The children became aware of the various languages of the world as the literature used in the program was translated into multiple languages, as story time often included the same stories in two languages.  The snacks and special events of the Parenting and Family Literacy Centers allowed various cultures to celebrate and share their specialties. Community kitchen events abounded and the pride of culture allowed impoverished families to be rich and to share.


 


This program is described as a preventative intervention as child abuse was reduced as parents developed friendships and support. Social Workers often referred high-risk families, but were only allowed to do so if they themselves attended the center on the initial visit, leaving their briefcase in the car and checking their role at the door. Much work was done on domestic violence, child abuse and neglect. We innovated Canada’s first school-based screening for infants’ and toddlers’ hearing, vision, speech and language, and overall development. All of these services were offered in multiple languages informally in a non-threatening way. Early diagnosis of barriers to learning cleared the path for these children to participate fully in their own learning. These unique linguistically-sensitive early testing strategies were only possible because we had mothers attending the program who had medical backgrounds from other countries but were unable to work in their discipline in Canada. This is another problem for another time.


 


In my opinion, the challenges and main obstacles in my country or region caused due to (a) lack of skills training for young men and women; and (b) inadequate learning for global citizenship rest in the growing disparity of educational funding and opportunities for our First Nation, Inuit, and Aboriginal children. The Federal Government funds these children at a lower rate per child than do the Ministries of Education in the Province. One in thirty citizens in Canada self-identify as being a member of one of these three Aboriginal groupings. This group is growing at a much faster rate than the rest of the population. In one Province, the Aboriginal versus non-Aboriginal population will be 50-50 in 2020. The under-education, under-employment or unemployment, of this sector, coupled with the attending fallout of colonization, addictions, challenges with parenting and mental health as a result of Residential Schools breaking the family link, and a myriad of related problems, have rendered this population at risk.


 


Much is being done to overcome these obstacles. For example, the Roots of Empathy program and Seeds of Empathy program operate specifically in First Nations, Inuit, and Metis communities in Canada as a way to break intergenerational cycles of violence and poor parenting and to raise social and emotional understanding. There is an abundance of cultural richness in this solitude, and we engage Elders to help connect the richness of the past to the hope of the future. In Canada we have three solitudes: the English-speaking group, the French-speaking group, and the Aboriginal group, in addition to the influx of immigration which has enriched all of us.


 


In my opinion, learning required for global citizenship and for preparing children and youth to participate meaningfully in local and global economy, as well as democracy and social cohesion is as follows is best described as the cultivation of empathy. Schools traditionally have taught through instruction the academic subjects which we measure and equate country by country how we stand in education. We need to shift the metrics to include the whole child, which is reflective of the whole country and our shared future.


 


Neuroscience teaches us that cognition and emotion, especially in younger children, are hugely connected. It is difficult to tease them apart, yet the only domain that we measure is the cognitive domain. The relationship of an emotionally healthy child to their future mental health and contribution to society is a metric we should be considering. The leaders of tomorrow require not just the cognitive capacities to conceive of a globalized world, but the empathy to be able to interact in a globalized world. It is not sufficient for children to learn how to read in this globalized world; in order to be successful in this millennium, it is equally important to learn how to relate.


 


The Roots of Empathy program and the Seeds of Empathy program develop empathy in children through an experiential process. Empathy is the top 21st century skill, but it cannot be taught; it must be caught – thus, experiential learning. Much like kindness and cooperation, there is no specific flashcard or lecture which will result in the desired outcome. Children develop empathic capacity through relationship and through the full engagement of their emotions, coupled with perspective-taking guidance and the opportunity to learn in a safe, risk free environment. This is the climate that Roots of Empathy, the elementary school-based program cultivates in classrooms across ten countries. A community’s parent and infant visits a classroom with a certified Roots of Empathy Instructor using a curriculum over the course of a school year. Students are coached, through various levels of curricula, to observe and comment on the baby’s feelings and intentions. These discussions are flipped back for the children to reflect on their own similar experiences with these feelings. The children are coached to develop emotional literacy: the foundational literacy of life, the universal literacy and an essential literacy for developing empathy. The children label the baby’s feelings as they witness them, then they internalize them and through discussions come to understand that the other students in the class have similar feelings. This ability to understand how the other feels, empathy, is an essential component to be able to address the global problems of food insecurity, climate change, poverty, and any other rupture of civil society. The children in Roots of Empathy classes are able to understand that those who they cannot see, who live in other continents, speak other languages, and have a different culture, share the same humanity because we all share the same feelings. The concept of recognizing and honouring differences but savouring our sameness, our emotions, brings the quilt of humanity together. This is required for the resolution of any conflict.


 


Seeds of Empathy is a transformational program because it infuses social and emotional learning with a readiness program for three to five year olds. The experiential learning with an infant and parent is still very much a part of the program. Additionally, center staff are trained as literacy coaches and their ongoing professional development includes not just an understanding of the conventions of print and the developmental stages of learning to read from birth, but it celebrates the power of their relationship as the most potent  vehicle for literacy learning. In this program, equal credence is given to learning to read and learning to relate, and the results are powerful.


 


The cognitive aspect of empathy is perspective taking. We cannot address the first stage of conflict resolution without the capacity to take the perspective of the other. Children in Roots of Empathy develop this capacity experientially with the baby and refine it through the use of children’s literature applied in our curriculum. The affective side of empathy, emotion, is taught in Roots of Empathy as the children learn emotional literacy. Children learn to read the baby’s emotional cues and apply that skill to one another and other relationships in their lives. The observable outcome is that classrooms become kinder, more collaborative, and more accepting. Twelve years of research on three continents have confirmed that children in the Roots of Empathy program are less aggressive and have a greater capacity for social and emotional understanding than do the comparison children. For more information about RCT papers, please check our website: www.rootsofempathy.org . Currently, Dr. Andrew Meltzoff of the University of Washington, ILABS, is conducting brain-based research on five year olds in the Seeds of Empathy program, which is offered to three to five year olds in childcare settings, and eight year olds in Roots of Empathy classrooms. Both the structure and functioning of the brains of the program children are being compared to the control children. Roots of Empathy children appear to be able to regulate their emotions better than children who have not had the program. Emotional regulation is key to the reduction of aggression, which is the gateway to poor mental health and poor outcomes in all domains.


 


The children of today are 100% of our future, and if we fail to provide the circumstances for developing empathy we have failed them. Empathy is innate, but blooms or fades in the attachment relationship. When one provides the attachment relationship for children as a basis for developing empathy, we have an opportunity to change the course of their lives and our collective future. Education for a globalized world requires the capacity to identify the other as being human and like us in some way.

Anonymous from
Wed, February 6, 2013 at 04.41 pm

In an increasingly globalized world where there is expanding interconnectedness in political, social and cultural spheres, we are also becoming more conscious of increasing human vulnerabilities and problems caused by globalization. We need to acknowledge responsibilities not only to each other but to the Earth itself. In this context, what it really means to become a citizen of the globe, aware of and willing to tackle the inequalities and injustices of the world we live in should be considered.


