Interactive Roundtable on Education and training of women, one of the 10 areas of concern that were discussed at the Geneva NGO Forum – Beijing + 20

UN ECE Regional Review

OIDEL was the facilitator of the group on Non-discrimination, i.e. in charge of collecting key recommendations to be transmitted to the governments that are meeting today and tomorrow (6-7 November) in Geneva.

We stressed the need of adopting a human-rights based approach, for two main reasons :

  1. The right to education for women and girls should be driven by a rights-based approach, as it implies that this education should be viewed as a human rights imperative, rather than being undertaken solely because of potential benefits to their children or to society.
  2. This also implies the inclusion of Human Rights Education in curricula at all levels of education and for all groups, especially through the implementation of the UN Declaration of Human rights Education and Training and the World Programme for Human Rights Education in all its phases.

OIDEL promoted the UNESCO Convention against Discrimination in Education (CADE), which establishes the right to education comprehensively as it is essential that all stakeholders knows and agrees on the definition of what discrimination means. It provides for example that the State can permit the establishment or maintenance of private educational schools, if their object is to provide educational facilities in addition to those provided by the public authorities. It is important to distinguish between differentiation and discrimination if we want to address the issue of equality of oportunity in education, especially when it comes to women and girls.

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Educación: Guía para perplejos

enkvistInger Enkvist procura ser directa, instructiva y clara, y en este ensayo la catedrática no hace una excepción. En este libro la autora busca ofrecer una orientación a los actores del sistema educativo – padres, actores, profesores – desde su habitual rigurosidad y independencia pudiendo incomodar a más de uno al arrojar luces sobre el sistema.

Inger Enkvist presenta como a partir de los años 60 se fue instaurando una idea en los modelos educativos más igualitarista que ha ido desplazando el aprendizaje como objetivo central de la educación. Igualmente la autora reflexiona sobre la fuerte corriente antiautoritaria en el ámbito escolar y familiar, y el creciente énfasis lúdico, hedonista en que la educación debe ser fácil y divertida. Todas estas variables han configurado lo que se conoce como Nueva pedagogía. Inger Enkvist analiza en este libro la esencia y polémicas de los sistemas educativos europeos desde una perspectiva pedagógica y filosófica, así como su relación con la crisis educativa.

Más allá de la crítica al sistema no obstante también presenta un enfoque optimista de cómo mejorar el sistema educativo vía un reforzamiento de la idea del aprendizaje .

http://www.ediciones-encuentro.es/libro/educacion-guia-para-perplejos.html

La libertad de elección como herramienta de equidad II

A conclusiones similares llega un estudio realizado sobre el impacto de la reforma hecha en la Academia de Paris basada en la ampliación de la elección de liceo (enseñanza secundaria post-obligatoria), cinco años después de su entrada en vigor. El núcleo de la reforma consistía en ampliar la capacidad de elección los alumnos en el momento de escoger liceo público en Paris fuera del distrito de residencia dejando así de ser la residencia un condicionante mayor en la asignación de colegio. La reforma establece 3 criterios de puntos por el que los alumnos pueden concurrir a otros liceos. El primer criterio que cuenta 600 puntos se otorga a aquellos que han pedido un liceo de su distrito, el segundo criterio también de 600 puntos se refiere a los resultados escolares y el tercer criterio de 300 puntos concierne a aquellos alumnos que se encuentran en situaciones socialmente desfavorecidas llamado bonus “bourse”. Una vez que se conocen las prioridades de los alumnos, el software Affelenet asigna a cada alumno un centro escolar mezclando las variables.

julien_grenetJulien Grenet investigador del CNRS ha analizado el efecto de la reforma realizada en la región Ile de France sobre la equidad Según el estudio, existe un claro descenso de la segmentación social: un 20% y esto tanto en los liceos generales como los liceos tecnológicos. Asimismo la segmentación escolar se ha reducido en un 10% y se ha reducido en un 80% la brecha entre el nivel de los liceos que reciben alumnos “boursiers” – con el bono de 300 puntos por su situación socialmente desfavorecida- y aquellos que no.

El estudio ha permitido igualmente hacer una comparación con otros liceos de Île-de-France como los de Versalles o Créteil. La evolución de los índices de segmentación no ha descendido en estas ciudades contrariamente a Paris.

Si algo podemos extraer de las dos experiencias es que libertad de educación no es excluyente de la equidad, de hecho, si se proporciona la información pertinente a los padres y alumnos y se corrigen las desigualdades sociales con un mecanismo apropiado de acción afirmativa, puede ser una herramienta muy útil en pro de la equidad.

