25 April 2019
Category : Reportage
Education as a tool for change
Education is undoubtedly paramount for the development of society. Mindful as FIIAPP is of this fact, it strives for this tool for change to be developed in a number of the Foundation's projectsEducation is undoubtedly paramount for the development of society. Mindful as FIIAPP is of this fact, it strives for this tool for change to be developed in a number of the Foundation's projects
According to data from the European Statistics Office, Eurostat, in 2017, Spain continued to be the country in the European Union with the second highest number of early school leavers, followed by Romania. Even though our country has managed to reduce the rate of early school leavers, it still remains above the 15% agreed with the EU for 2020.
One place above Spain, Malta topped the list of early school leaver rates at 18.6%. At the other end of the scale, countries such as Croatia, Slovenia, Poland and Ireland were seen to have the lowest early school leaver rates with percentages of 3.1%; 4.3%, 5% and 5.1% respectively.
As far as EU member countries are concerned as a whole, fourteen of them have already reached the targets set for 2020: Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, Greece, France, Croatia, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria and Slovenia.
Moreover, according to Eurostat data, the overall early school leaver rate in the European Union is 10.6%, still six tenths above the 10% target for 2020. In terms of gender, 8.9% of young women leave education early, as opposed to 12.1% of young men.
Improving equity in education
According to the OECD, “difficulties in education and in the labour market translate into differences in socio-economic results and in general welfare that are passed on from parents to children”.
During the presentation in Paris of the report on the situation in education in 2018, Education at a Glance 2018, Angel Gurría, secretary general of the OECD, stressed that “improving education is a collective effort that involves all stakeholders: the Ministry of Education, local authorities, teachers, school leaders and other members of the educational community“.
However, later on in his address he pointed out that “a centralised approach to education with a standardised allocation of resources does not necessarily guarantee equitable results“.
International Day of Education
On 3 December 2018, the General Assembly of the United Nations proclaimed 24 January as International Day of Education. The initiative seeks to highlight the role of education in peace and development.
The resolution in question, namely 73/25, co-authored by Nigeria and 58 Member States, demonstrated, according to the United Nations, “the unwavering political will to support transformative actions for inclusive, equitable and quality education for all”.
UNESCO, as the United Nations organisation specialising in education, is in charge of observing the annual celebration of this International Day in collaboration with key decision makers in the education sector.
SDG 4: Quality education
Education is Sustainable Development Goals number 4. As is the case with the other 16 SDGs, this objective brings with it a series of targets that governments intend to see fulfilled by the 2030 Agenda.
These include ensuring that all girls and boys complete primary and secondary education, have access to early childhood care and development services and quality preschool education, eliminating gender disparities, ensuring equal access to all levels of learning and that all students acquire the theoretical and practical knowledge necessary to promote sustainable development, among a host of other targets.
According to the United Nations, currently over 265 million children do not go to school, 22% of whom are of primary school age. Moreover, it points out that in many parts of the world, the children who are attending school are lacking basic literacy and numeracy skills. Nonetheless, progress has been made in access to educational levels over the last decade, especially in the case of women and girls. However, this Sustainable Development Goal seeks to make greater advances in universal education.
FIIAPP is for education
We at FIIAPP are fully aware of the importance of education for society. Accordingly, the Foundation manages several projects focusing on education.
In the European Union-funded project ‘Support for the Higher Education System in Morocco’ specialists from the Regional Government in Castilla y León are working with their Moroccan counterparts to introduce techniques, methods and tools that serve to implement an ECTS credit system to assess degrees, thus bringing the Moroccan education system closer in line with the European one.
As a result of this project “Moroccan graduates will be able to present international employers, not only with a qualification, but also with its content, the acquired skills and descriptions in another language”, claims Rafael de Paz, coordinator of this project in Morocco.
Furthermore, our ‘Bridging the Gap’ project, attests to our commitment to guaranteeing quality, inclusive and equitable education for people with disabilities, given that the rate of early school leavers for people with disabilities is 43%.
“Inclusive education not only covers disability. Inclusion also involves gender, ethnic groups, indigenous peoples and nationalities in the case of Ecuador, as well as helping to inculcate values of tolerance, respect for diversity, collaboration; what I mean is it is incredible the type of education that you can receive beyond mathematics, literature or the staple school subjects” says Paola Hinojosa, an inclusive education technician with the National Council for Equality of Disabilities (CONADIS) in Ecuador.
Furthermore, FIIAPP is working together with the Castilla y León Regional Government’s Ministry of Education to reinforce the quality of the Algerian university system and to contribute to the development of the country’s economy through the project “Support for the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research to Enhance the Teaching Skills of the Teachers-Researchers and Administration Management”. This twinning project will provide Algeria with important organisational and methodological support so the Ministry can push through reforms and contribute to the success of the new vision for education, training and research. It will do this by methodically addressing the European recommendations on higher education established in the framework of the Bologna Process and the European Higher Education Area.
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