In 1987, Daisaku Ikeda, president of Soka Gakkai International (SGI), in his annual peace proposal, called for a UN decade of education for global citizenship, focusing on the four themes of environment, development, peace and human rights. A global awareness among young people to shoulder these responsibilities based on respect for diversity and shared empathy is increasingly needed. And education is the vital key to developing global citizens. With that aim, the SGI has conducted various grass-roots educational activities around the world to raise global citizens.


Recently, the SGI has promoted various global educational initiatives in support of the UN Decade for Human Rights Education (1995-2004) and the UN Decade for Education for Sustainable Development. Our role as an NGO was to provide educational tools and fora for discussions to raise awareness on problems that affect humanity as a whole. One of these projects is the anti-nuclear campaign called the “People’s Decade for Abolition of Nuclear Weapons” (http:// www.peoplesdecade.org). We also helped develop a powerful visual tool to educate people on the importance of human rights education; a video titled “A Path to Dignity” (http:// www.path-to-dignity.org).


What we emphasize in these activities is the importance of understanding the concept of human security and the interconnectedness of present global issues and our own daily lives. For example, the video “A Path to Dignity” demonstrates how our own understanding of human rights can impact our society and individual lives. The new exhibition for our People’s Decade anti-nuclear campaign does not focus on the technicalities of realizing a non-nuclear world, but enlightens our visitors on how nuclear issues are linked to those including the environment, food production, gender and ethics. What is important in grass-roots education is to inspire and involve all types of people, spanning different generations, social strata and cultural backgrounds to feel that each person can make a difference and has a role to play.


We have learned a lot from these educational efforts over the years. One realization is that global citizens cannot be raised by helping individuals understand this abstract concept. The global problems we face today are complex and daunting. It is vital that each person feel empowered to take leadership in their own realm of activities and local communities. For this reason, the challenge lies in helping people to see global problems as something relevant and linked to their own daily lives. Our founder, Tsunesaburo Makiguchi, was a humanist educator of early 20th century Japan, who stressed the importance of shared consciousness and empathy and promoted the concept of thinking globally and acting locally. He stressed that our efforts for transformation will not produce any efficacy unless grounded in our local environments.


Education for global citizenship therefore should not be limited to formal education in classrooms. It needs to take place as non-formal education embracing both children and adults. Empathy and appreciation for other people’s worldviews can take place in our individual realm of activities, whether it be in families, schools, workplaces or local communities. We believe it is essential to involve different actors in society ranging from educational institutes, business corporations to non-governmental organizations. Awareness as global citizens is something we need to deepen throughout our lives.


Appreciation and respect for diversity is an important philosophical underpinning for global citizenship. Another universally shared value that may be embraced by different cultures and one that needs to be widely promoted as a foundation of our thinking and behavior is “dignity of life,” an absolute respect for all forms of life. Fostering appreciation for diverse worldviews, and development of empathy stemming from respect for life and conviction in human potentiality are all vital in fostering true global citizens.

Anonymous from
Wed, February 6, 2013 at 11.26 am

In my opinion, learning required for global citizenship and for preparing children and youth to participate meaningfully in local and global economy, as well as democracy and social cohesion is as follows…

PARTICIPATORY LEARNING: Where students and teachers can indepthly discus issues as it pertains to what is been taught or learnt.

It is also expedient that parents/guardian of these wards are meant to comment about exercises brought home by their kids in order to improve all round infomation, communication and education delivery.

SKILLFUL EDUCATION: Education should compliment inert skills and not vice-versa as seen in this part of the world.

Anonymous from
Wed, February 6, 2013 at 02.09 pm

L'éducation doit être globale et c'est l'enfant, l'élève ou l'étudiant qui saisit l'occasion d'apprentissage. Le maître, le professeur ne fera que l'aider, l'orienter, le guider. Il faut savoir également que les enfants aujourd'hui connaissent beaucoup de choses que leurs maîtres et professeurs.

Anonymous from
Wed, February 6, 2013 at 10.58 am

In the experience of Partners for Prevention, a joint UNDP, UNFPA, UN Women and UNV regional programme on gender-based violence prevention in Asia and the Pacific, education settings have been key sites to engage both boys and girls around issues of gender equality, non-violence and healthy relationships, to prevent gender-based violence and promote more gender equitable beliefs and practices.

Two critical pieces of information drive our advocacy of this school-based approach to preventing gender-based violence. First, data from P4P’s multi-country study on masculinities and gender-based violence show that men perpetrate violence earlier than we expected. Across the region, nearly half of those who reported perpetrating rape did so for the first time when they were under the age of 20 years. Furthermore, we find that social norms around masculinities – that men must be tough, strong, dominant – are engrained at early ages, and linked to men’s understanding of their control and power over women. Given this data, we know we must enhance and expand the work being done with boys and younger men, along with girls and women, to address gender inequalities and harmful notions of what it means to be a man, and shift the underlying social norms and notions of masculinity that lead to partner and sexual violence.

Two, across the region, school-based interventions have shown to be promising models for changing these social norms and promoting more equitable, healthy relationships between boys and girls. These interventions work intensively with boys and girls (often between the ages of 11- 14) to address issues of bodies, health, sexuality, gender norms and inequalities, as well as violence, power and control. We have also found that combining work with students, together with approaches that target parents, communities and broader social policies, help to create an enabling environment which support processes of norm change among younger generations.

By promoting non-violence and equality within school settings, our partners also find that they indirectly address school-based violence, such as bullying, sexual harassment, abuse and homophobia, and corporeal punishment. The findings from the Gender Equity Movement in Schools project (ICRW – India), show that experiences and perpetration of violence decreased among students who participated in the intervention curriculum. Although more long-term evaluation must be done, these school-based interventions show promise in terms of promoting social norm change among the next generation.

For more information on P4P’s study on gender-based violence and masculinities, please visit www.partners4prevention.org.

Anonymous from
Wed, February 6, 2013 at 02.21 am
  1. In my experience, the policies and initiatives developed and implemented in my country to (b) provide education for global citizenship include multicultural textbooks and study-abroad/student ambassador opportunities for youth.  These initiatives and policies have made elementary school children aware of life issues faced by individuals who are deaf, individuals who are from another country, individuals who have "non-traditional" family compositions, etc.  These initiatives and policies have opened my heart to affection for people who live differently than me, opened my mind to the possibility that there are better ways to live than the familiar way that I learned from my parents, and opened my mouth to support causes towards increased interpersonal understanding.
  2. In my opinion, learning required for global citizenship and for preparing children and youth to participate meaningfully in local and global economy, as well as democracy and social cohesion must include familiarity with and acceptance of other ways of living.  As a Social Work graduate student, I find that my empathy and inspiration to improve my world even in daily interactions is encouraged through exposure to the situations, challenges, and victories of people who are different than me.  I believe that education at all levels should include exposure to the experiences of others.  I feel that I am a more productive citizen when I believe that my actions change more than my own day.
Anonymous from
Tue, February 5, 2013 at 05.46 pm

Technology can be used to improve global citizenship, increase access to information about jobs, and support skills development by exposing youth to the actual issues, global faces and cultures. Using online platforms like the U.S. Fund for UNICEF’s Haiti365, is a great way for youth to ask questions, share information and connect in a way that they never previously could. Allowing youth to express their ideas, perceptions, and cultures with one another creates compassion, empathy and understanding. On this very platform, youth and young adults can ask questions and share information about jobs and the skills one may need to work in different sectors. Youth can act as global mentors to one another and can work together to help brainstorm solutions to issues that are important to them, creating true global citizens.