Musset. Pauline (2012) School Choice and Equity : Current policies in OECD countries and a literature review Education Working Paper n.66, OECD Publishing

Grenet, Julien y Fack, Gabrielle (2014) Peut-on accroître la mixité sociale et scolaire dans le system educatif ? L’impact des procédures d’affectation des élèves dans les lycées d’Île-de-France. Les notes de l’IPP, n°11.

Grenet, Julien, Fack, Gabrielle y Benhda, Asma (2014) Affelnet et la mixité sociale et scolaire dans les lycées franciliens L’impact des procédures de sectorisation et d’affectation sur la mixité sociale et scolaire dans les lycées d’Île-de-France» Rapport IPP n°3.

La libertad de elección como herramienta de equidad

 Una de las principales críticas que reciben las reformas que amplían la libertad de elección de los padres y de los alumnos es el efecto negativo que tienen tales reformas sobre la equidad. Para basar las políticas en evidencias es interesante estudiar la experiencia reciente de la reforma de acceso a los liceos hecha por la Academia de Paris y el último  Working Paper de la OCDE sobre el tema.

 

Featured imageEn el año 2012 la OCDE publicó un Working Paper titulado School Choice and Equity: Current policies in OECD countries and a literature review. El documento analiza las políticas en pro de la libertad de elección de los padres en los 34 países miembros y su efecto sobre la equidad. En sus conclusiones señala que la libertad de elección de los padres puede llevar a que el sistema sea menos equitativo por ciertos motivos: la falta de información de los padres, la priorización de otras motivaciones en el momento de escoger el colegio – ej: amigos de los hijos- y las dificultades para utillizar los mecanismos de elección de educación en algunos países, a menudo complejos.

Pero la autora, Pauline Musset, señala que la libertad de enseñanza puede ser un buen instrumento en pro de la equidad si se sabe cómo solventar dichas ineficiencias. Musset concluye que la libertad de educación es una buena herramienta para la equidad cuando va acompañada de información para facilitar la elección de los padres, cuando seayuda a las escuelas que puedan ser perjudicadas por el sistema de elección – como por ejemplo aquellas escuelas que puedan tener conflictos sociales al tener niños de clases sociales muy distintas- y finalmente con el establecimiento de un sistema de puntos progresivo que favorezca a las clases desfavorecidas.

(continuación la semana próxima)

Ignasi Grau

Symposium: Child and religion:

On 18th of September OIDEL, in collaboration with ISERL (Institut Supérieur des Religions et de la Laïcité) and LABEX COMOD, organized a Symposium on “Child and Religion” in the BIE premises (Bureau International d’Education in Geneva). Presentations included one from Bernard Hours who talked about how secularized Catholicism had concrete expressions,  another one from Louis Rousseau who shared the good experience of multiculturalism in Quebec and how this experience was transferable; Then Stefano Caporal explained the Lautsi case followed by another speaker, Lionel Obadia, who stressed the importance of observance and mimic with regard to religion. Among the many other presentations, we would like to share with you more fully three of them:

“Children’s cultural Rights: Identity, Universality and Tolerance” –Alfred Fernandez

Alfred Fernandez talked about “Children’s cultural Rights: identity, universality and tolerance”. He focused his intervention on analyzing the main subjects described in the article 29 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The main aspects developed on his intervention were the conception of education as the development of the child to his full potential, the development of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, the development of the respect for the child’s parents, cultural identity language and values.

Alfred Fernandez developed the concept of culture. Among the massive intellectual debate to define this idea he highlighted the UNESCO definition that is worded as follows “ culture that gives man the ability to reflect upon himself (…) It is through culture that man expresses himself, becomes aware of himself, recognizes his incompleteness”. It is in this sense that culture becomes the “right to be” or, as the Delors’s report considers culture, as the “way to be” a human being and education as the “learn to be”.

Linking culture with the right to education, Alfred Fernandez analyzed the cultural character of the right to education, firstly quoting article 5 of the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity “all persons should be entitled to quality education and training that fully respect their cultural identity”. This declaration is really important and interesting as it is the first international norm connecting these two realities.

Finally he proposed a reflection on the sense of education, summarizing the three main metaphorical definitions of education as initiation –Kant, Peters-, as a path – Socrates, Kierkegaard- and as socialization process – Berger, Luckmann. Kant thought in this sense that man cannot be a man if it’s not for education. This idea was more developed by Philippe Meirieu affirming that education is the introduction of a cultural universe.

