Global Education Meeting 2018: Education in an interconnected world: Ensuring inclusive and equitable development.

December 03, 2018
The aim of the meeting is to provide a high-level forum for review of the progress towards the universal global education commitments since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in 2015. All is framed by target 4.7 of the SDG’s: Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship. The expected outcomes are:  An assessment of current progress toward the implementation of SDG4;  An identification of recommendations for strategic areas requiring guidance and/or intervention;  Agreement on key policy messages;  Strengthening of coordinated support for the implementation of SDG 4. The event consists of different parts:  High level technical meeting (1,5 days) including a forum of parallel sessions open for stakeholders;  A leaders’ meeting for Ministers, Vice-Ministers and/or heads of delegations (1,5 days) (Opening by H.M. Queen Mathilde of Belgium; Rudy Demotte and Hilde Crevits are chairs of the session).

EUNEC participated at the forum session ‘Teaching and learning respect for diversity’.
The session is co-organized by the Council of Europe, and chaired by Dov Lynch (Chief of Section for Global Citizenship and Peace Education UNESCO).
The international community is increasingly struggling with the notion of what it means to ‘respect diversity’ as well as ‘teach and learn’ about respect for diversity. UNESCO states that ‘deepening attitudes of empathy, solidarity and respect for differences and diversity’ are part and parcel of the experience of a global citizen and should therefore be nurtured and taught through education. The Reference Framework of Competences for Democratic Culture (Council of Europe) sets out the core values, skills, attitudes and knowledge and critical understanding that every citizen needs in order to be active in a democratic society. Education is seen as the main contributor to the development of these competences, and therefor to the development of a democratic culture.
Countries report that cultural diversity and tolerance is proportionally receiving less attention in the curricula then other objectives. It is less considered as a guiding principle. It is less emphasized in teaching materials. Cultural diversity and tolerance content focuses most often on ‘social and emotional learning’. We need to unpack what it means to teach respect for cultural diversity!
Sjur Bergan (Council of Europe, in the panel) insists on the difference between tolerance and respect. And on the notion of multiperspectivity.
Contributions lead to increased awareness of the variety of approaches to teaching diversity.

EUNEC participated at the forum session ‘Civil society perspectives, bottlenecks and ways forward in SDG4 implementation’
The working title of the session was ‘Civil society, public reporting and accountability’. This change in title reflects a change of focus.
The important role of civil society organisations in advancing SDG4 is stressed, in the field of:
 Raising public awareness, and enabling the voices of citizens to be heard;
 Developing innovative approaches;
 Documenting and sharing evidence from practice and research, holding government accountable for delivery, tracking progress, undertaking evidence-based advocacy, ensuring transparency in education governance and budgeting.