Anonymous from
Mon, February 4, 2013 at 08.14 pm

In the summary of the first week of discussion, one co-moderator raised the question “how is it best to make education for global citizenship compatible with education systems that reflect the different cultures of different countries and places?” I think there is enormous value in education systems that reflect local culture (such as schools that teach indigenous languages), and that these systems can also foster global citizenship, allowing students to understand global interconnectedness and local issues in a global context. In this discussion, many people have mentioned the importance of critical thinking in their comments. I believe that strong critical thinking skills are key in making global citizenship education compatible with education systems that reflect the different cultures of different countries and places.


In Merry M. Merryfield’s article, “Worldmindedness: Taking off the Blinders,” she discusses “perspective consciousness,” a skill that allows us to understand how their background shapes their worldview. She provides examples of teaching strategies that foster perspective consciousness, such as role-plays that encourage students to understand others’ points of view. Teaching such critical thinking requires educators to understand that their perspectives don’t represent an absolute truth, but are a product of many factors including culture and life experience.

Steve Vosloo from
Tue, February 5, 2013 at 11.14 pm

Dear Betsy,

Thanks for your interesting comment. While the above examples are excellent, they can be complemented by online communications that allow people of disparate geographic and cultural origin to engage in dialogue with each other. This can really make "seeing through someone else's eyes" more practical. An example is the many projects coming out of the iEARN network:

130 Countries
30 Languages
40,000 Educators
2 Million Youth
iEARN (International Education and Resource Network) is the world's largest non-profit global network that enables teachers and youth to use the Internet and other technologies to collaborate on projects that enhance learning and make a difference in the world.

It will be valuable to better research and understand how ICT, especially mobile devices, can faciliate such dialogue and connect young people from around the world in a way that does not try to smooth over cultural differences (globalisation), but acknowledges them in an an open way.

Anonymous from
Mon, February 4, 2013 at 03.41 pm

Vous savez, l'éducation n'est pas toujours globale jusqu'à ce jour. Les minorités en sont indirectement ou directement exclus.

Anonymous from
Sun, February 3, 2013 at 08.28 am

Voici ma compréhension sur ce sujet.

Est ce, nous observons que l'avenir de notre jeunesse pourra nous apportez des bon résultats? Si nous disons oui félicitation mais par rapport en quoi nous disons oui?

Laissons chers amis la partialité, le racisme cacher ainsi que des actes d'exploitations de bien des autres par contre, respectons nos engagements et le droit de l'homme.

Il y a certaine loi que nous trouvons chez les autre, les lois qui ne donne rien ou apporte rien a la population que la misère, la loi pareille sont respecter mais c'est qu'il faudra respecter comme éduquer le monde  c'est l'histoire maintenant,  au lier désespérer allons de l'avant.

Aujourd'hui les jeunes en Afrique sont considérer comme des bêtes par d'autres pays riches!!! Si vous voulez aider les gents il faudra les aimer chers amis, chers collègues!

Les jeunes sont privé des rencontre internationaux par manque de moyen, par manque de savoir faire, mais je vous dis une chose est simple, exemple : les petits enfants de 3 à 9 ans ces enfants parfois ne savent rien les autres dans nos pays ne savent ni lire ni écrire mais ils peuvent te donner plusieurs idée qui te convaincra qu'ils étaient éduquer, par qui? Par leurs parents.

Si les enfants qui ne savent pas lire ou bien parler les langues étrangers s’expriment bien par leur observation des parents alors vous croyez que  les autres  jeunes ne peuvent pas s'en sortir si du moins nous les amenons dans plusieurs niveaux?

Les ONG que nous sommes, nous sommes mieux placer a aider les jeunes de nos pays a se développer, leur donner une formation professionnel pour leur auto-prise en charge individuel, malheureusement les ONG ne sont pas appuyez comme l'ont peu faire a cause de racisme et partialité international. Ne faudrait-il pas bien de nous soutenir pour que nous nous mettons au travail pour aider le monde de la jeunesse à découvrir le monde meilleur?

En réalité, les ONG du système des Nations Unis joue un tres bon rôle en Afrique ils doivent être appuyez souvent par les agences spécialisés des Nations Unis et surtout leur pays d'ailleurs avant même, mais nous même nous sommes comme des orphelins a quoi bon de l'amélioration des conditions de vie ? Même pour notre prise en charge dans des conférences international les Nations Unis n'a jamais eu l'argent mais pour la guerre l'argent sort, nous ne pouvons pas financer ces organisation qui peuvent promouvoir la paix partout pour évitera la guerre demain?

La SADF ONG remercie les Nations Unis pour l'organisation de consultation internationale.

 

Concernant la recommandation:

Nous devons travailler avec tout le monde en créant une structure d'échange a l'international, évité de faire de suivi sans financement, formation sans financement ne change rien d'ailleurs sa crée le conflit.

Financer les ONG du système des Nations Unis, par exemple les ONG en statut consultatif en RD.CONGO ne sont pas considérer même au niveau des ambassades nous sommes comme de bandit pour les ambassades,  mais si les Ambassades dispose un financement ils doivent demander a titre privé ces organisations qu’ils ont identifié un projet, les assister pour qu’ils quittent la pauvreté que de lui rejeter après trop de littérature vraiment !!! Je pense si ces ONG sont assistés ils auront leurs propres   moyens dans les jours avenir, les Etats membres a travers leurs diplomatie ne peuvent pas ignorer le rôle que nous jouons dans le monde a travers nos contributions qui vous aide aussi a faire bien vos débats et de prendre de bonne décision ! Car vous jouer un très bon rôle dans le monde pour les Etats membre cela va aider que les abandonner refuser leur experts pauvre en matériels de ne pas rencontrer les autres? Est ce, les Nations Unis a bien réfléchir sur ce point?

Aider les Etats membres a financer le programme de l'éducation de leur pays et facilité les enfants d'étudier par bourse s'il vous plait.

Exemple chez nous les écoles primaire sont payez cher alors les familles pauvres non pas des moyens suffisant pour aider leurs enfants s'il vous plait, si nous sommes bien encadrer sans faute nous allons encadrer aussi ces jeunes désœuvrés à se développer.

Nos échanges étrangers nous encourage beaucoup, aider les Etats membres a nous facilité les taches de visité le monde que d'imposé trop de moyens qui ne sert a rien, c'est ne pas des histoires de banque ou des bien matériels qui démontre que quelqu'un peu ou ne pas fuir je vous dis si vous pensez comme ça il vous faudra revoir ça c'est la vision de chacun.

Nous sollicitons une exonération pour nos voyages s'il vous plait, et nous cherchons des financements techniques pour donner le sens d'esprit à la population jeune misérable.