In conclusion, Alfred Fernandez said that it was the moment to reflect on and consider education systems as based on cultural identities, constituted by three stages: education to cultural identity, education to tolerance and education to universal or human rights. He underlined that there was no need to invent anything or to make new legislation since all these tools did already exist in international law. However, these concepts or elements had to be better understood by the international community, i.e.in a more favorable and plural way.

The objectives of education in the Convention on the Rights of the Child: a pedagogical perspective. Jorge Ferreira- New Humanity

The focus of Jorge Ferreira’s P1080544intervention was the Convention on the Rights of the Child. With passion he began to stress the importance of the Convention as the first recognition de facto of the international community of the child as a subject of law.

It is really interesting to see how the Convention is defining the child as a natural being with cognitive, affective, social, moral and spiritual capacities – all of them different from any other human being on earth. All these capacities exist in children in essence but need to be potentialized through education.

This fact leaded Jorge to the subject of which are the objectives of education according to the Convention on the Rights of the Child in its article 29. These objectives are the development of the personality, promotion of the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms, the development of the respect for child’s parents, their identities, languages and values, the preparation of the child for life in a free society and the development of respect for the natural environment. Jorge Ferreira underlined that the effective concretization of these articles meant the real promotion of the well being of the child. This idea is really linked to the right of development in the terms of the article 2 of the Declaration on the Right to Development; in this regard the objective of education must be understood as all those things that enable children to become adults, strengthening all their potentialities.

 

After explaining the theoretical framework, Jorge Ferreira analyzed its materialization in the actual socio-cultural situation. He said that in a society where the human being is seen as a means of production it is hard to find and develop the well being. Most of the consequences of this reality are tangible such as the economic crisis, the cultural crisis, the environmental crisis, etc. However there is also a psychological consequence due to the lack of sense of interdependence between humanity caused by an absence of a holistic and global vision in education as well as many other fields. According to Jorge it will be via the promotion of the right to integral development and solidarity that we, humanity, will be able to succeed collectively and favor well being. Understanding the human being as an object turns human being against himself as an authentic, unique and irreplaceable???of the social and economic life. We already know the consequences on mental health of a human being considered as an object. According to WHO, mental problems – such as depression – increasing disorder behaviors such as anorexia or bulimia within children and teenagers and the increasing number of suicides are becoming huge problems in Western society. All these issues can be understood as the main psychological consequences of this utilitarian conception of the human being.

Jorge finished his intervention encouraging the educational community to find a new paradigm by reformulating the objectives of education which would be:  children should be the finality of educational programs, the inclusive school should be a reality following the UNESCO criterias, the school should go along with the pupils during their formation, the school should promote and teach the universal values such as justice, fraternity, love, beauty, respect; and finally the school should collaborate more with the parents given that they are primarily responsible for the education of their children.

The religious model of education in Spain- Jaime RossellP1080569

Mr. Jaime Rossell, dean of Law in Extremadura University, talked about the religious model of education in Spain. From a juridical point of view, we were introduced to the constitutional norm that protects religious freedom. Article 16 of the Spanish Constitution explicitly says that “ideological, religious and worship freedoms are guaranteed” and it adds that “no one can be forced to state anything about his ideology, religion or beliefs”.

The same constitutional provision establishes that no religious confession will have “state character”. This is known as the principle of secularity or non-confessional state. Thus it lays the idea of equality of all persons and communities under the law, regardless of their religious beliefs.

Due to historical reasons and due to the Catholic tradition of Spain, the first legal instrument in religious affairs adopted after the 1978 Constitution—just a week later—was the Acuerdo entre el Estado Español y la Santa Sede (“Agreement between Spain and the Holy See”). The main difference between this instrument and the laws concerning other confessions is that the Acuerdo’s nature is one of international treaties, which means that its repeal or amendment has to be done following the provision of the treaty itself or following International Law rules.

The situation for other faiths is quite different. The relation between the State and those religions lays in a legal basis, a law issued by the Parliament. There are three regulated communities: the Evangelic churches (Law 24/1992), the Jewish community (Law 25/1992) and the Muslim one (Law 26/1992). The communities of these faiths are articulated in federations to best respond to their needs.

