The Serbian member of EPA, Pomoc Deci organised a very interesting event in Belgrade in the middle of September 2016 with participants from Balkan countries, Albania, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro as well as Northern Ireland. While the event had an early childhood focus, EPA was offered the opportunity to give our views on parental involvement and child participation with special focus on peace-building, as well as to hold a totally interactive workshop on active European citizenship on school level. This was also a great opportunity to pilot our ELICIT+ training material in an exciting context, the Balkans.
The most interesting presentation of the event was by Prof. Bojana Breneselovic from Belgrade University. The title of the conference was borrowed from her, and she made us change lenses and see segregation from a totally different angle. After listening to the presentation, you are likely to have realised that the younger your child is, the more likely it is they go to a segregated school. But to prove that, you need to understand what segregation really means according to the Oxford English Dictionary ‘the action or state of setting someone or something apart from others’.
On the second Tuesday of October, this year on 11 October, Europe celebrates the European Day of Parents and Schools since 2002. Initiated by the European Parents’ Association (EPA), this day is used to highlight the importance of parents and teachers working together for the benefit of children by parents’ organisations, often supported by their respective national Ministries of Education.
Parents’ associations gathered together in EPA want to use the occasion of #ParentsAndSchools Day to promote and advocate for the implementation of new policy messages by the European Commission published earlier this year on transforming schools to make them more attractive for students and families alike in order to achieve the EU2020 headline target of reducing early school leaving. These recommendations fundamentally build on the school community, parents, teachers and students taking ownership of learning by actively participating in transforming the school to meet the needs of today’s children as well as preparing them for the challenges of the 21st century.
Common statement by 177 European and national Civil Society Organisations and Trade Unions
177 civil society organizations and trade unions have adopted a common position demanding leaders fight back against populism, EPA among them. The initiative was a joint effort of Concorde, ETUC, EYF and WWF and asks the question of what is necessary to build the Europe we want and need.
"Europe is at a crossroads, and the future of European cooperation and the benefits it brings are at stake. This is about the future of our society and how we want to be viewed by the wider world. The future of our planet and the kind of Europe our children will grow up in. The current crisis highlights the urgent need to reflect on fundamental questions: how do we ensure that the European project reclaims its promise of peace, democracy and solidarity? How can Europe work for its people?
Too many people across Europe are dissatisfied and disillusioned with the European Union and feel remote from its institutions and policies. But there are groups of committed politicians, trade unions, community groups and non-governmental organisations across Europe who are ready to take action and work for a renewed Europe. Together, we can shape a Europe that is inclusive, open, just, sustainable, and that works for people of all ages, social backgrounds and nations.
Where do we go from here to build the Europe we want and need?"
The civil society answer given includes
- rejecting populism
- tackling challenges together
- working for better Europe, not less Europe
- listening and engaging
- making the case for Europe
Download the full statement from this link
A new initiative by OBESSU to build bridges between migrant children and their peers in secondary schools
New large-scale programmes are being developed and carried out to support migrants' inclusion by a group of EU-level organisations, EPA being one of them. One of the partners, OBESSU, in order to encourage building bridges between migrant children and their peers in secondary schools, decided to launch the project Seeds for Integration. The main idea is to provide small, medium and large seed-grants to secondary school student unions and councils, or - in case there is no student council in the school - to independent groups representing the school’s students, to come up with creative initiatives around the topic of educational inclusion of migrant and refugee children. Read on to learn more about the initiative, and inform secondary school students who would be interested in it.
We will share information on all other projects, including our own, in this cooperation, made possible with the financial support of Open Society Foundation. Follow the EPA blog for new initiatives.
UNICEF has recently developed a publication mapping of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). It highlights the connections and synergies between the two documents, allowing the reader to jump between each Global Goal and each Convention article.
It takes a detailed, yet deliberately broad, interpretation of the Global Goals and the Convention, highlighting for users the connections between the two frameworks, so as to reinforce their potential for advocacy and implementation. It will therefore be an invaluable tool for both UNICEF and external partners, as they advocate for both CRC and SDG implementation over the coming years. To reinforce the links in both directions, it is divided into two sections: The first part identifies relevant CRC articles for each Global Goal and their targets. The second part lists the goals and targets for each CRC article. By clicking, the reader can jump between goals and articles in a simple and user friendly way.