 

Solidarité Agissante pour le Développement Familial (SADF) ONG

Jean KABONGO, President National

jean_kab2005@yahoo.fr, jean_kabongo@yahoo.fr, sadfsurinfo@gmail.com

kabjean@cioa-rdc.com, web site de la structure indépendante, www.cioa-rdc.com

Tél: +243 82 268 3067

Here is my understanding on this subject.
This is, we observe that the future of our youth can bring us the good results? If we say yes congratulation but from what we say yes?
Dear friends let bias, racism and hide acts of operations against many others, honor our commitments and human rights.
There is some law that we find in other laws or anything that does not bring anything to the population that misery, like the law are respected, but respect is that it will educate the world as it is the history now, bind despair moving forward.
Today young people in Africa are considered animals by other rich countries! If you want to help the gents will love it dear friends, dear colleagues!
Youth are private international meeting for lack of means, lack of expertise, but I tell you one thing is simple, example: small children 3 to 9 years these children sometimes do not know about the others in our country do not know neither read nor write, but they can give you more idea that will convince you that they were educated, by whom? By their parents.
If children can not read or speak foreign languages ​​well expressed by their parents when observing you think the other kids can not get out if we take them at least several levels?
NGOs that we are, we are better placed to help the youth of our country to develop, give them vocational training for self-management individual NGOs are unfortunately not press as little to do because racism and bias internationally. Would it not well to support us so that we put to work to help the world of youth to discover the world better?
In fact, NGOs United Nations system plays a very good role in Africa must be press often by specialized agencies of the United Nations and especially their countries elsewhere before, but we ourselves are like orphans what good improvement of living conditions? Even for our support in the United Nations International Conference never had money for war but the money comes, we can not fund the organization that can promote peace everywhere to avoid war tomorrow?
SADF NGO thanked the United Nations for the international consulting organization.

For recommendation:
We must work with everyone by creating a structure of international trade has, avoided making monitoring without funding, training without funding does not alter its also creates conflict.
Finance NGOs United Nations system, such as NGOs in consultative status with RD.CONGO not even consider the embassies we like bandit for embassies, but if Embassies have funding as they must ask private organizations that they have identified a project to assist the poverty they leave him after rejecting literature too really! I think if these NGOs are supported they will have their own day in future Member States through their diplomacy can not ignore the role that we play in the world through our contributions will also help you to do well and your debates take the right decision! Because you play a very good role in the world for member states that it will help their experts refuse to abandon poor materials not meeting the others? Is the United Nations a good think about this?
Assist Member States to finance the program of education in their countries and facilitated by scholarship to study children please.
Example in our primary schools are expensive so pay poor families not sufficient means to help their children please, if we properly manage without fault we will also supervise the unemployed youth to develop.
Our foreign exchange encourages us a lot, assist Member States has facilitated the spots we visited the world that imposed too many ways that is useless, it is not stories of bank or material goods that shows someone a little or not flee I tell you if you think like that you will reconsider this is the vision of each.
We seek an exemption for our trips please, and we seek financing techniques to give the sense of mind to young people miserable.

Active solidarity for Family Development (SADF) NGOs
Jean KABONGO, National President
jean_kab2005@yahoo.fr, jean_kabongo@yahoo.fr, sadfsurinfo@gmail.com
kabjean@cioa-rdc.com, web site structure independent www.cioa-rdc.com
Tel: +243 82 268 3067

Daniele Di Mitri from
Sun, February 3, 2013 at 08.05 am

Education for Jobs and Skills


First of all we suggest to separate as much as possibile the need to recieve good and quality education with the right to have a decent job. These, even if they are two of the most basic rights, are not equally important and they shouldn't be considered together. We reject the mainstream explaination by which education should be provided mainly because it could be a way to match labor market needs and eventually get the unemployement rates lower. We are aware how unemployement of young people has became a world wide issue, expecially in Europe, but we notice as well that making employement the major reason to trigger educational policies devalue completely the role of Education and bring us to unfavorable conclusions.
We like to consider Right to Education, as a process of self emancipation of citizens, even and expecially if they live in some of the most critical areas of the world condamned by poverty, food insecurity, conflicts etc. We would like to discuss how to bring there good and quality education to empower the people to get rid of conflicts, tyrants and slavery, rather than match the best job opportunities.
Another error which may occur and we must avoid, is confusing the so called basic skills, as litteracy and numeracy, considered as uneversal human rights by the world declarations, with those which are professional skills, which belongs to a second stage of education and can't be thaught by themselves without having a solid primary education which gives the solid basis for other kind of education. Thus, expecially primary education, has to be considered and provided as basic right per se.

Techonology

New methodologies of learning based on technology (es distance, online learning) could definetly help us to both bring information and learning where yesterday we couldn't. However aknwoledging the importance of Information and Technologies, we disagree on considering it the saviour of 21st century world Education. Technology, being a neutral mean, won't ever bring itself good and quality education, as it will not ever solve any common issue as poverty, migration, conflicts etc. As in one hand it won't be ever good education without good teachers - since knowledge can't be transmitted only by technological devices; on the other hand we can't pretend that owning social media accounts can be the way spread democracy and human rights in disadvanteged areas, as it has being recently considered by mainstream literature. We are afraid that in this way we misunderstand the purpose of democratization by assigning the natural role of Education to Technology.

One other fact that has to be considered is that Information and Technology, expecially the one embodied in technological devices, nowdays can easily turns into blind consumerism. The last thing we would like to see in the developing world is the race amongst young people, to acquire the last model of smartphones and tablets, which is something drammaticaly common in western world. 

Even if we acknowledge Digital Divide being a paramount cross-generational and world-wide spread problem, Information and Technlogy represents a high risk field because of its high rate of profits currently done by it. Therefore  we believe that the only way to achieve development and innovation through Technology is Education itself, which is the only way to achieve a set of critical tools required to be responsible user of Technology and not just a mere consumer.

Dennis Kateregga from
Sun, February 3, 2013 at 07.55 am

When we talk about something global, what comes into my is some kind of standardization, which i believe cannot be attained in education and hence leading to disparities in skills and jobs. I can cite an example a bachelors degree from Uganda is not considered when some one is joining the army in the UK. 

Anonymous from
Mon, February 4, 2013 at 03.33 pm

Quand nous parlons de développement global  on ne doit plus accepter la discrimination sur tous les plans.

Dossè SOSSOUGA from
Fri, February 1, 2013 at 04.43 pm

La qualité de l'éducation dépendra de la politique éducationnelle du pays.

Dossè SOSSOUGA from
Fri, February 1, 2013 at 04.31 pm

Orienter l'éducation vers la pratique, vers les  nouvelles  technologies

Anonymous from
Fri, February 1, 2013 at 04.20 pm

From Sunit Bagree, Education Policy Advisor, Sightsavers


1) Inclusive education is the approach that can best impart relevant and adequate skills, provide education for global citizenship and address the interconnection between the two. Inclusive education ensures the presence, participation and achievement of all students in education. High quality policies and strategies are necessary to create strong inclusive systems of education in which schools and other institutions responsible for education respond to the diversity of students in their locality. Inclusion emphasises opportunities for equal participation, but with options for special assistance and facilities as needed, and for differentiation, within a common learning framework.


In Sightsavers’ experience, well planned and implemented policies and strategies for inclusive education improve the quality of teaching and learning for all children, including but not only the most marginalised. This is due to inclusive education’s emphasis on individual needs and learning styles, as well as its inherent recognition of diversity (in schools and in wider society) as a strength. However, if the governance of educational institutions and education systems is undemocratic - and in particular exclusionary of the most vulnerable in society - then it is unlikely that these institutions and systems will change for the better. This highlights the relationship between education and wider political and social structures and processes.


