Guest blog written by:
Robin Dewa, Teacher at Osnovna sola Vič, Abramovaulica 26, Slovenia
As the official end of the Erasmus+Ka201 strategic partnership project In Others' Shoes is approaching and the weather in Slovenia is now really perfect, I would like to highlight a few points of the project in a wider perspective.
First, on the teachers' level, me and Irena Koncilja have learned a lot about applying the principles of Global Education into our work with students. In most EU countries, global education is well developed while on the other side global education has been only gaining ground in Slovenian schools in the last few years. I feel happy that more and more teacher colleagues are becoming interested in it. I'm therefore thankful to Global Education Derby and all other partner schools in the project to be able to learn from their vast knowledge and experiences which have had an impact on our work.
Considering students, they were able to discover their own potential, skills and abilities while implementing their own ideas during the course of the project. This was due to having received a new knowledge and a new way of thinking in order to be able to stand in someone else's shoes and see things from different perspectives.
Sometimes we just tend to forget that we live on the privileged side of the world where some things and situations are taken for granted, while elsewhere the situation seems different and more challenging. Therefore the In Others' Shoes project helped us a lot in developing a more global point of view.
I felt very happy that also some young people in Slovenia have taken a more active role in recent months. Influenced by the 16 years old student and climate activist Greta Thunberg from Sweden, who started school strikes for climate on Fridays, some Slovenian students also joined the cause and became active. They organized themselves into the movement called The Young For The Climate Justice and circulated their ideas. This also gave us the idea for the theatre play for the next Thinking Otherwise project.
When thinking about the European Parliamentary Elections back in May, it is a pity that students from age 16 onwards still can't vote in European or national elections. They will be the ones who will inherit our Mother Earth and will feel effects if we don't reach Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. And our generation just doesn't seem to do right things and have right answers for our problems.
And yet, we will not be able to reach Sustainable Development Goals if we don't walk the talk. The recent report from OECD DAC about the data for Official Development Assistance ( ODA) that I'm going to analyze with my colleagues from Sloga NGDO platform in the summer months for Concord Aid Watch Report, says that Slovenia's ODA reached lower level in 2018, only 0.16% of GDP. It's good that a few countries, where global education is more developed, keep their promises of allocating at least 0.7% of GDP for ODA ( like the UK). In other countries, in order to raise ODA and reach SDGs, the present-day young people will be the key.
And the young people will be the key in developing countries as well. I was very happy to have an opportunity of watching the performance of the young performers from the New Times Theatre (Tiempos Nuevos Teatro) from Chaltenango, El Salvador, in Ljubljana, at an event for the Slovenian global education teachers organized by the Slovenian NGO Humanitas.
The Salvadoran association was founded in 1993 after the end of the 12-civil war to deal with the trauma that survivors of the war faced. The first New Times Theatre (NTT) members were associated with education popular, global education. The NTT now covers many areas such as human rights, climate change, environment , gender equality etc. and they believe that art is both liberating and healing and contributes to reconstructing the social fabric. The excellent performance of the young artists and their workshop have uplifted my spirit that global education themes are really spread around the world and that we must stay interconnected, especially in the times of building walls and barbed wire fences.
Yes, despite many obstacles- which we anyway have to treat as opportunities for growth, I'm looking forward to working together again in the future.
Wishing all our partner schools lovely summer holidays,