2) It is absolutely vital that all children receive a quality basic education. Disabled children are a key marginalised when it comes to accessing basic education and also when it comes to learning in schools. Otherwise further training will only benefit those who have developed strong foundational skills and knowledge, and as a result inequality (social, economic and political) will increase. Therefore all education targets should be geared towards promoting equity, and each target must be assessed in relation to inequality. This will mean that data must be disaggregated (including by disability) progress to be monitored more rigorously.


According to the World Report on Disability (2011), disabled people are disproportionately poor, making up 22.4% of the bottom income quintile in low income countries, when only 13.3% of the richest income quintile are disabled. Research by the ILO (2009) shows that economic losses related to disability amount to 3.12% – 6.98% of GDP in sub-Saharan African countries. This is mainly due to exclusion from employment but also due to productivity losses.


Even if disabled children and adults are able to access skills training, instructors are often unable or unwilling to promote their learning and this is compounded by insufficient amounts of accessible materials and appropriate assistive devices. There is a need for schools and other educational institutions to develop links with employers (both through regular contact and specific events such as employment fairs) and vice-versa. There is also a need for investments in networks that can support people interested in working in a particular sector or those already working (trade unions have a vital role to play here but there are other mechanisms as well). But such collaborative mechanisms must be inclusive of and accessible to the most marginalised, including disable people. We should also not forget the role of the informal sector in using and developing skills. More broadly, it is necessary for learning in formal, non-formal and informal contexts to be joined-up and present life-long learning opportunities for all, particularly the most vulnerable.


In Sightsavers’ experience, disabled children’s lack of learning for global citizenship  makes them less likely to have a voice in debates on development (in the broadest sense) when they grow up compared to non-disabled people. This may be due to disabled people lacking an interest in politics and/or lacking capabilities to meaningfully engage in politics. But it can also be due to active barriers (based on negative attitudes towards disabled people) being created by non-disabled people, particularly those with power. This allows discriminatory social attitudes and economic exclusion to persist, and fuels further political marginalisation.


3) Clearly fundamental literacy and numerical skills for all are vital for equitable participation in social, economic and political development. And training must be relevant to local economies, delivering skills (technical and transferable) to innovate, whether this is ultimately directed at building on any existing strengths or at new areas for potential productive investment. But education must also seek to challenge attitudes and behaviours and transform values. Human rights education that promotes solidarity and the development of critical thinking skills (especially around dominant economic and political ideologies) is crucial for ensuring active citizenship that promotes justice and sustainability.
 
4) Social networking and mobile devices have the potential to improve access to information and facilitate communication that helps to promote democracy, provide labour market information and support skills development. These technologies must be accessible to disabled people. Moreover, a key focus of the development and utilisation of these technologies must be to promote equity and inclusion in social, political and economic affairs.

Dossè SOSSOUGA from
Fri, February 1, 2013 at 04.03 pm

l'éducation pour tous est obligatoire et fondamentale.

Anonymous from
Fri, February 1, 2013 at 12.36 pm

A global citizenship is a well informed individual who knows, understand and appreciate core values of humanity.

In my opinion, Glocalization +Global Learning= Global Citizenship.

I respond to question 2- In my opinion, the challenges and main obstacle in my country or region caused due to lack of skills training for young men and women are

a) Product of book graduate

b) Low innovative and creative minds

c) Lack of self esteem.

The way forward is educational equity for both young men and women in global north and south, thus global opportunity, second need for global exchange platform.

Anonymous from
Thu, January 31, 2013 at 10.10 pm

The mEducation Alliance has commisioned a landscape review report on mobiles and youth workforce development (mYWD). It will be published in the coming months and will revolve around key questions such as:

Which organizations are working on mYWD? How are mobile technologies currently being used in youth workforce development programming? Are there additional areas where they could be considered? What factors hinder or facilitate the use of mobile technologies in YWD programs and what are some of the challenges? Is there any evidence that mobile technology is having a positive or negative impact on youth workforce development? One important aspect of the study will be its consideration of the intersection of gender and mYWD from a few different angles, including how gender impacts access to mobile youth workforce development programs, how mobiles affect access to youth workforce development programs, and whether mYWD programs have a differential impact on young men and young women.

The review should provide very interesting insights into how mobile devices, which are in the hands of so many people (especially young people) around the world can play a role in skills development and job placement. For more information contact Linda Raftree.

Anonymous from
Thu, January 31, 2013 at 09.35 pm

1.   In my experience, the policies and initiatives developed and implemented in the Philippines include the Inclusion of K to 12 program (Kindergarten plus six grades in elementary plus four year levels in junior high school plus two years in senior high school) in the education system. This was officially started in June 2012 with the over-all goal of developing Filipino citizens who are skills oriented and holistically prepared for employment. In addition, the Philippine Special Education system has been doing its best in institutionalizing Life Skills Program for Children and Youth with Disabilities enrolled in Special Education and inclusive classes. This is realized by training them how to do functional activities like cooking , sewing, baking, and the like so they can also earn a living. In terms of impact, the K to 12 program is a “neophyte” program and it does not have its “graduates” yet. On the other hand, the Life Skills Program for Children and Youth with Disabilities has given children and youth with disabilities the opportunity to be independent and self-sufficient. However, only few schools in the Philippines are implementing the program. Most initiatives are done by non-government organizations and civil society organizations.


2.  Since I am working with and for children and youth with disabilities in Negros Oriental, Philippines, most of my thoughts revolve around their needs and concerns related to skills development. Challenges start with the fact that only 9.2% of children with disabilities (according to Department of Education, 2010), are in school. The rest are out of school or are in school but are not identified. Obviously, how can this sector actively take part in the employment world if in the first place, a lot of them are not in school? As mentioned, Like Skills Program is practiced in some schools. The challenge, however, has been the “priority” issue. The Department of Education puts less priority to this program – less budget is allocated, few teachers are hired, scarcity of learning materials. Finally, it should also be noted that the negative perception of business and employment establishments towards disability has created a great contribution in the unemployment rate of professional Youth with Disabilities. This is very evident among Deaf and Blind professionals. As expressed by a Deaf person, “Employers tend to underestimate our capacity to work because they focus more on our disabilities, not on our abilities. And this is a sad reality.”


The Department of Education must intensify its campaign to put ALL children especially those with disabilities to school. This requires home visits to educate the parents about the right of their children to go to school even if they have disabilities. Furthermore, the laws supporting the education of children and youth with disabilities (especially in providing Life Skills Program) should be reviewed and strictly implemented. This will “compel” the department to prioritize the life skills programs for the sector. The process should be top-down. The mandate should come from the National level of the Department of Education and should be cascaded to the local level. This requires constant monitoring to evaluate the implementation of the mentioned programs. Finally, massive advocacy campaign on the right of youth with disabilities to employment should be done. This will take in the form of conducting dialogues and training program to educate the establishments about the capacities of youth with disabilities to work just like regular people. This will also eliminate the negative perception about disability. This should be in partnership with the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).


3.      Because of the special needs that children and youth with disabilities have, technology definitely plays an important role to prepare them for employment and global citizenship. The provision of “talking computers” and Braille will assist those with visual impairment. The Deaf can also benefit from technology that allows them to understand lessons, texts, and other processes through sign language. Children and youth with physical disabilities can make use of technology that will assist them in accomplishing school activities like writing and other psychomotor activities. Technology about Sensory Integration and Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) will help those with autism, ADHD, or behavioral disabilities to be functional at school.


It can’t be denied that in the lives of children and youth with disabilities enrolled in schools, technology is a necessity.


-Rolando Jr. C. Villamero


Coordinator, Program of Inclusive Education (PIE), GPRehab 


Member, Youth Advocacy Group for UN Education First (YAG-UNEF)

Anonymous from
Thu, January 31, 2013 at 04.10 am

Please take the time to review   the open coarseware consortum web site, http://www.ocwconsortium.org/. Many Colleges adn Universities world wide present courses in many languages. And for those who can read English, high school tutoring may be found on http://chtank.us with the link to the Khan Academy. This may provide a self help type education for the lesser advantaged youth. I would suggest that we examine all the links found under the "ON EDUCATION" heading.

Anonymous from
Sat, February 2, 2013 at 01.29 am

Thank you for commenting Tank. I have been woiking on a suggestion; but yours is just fine. The self education through online services is a tremenfdous opportunity for those wanting a better education. I believ there are some UN programs to deliver affordable e readers and tablets to shhools. E cycling could prove quite useful in this area.

Laud Kpakpo Addo from
Wed, January 30, 2013 at 10.50 pm

In my experience, the policies and initiatives developed and implemented in my country to (a) address skills development are National Youth Employment Program (NYEP), now Ghana Youth Employment and Entrepreneurial Development Agency (GYEEDA) and Local Entrepreneurial and Skills Development (LESDEP).

These programs have had a great impact on especially on poorly educated youth or those who have had no education at all.

The youth are trained in several fields and upon successful completion, they are given business start-up kits to enable them set themselves up.

Going forward, with the spate of high unemployment within university graduates some of these skills training and practcial entrepreneurial training must be incorporated into the formal education system.

Anonymous from
Wed, January 30, 2013 at 08.26 pm

Personally, in my experience, the policies and initiatives developed and implemented in my country to (a) address skills development are... and/or to (b) provide education for global citizenship that I have had direct participation in are those of mentoring along with conflict resolution (restorative action) as embedded in the education of our youth. Mentoring's advantages is it allows a connection between the pair/ group which is of vital importance in any idea sharing or change, opposed to an imposed 'power over & on' dynamic. It allows in itself a microcosm for inter cultural dialogue and idea formulation, not just in one direction (Mentor to mentee) but in both, a real dialogical manner, and is itself a mirror for the values we are hoping will be taken up; participation, dialogue, relationship etc,.

My interest in such notions of global citizenship initiatives lies not so much in policies and curriculum, but the how we learn to be with one another; the relationship and connection part. I feel this is often shelved for a more policy based focus of discussion. The Social and Emotional areas of education, formal and informal, for me is a key component to any citizen education program if we are to attain not only academic capable graduates, but people who feel ready, engaged and enthusiastic about joining the 'citizenship' world to 'positively' affect it (whatever that means). I ask what responsibility do we have as citizens ourselves and in our education systems of doing more to prepare/ support the students in exploring such topics rather than preparing them simply for an outdated industrialized world. Some have called this the hidden curriculum, as it is often difficult to measure or quantify, however, I do feel it has become to gain some momentum in certain countries, including my own. Granted, the neoliberal agendas that some have noted here are of serious consideration, and 'what is Social and Emotional' or what should be seen as changes between and within cultural contexts (especially thinking here of the engendering of such notions), however, it could be perceived as a social and emotional 'way' to create the space for such dialogue within each context. Ironically that too could be seen by some as neoliberal itself.

The usual issues of funding and prioritizing will always arrive. How to train or support teachers to be this is itself a major contention, especially in situations of emergency, seclusion or fragility. But to me it is of even more importance that such work happens in such situations for any hope for reconciliation or reintegration (and lessening of recession) to occur. Personally I would like to see mentors for those teachers so they themselves can be supported in how to reconstruct and reinvigorate the education system in their specific situation. Creating a culture of mentoring and connection...again mirroring the output we are hoping to propose of connection and relationship. However, I will be honest and add the logistics, realities and appropriateness of this do open many questions for myself.

Allison Anderson from
Wed, January 30, 2013 at 06.17 pm

Dear All,

In my opinion, learning required for global citizenship and for preparing children and youth to participate meaningfully in local and global economy requires skills that are linked to 21st century livelihoods, conflict resolution and sustainable development. These skills include critical thinking, problem solving, and relevant content knowledge like environmental and climate change education, disaster risk reduction and preparedness, sustainable consumption and lifestyles, and green technical and vocational education and training.

 As documented in a recent Environment Magazine article and Brookings Center for Universal Education commentary on learning for sustainable development, there is a clear education agenda in the process of providing a foundation for the shift in the global demand away from resource- and energy intensive commodities and towards green products, the production of such commodities, and in sustainable lifestyles. Empowering learners to contribute to sustainable development helps to make education more relevant and responsive to contemporary and emerging challenges. For instance, a green economy calls for seizing opportunities to advance economic and environmental goals simultaneously. Education can assist in the process of shifting the global demand away from resource- and energy-intensive commodities and towards greener products and technologies, less pollution and sustainable lifestyles. Moreover, restructuring towards a green economy will require transferable skills, ones that are not necessary linked to specific occupations. Thinking critically, solving problems, collaborating and managing risks and uncertainty are core competencies that are critical for employment in a green economy and living together peacefully in a sustainable society.

Since the effects of climate change are already being felt, the education sector can also play a critical role in teaching relevant skills for successful climate change adaptation and mitigation. Teaching and learning should integrate environmental education, climate change and scientific literacy, disaster risk reduction and preparedness, and education for sustainable lifestyles and consumption. Learners need a basic understanding of scientific concepts, including knowledge of the history and causes of climate change; knowledge of and ability to distinguish between certainties, uncertainties, risks and consequences of environmental degradation, disasters and climate change; knowledge of mitigation and adaptation practices that can contribute to building resilience and sustainability; and understanding of varying interests that shape different responses to climate change and the ability to critically judge the validity of these interests in relation to the public good. Furthermore, evidence shows that educational interventions are most successful when they focus on local, tangible, and actionable aspects of sustainable development, climate change and environmental education, especially those that can be addressed by individual behavior.

 

Anonymous from
Wed, January 30, 2013 at 10.42 am

Technology can be used to improve global citizenship, increase
access to information about jobs and support skills development in the
following ways…

1.Make Education possible to remote areas of Asia and Africa
2.Expose Asia and Africa to the Global Village
3.Making youth a acceptable in the Global Market

Anonymous from
Tue, January 29, 2013 at 08.48 pm

3. What kind of learning is required for global citizenship and for preparing children and youth to participate meaningfully in local and global economy, as well as democracy and social cohesion?


In my opinion, learning required for global citizenship and for preparing children and youth to participate meaningfully in local and global economy, as well as democracy and social cohesion is as follows:


In our increasingly interconnected world, there is increased demand for the skills and perspective of active global citizens—individuals that understand interconnectedness, respect and value diversity, have the ability to challenge injustice and inequities and take action in personally meaningful ways.  The question remains, what must children and youth learn, inside and outside the classroom, to become active global citizens?


In my opinion, children and youth must learn at a young age the value of participating and giving back to community—and that likely starts within the family unit. In addition to learning the value of service, youth should learn a deeper appreciation for the worlds’ geography including the religious, cultural, and social aspects of our world. Beyond understanding, students must learn to respect and value the differences across traditions, and critically consider how deeply-rooted traditions create social norms.


Whenever possible, students should learn through experience, whether that is traveling to another part of their own country or of the world, or raising their voice on issues in their communities. More emphasis should be on youth learning a second language, and practicing it not only in the classroom but with native speakers.  Inside the classroom, students should be learning how the functions of government, law and human rights intersect. In addition, students should learn the skills to be an advocate and understand that they have a role to play on the local and global platform.  

Anonymous from
Tue, January 29, 2013 at 02.48 pm

In my opinion, the CHALLENGES AND MAIN OBSTACLES in my country or region caused due to (a) lack of skills training for young men and women; and (b) inadequate learning for global citizenship are…the enduring assumptions of an alarming percentage of our population that are unaware of the interconnectedness of our global society. As with many changes of perception, the focus not only needs to be on what can be done to create immediate change, but also what can be done to increase the number of globally aware citizens that come from the ranks of our youth.


The education gap that has been widening for years in my country, as compard globally, has in recent years been recognized and tagged as in issue in need of reform. So the achievement gap between local students versus those abroad should theorietically begin to shorten, due to an increase in focused instruction and developments in new curriculum standards. These new standards, however, still need to infuse the global issues that our students are still not being exposed to. Local educators need to be informed of, and have access to, curriculum materials that combine the adpoted standards (ex. Common Core) with the issues that engage students to reject ethnocentrism and understand the relationship that every person, from every country, has with one another.


This is a quite simple concept to make and understand theoretically, but quite another to implement. Many school systems have obstacles that are unpurposefully put in place that make sweeping curriculm adjustments quite difficult. So then the most vialbe immediate solution is then turned to educators themsevles, specifically encouraging them, individually at times, to recoginze the importance of including global issues into their lesson plans. Activities such as world fair days, themes surrounding global citizenship, and promoting awareness of perspective conciousness are all ways to introduce our student population to the basic foundations of how to be a contributing member to a global society.

Anonymous from
Tue, January 29, 2013 at 04.57 pm

Dear Nick Leisey, David Archer and other participants

Thank you very much for your comments on the difficulties on actually including global education into educational curriculum – also considering the multiple “national” interests. I tend to go back to David Archer’s point about educators, parents, students, pioneers in global education being part of institutionalized mechanisms in the formulation and implementation of education policy. There needs to be a demand from enlightened citizens, and/or strategic advocacy with governments  for this to happen.

There are certain systems that offer a more global approach, but these are more elite systems. In the interim there are the means you Nick suggested, that are more extracurricular – including Model UN, cross country/global student exchanges, student placements with disadvantaged communities, service learning - or based on individual teacher predispositions and lesson plans.

There are two examples to kick start more sharing : Parisar Asha (that I personally know of and have visited) and Roots of Empathy , accessed from Parisar and the Ashoka Innovators for the Public websites respectively:

Parisar (environment) Asha(hope) is an education mission (a Registered Trust since 1990), that serves India’s multi-cultural communities, through an environment-related learning system. It transforms the government-designed standardized learning menu for government-aided schools into an experiential  learning system, for intelligent internalization of concepts, skill development for applied learning, sensitive growth in attitudes and values that make the learner a conscientious conserver of our global “parisar”. Parisar Asha’s major challenge lies in the “how-to”, with a prevailing Teacher/Pupil Ratio of 1:60, or more. Its pioneer Gloria De Souza  has adapted the curriculum and methods to suit the living conditions of urban poor, rural, tribal first-generation learners. Parisar Asha is collaborating with Naandi, a corporate NGO with a mission to introduce quality English-Medium Education in 28 Municipal Corporation Schools, as demand for English-Medium Education by the economically marginalized is growing rapidly in all Indian States. The Naandi-Parisar Asha collaboration aspires to answer this need, through taking to scale a system of proven efficacy. UNICEF has supported the spread of the Parisar Asha initiative in India.

Roots of Empathy was a teacher, Mary Gordon’s creation. In 1981 she founded Canada’s first and largest school based parenting and family literacy program considered a best practice in North America and internationally. She has developed a methodology – taught by her organization - that helps children grasp empathy and this has helped reduced bullying in schools. She is also promoting the development of critical thinking among students. Her approach is being used in classrooms in every province of Canada and other countries are considering adopting it.

We would be interested to learn more about: (a) institutionalized strategies incorporating global education into the curriculum in elite educational systems, but more importantly in more local schools in non western settings ; (b) extracurricular activities focused on global education – the impacts of both approaches and challenges?

Dr. Jean D'Cunha, UN Women, Co-Moderator 

Anonymous from
Thu, January 31, 2013 at 11.03 am

First I would suggest that UN educational organisation should come up with curriculum for global education, a curriculum that is unbiased, not against any religion, not against any race,not dpecting superiority of aany race and enhances children understanding of our universe, Earth, environment, how mankind reached to this level of development and understanding each other. Secondly, UN and donor agencies should put conditions on state, nations, governments including such curriculum in national curriculum and extra curriculum activities. Thirdly, on going research on what works, what does not work, sharing of success stories and educational trainings for  teachers and organisors of extra activities. Education is a fundamental human right but making available and providing right kind of education and extra activities is responsibility of state and UN communities.

Dossè SOSSOUGA from
Fri, February 1, 2013 at 04.13 pm

Nous avons du travail à faire. La tache ne sera pas facile mais ...........

Anonymous from
Tue, January 29, 2013 at 01.19 pm

Hi every body, I had opportunity to work like voluntier with non gurbernamental organizations (NGO) like CISV international and scouts, they made experiential and global education and now I am working with Páramo Savers (environment organization) who its working to sensibilizace youth people about importance to care the natural resources. In this way I want to explain our expirience about importance to teach  women and youth peolple about to topics: 1. Activities to care the ecosystems, how they can suport the water production, how restaure the soil , and tecniques to let mesure the main variables to built a global data about the environment health this activities should receive pay for the national govern and international organizations like UN, 2. Activities for produce food the power of minifund productions for international  food secure and to broke the poverty and marginalization and the global food demand.    

Anonymous from
Tue, January 29, 2013 at 12.25 pm

Dear all,

I'm happy to share the position paper of EUCIS-LLL, the European Civil Society Platform on Lifelong Learning, that gathers 31 European organisations in education and training. It's focused on EU policies and programmes.

Best,

Audrey

The European Year of Citizens 2013 is a timely opportunity to reflect upon European citizenship. This concept covers different realities. Some consider citizenship as the enjoyment of civic rights such as the ones created by the treaties since 1992 while others relate it to the feeling of belonging to a common project or identity. EUCIS-LLL favours a broad definition of citizenship. The key issue for us is “How do we ensure that citizens do participate actively in the life of the EU?”. EUCIS-LLL hopes that the European Year 2013 will create a debate before the 2014 European elections. Indeed, the results of the last elections, with a European turnout of 43.1%, taught us a lesson. Most citizens do not feel that their vote will change the way the EU functions and sometimes they do not even know what is going on in Brussels. We also observe a decreasing sense of belonging to Europe and a very low level of confidence that people have in the EU. According to a recent Eurobarometer survey, just 43% of people questioned stated that they knew about what it meant to be a European citizen and 32% considered they were well or very well informed of their rights as citizens. It is by providing proper information, by equipping citizens with basic and transversal skills, by offering proper modules in schools and continuing training to teachers, by involving civil society representatives actively in the process of decision-making and by proposing policies that correspond to citizens’ needs that citizens will feel part of the political project. Education and training has a very special role to play in that respect. Because European citizenship needs to be learned and lived, community programmes should consequently have appropriate budgets allocated to them. Civil society organisations also have a significant contribution to make, as a bridge between Europe and its people but also as a privileged environment in which to foster active citizens.

Key messages

1. Equipping all citizens with basic skills is the prerequisite for removing obstacles to active participation in society

  • Make sure all EU citizens master basic skills. The Education and Training Strategic Framework 2020 rightly aims at reducing the share of low-achieving 15-year-olds in reading, mathematics and science to below 15%. Yet today one 15-year-old and almost one adult in five still do not know how to read and write properly. This has a negative impact on participation. Indeed, we know that on average, adults with high levels of education vote 14.8% more than their less educated counterparts (OECD’s Education at a Glance, 2012).
  • Acknowledge the wider negative consequences of a lack of basic skills: the new “Rethinking Education” Communication emphasises the need to equip citizens with basic skills for employment and social inclusion. A lack of those skills does not only hinder their chances of finding a job or being included but also of participating genuinely in the political life of their own country and of the EU. This should be underlined in the new Communication since it puts at stake the model of democracy that we want.
  • Foster inclusive education systems by developing tailor-made learning opportunities in a lifewide and lifelong learning perspective; improved access to lifelong learning is also about strengthening our EU social model and tackling today’s common challenges. Intercultural learning can contribute to a better integration of migrants, intergenerational learning to make ageing populations more active, etc. Those target groups and more generally people at risk of being at an educational disadvantage should be addressed as a matter of priority.
  • Innovative learning pathways should be developed to broaden access to learning such as Open Educational Resources. EU debates on access shall not be reduced to technological challenges. Member States must implement EU strategies to tackle early school leaving and tertiary achievement so that the related EU2020 headline targets are reached in time. The impulse given by the Cypriot Presidency should not be lost on school dropout and deeper reflections must be initiated on how to involve non-traditional learners in higher education.

 

 2. Value citizenship education as a key to engaging citizens in EU democratic life

  • Make citizens aware of Europe’s values, prerogatives, political history and structure by developing citizenship through formal and non-formal education: a genuine democratic society cannot be built if citizens are not aware of the impact that the EU institutions have on their daily life. Today, only 9% of Europeans think the EU level has an impact on their living conditions (Eurobarometer 77, Spring 2012).
  • Give social and civic competences the role they deserve in the new “Rethinking Education” Commission Communication (November 2012) that focuses mainly on entrepreneurial skills and leaves out the other Key Competences of the 2006 Framework. This is particularly important as the ‘feeling’ of belonging to the EU is decreasing in Europe.
  • Adopt a holistic approach to citizenship education by valuing transversal key competences (learning to learn, sense of initiative, cultural awareness and expression) necessary to foster tolerance, solidarity and intercultural understanding in more and more complex societies.
  • A paradigm shift towards learning outcomes is crucial to value transversal competences and ensure that their benefit for societal engagement is recognised. Member States should implement national validation systems that take into account the outcomes of individuals’ civic engagement.
  • Make use of mobility: “the citizenship outcomes” of EU mobility programmes should be better monitored.
  • As active citizenship is a shared responsibility, recognise the contribution of civil society organisations as non-formal education providers in developing those “citizenship skills” and empowering learners, especially in the framework of volunteering activities. Build on the European Year of Volunteering 2011 to feed the discussion for the European Year of Citizens 2013. This is the case of civil society organisations promoting debate and activities on remembrance.
  • Value the fields of education and training as privileged settings in which to reflect upon the consequences of the economic and social crisis. Citizenship education is also about discussing why European solidarity and cohesion have decreased in the past few years, how resilient those values are and what can be done to consolidate them.

 

3. Make learning abroad a reality for all through the new EU funding programmes 2014-2020

  • The EU Year of Citizens 2013 puts a particular emphasis on the right to move. 21% of EU citizens think that student exchange programmes are the most positive result of the EU (Eurobarometer 77, Spring 2012): EU mobility schemes are therefore strongly associated with the benefits of EU citizenship in people’s minds and proper investment has to be made in the next funding programme, (but also the next European Social Fund, the Europe for Citizens Programme and the EU Year of Citizens) so that up to five million learners can enjoy an experience abroad.
  • Along with an adequate budget, the content of the programme must be designed to ensure a wide access to mobility opportunities: the participation of people with special needs or fewer opportunities shall be secured; loan guarantee schemes for higher education must not replace grants in the long term and come with financial security for repayment, etc.
  • The next funding programme shall not only aim at reaching a systemic impact but take into consideration the individual impact of mobility schemes: there is no longer a need to prove that an experience abroad is highly beneficial for the individual, in particular to develop their sense of belonging to the EU. A systemic effect for a more inclusive society can only be reached through the aggregation of engaged individuals.

 

4. Acknowledge and support civil society organisations for their role in bridging the gap between the EU and its citizens

  • Think of the EU Year of Citizens also as the Year of EU Citizenship and celebrate civil society for bringing Europe to the citizens and vice-versa. Creating ownership is not about a one million-euro communication plan but about the work that non-profit organisations have done for years to voice the concerns of EU citizens on policy-making in Brussels, and multiply EU action at grassroots level. Indeed, 68.8% of respondents to a EUCIS-LLL survey (December 2011) know about the ET2020 Strategic Framework thanks to their European network.
  • Provide sustainable operating support to European civil society organisations within the new funding programme 2014-2020. Those organisations simply cannot survive if their funding is exclusively project-based as they could no longer sustain their activities, would lose their political independence and their capacity to put crucial issues on the EU agenda. Recognise volunteer time as contributions in kind in project proposals.
  • Set up more regular consultation mechanisms for civil society to develop a genuine structured dialogue in the field of education and training, starting by giving them a consultative statute in the Programme Committee that monitors its implementation. 
  • Launch a Green Paper on Article 11 as a whole and re-launch the process leading to the adoption of a statute of the European association. The voices of millions of European citizens, freely and voluntarily joining together in associations and NGOs, would be given proper recognition. Active citizenship is also about encouraging the emergence of a genuine European civil society. This recognition would be a great leap for a genuine implementation of Article 11 of the Lisbon Treaty to initiate “an open, transparent and regular dialogue with representative associations and civil society”, an article also mentioned in the legal basis of the EU Year of Citizens.
  • Make educational institutions democratic settings in themselves where learners and educational staff can engage in the democratic life of the institution and access mobility schemes to develop their sense of EU belonging.
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