In the second part of his intervention Jaime addressed the particular issue of how the religion was integrated in the educational model. The main ideas of the current law (Ley Orgánica para la Mejora de la Calidad Educativa, LOMCE) are that, on the one hand, teaching Catholic religion is compulsory for the educative centres but optional for the students. Then, religion will not be compulsory, it can be substituted by the recently created “Social and civic values” subject. On the other hand, the teaching of the other religious minorities will be subjected to the dictates of the particular law. For instance, the students will have the right to receive lessons in the public and semi-public schools (centros concertados); the teachers will be assigned by the Federación de Entidades Religiosas Evangélicas de España, the Federación de Comunidades Israelitas or to the Comisión Islámica de España. These federations will also establish the curriculum of the subject always taking into account that it cannot clash with the character of the centre.

We will be happy to share with you more information and the conclusions of this symposium shortly.

Second meeting of ExpertLib

photofamille_expertlib_10_2014_webjpg

Last 8th of October we had the second meeting of ExpertLib with Novae Terrae in Palais des Nations (Geneva). In this occasion the objective of the meeting was to share good practices for the promotion of freedom of education in Spain, Sweden and United Kingdom. This was the first of several meetings dealing with good practices on different European countries.
Edmund Adamus – Director for Marriage & Family Life Archdiocese of Westminster –shared with us the good experiences of Free Schools and Academies in the British educational system, explaining the keys of their success and the main characteristics of these institutions.
Then the charismatic Inger Enkvist – hispanist, essayer and pedagogue- told us about the experience of the Free Schools in her country, Sweden. Beside the experience she also focused her intervention on the problems caused by the methods imposed by the State and the inconveniences caused by the local authorities.
Finally, Luis Peral – senator of the Spanish Senate- explain us the institution of the “colegios concertados” and the transfer of public land for the construction of colegios concertados. His explanation helped the European audience to understand these unfamiliar institutions.
The speeches were followed by a round of questions and interventions considering different aspects of the good practices in relation with their countries and with the main European institutions. Among the speakers we had the philosopher Phillipe Nemo and the politician Guy Guermeur.
We expect to share with you soon the conclusions and the experience of this meeting in a deeper way.

Educación de las niñas: respetar las diferencias

Síntesis de la intervención de OIDEL ante el Comité de lucha contra la discriminación de la Mujer de Naciones Unidas en la jornada de debate general sobre el derecho a la educación de las niñas el 7 de julio. Esta intervención fué leída en nombre de OIDEL, de las Cátedras UNESCO de las Universidades de La Rioja y Bergamo y del Colegio Universitario Henry Dunant.

Selon la Convention sur la discrimination dans le domaine de l’enseignement (CADE) de l’UNESCO : le terme  discrimination  comprend toute distinction, exclusion, limitation ou préférence qui, fondée sur la race, la couleur, le sexe, la langue, la religion, l’opinion politique ou tout autre opinion, l’origine nationale ou sociale, la condition économique ou la naissance, a pour objet ou pour effet de détruire ou d’altérer l’égalité de traitement en matière d’enseignement. (Article 1)

Sans doute plus que dans tout autre domaine, l’éducation exige une définition nuancée de la discrimination. En effet, il est habituel d’assimiler la séparation à la discrimination. Mais en éducation les différences ont toujours joué un rôle fondamental. Pour cela, il n’est pas possible de considérer toute séparation entre élèves comme discriminatoire ; l’éducation doit s’adapter aux différences si elle veut respecter la personne : homme et femme. De manière plus générale, il convient de souligner que la reconnaissance de l’universalité des droits de l’homme doit aller de pair avec la reconnaissance du droit à la différence.

AA_105248_Cambodia_Girls_highEn ce qui concerne le droit à l’éducation, le rapport préliminaire de la Convention souligne que certaines distinctions sont non seulement légitimes, mais aussi nécessaires, à tel point que dans certains cas, c’est paradoxalement le manque de distinctions qui constitue une situation discriminatoire due au non-respect de la différence.

Face à cela, quel pourrait être alors le critère permettant de déterminer quelles sont les «bonnes» et les «mauvaises» distinctions dans l’éducation, si l’on peut s’exprimer ainsi ? La notion d’«égalité qualitative», développée par le Rapport préliminaire mentionné précédemment, semble convenir comme critère, d’autant plus que les experts proposent quelques points de repère pour la mesurer, tels que la dépense par élève, la quantité, qualité, taux de renouvellement des manuels et des fournitures ou le nombre d’élèves par maître et ses titres professionnels. (Unesco/ED/167, art. 40)
On remarque donc que cette notion «d’égalité qualitative» suppose que l’on adapte le contenu au besoin de l’apprenant, l’égalité portant alors sur l’investissement pour chaque élève qui devrait être indépendant du sexe, de la race, de la religion, etc. Ainsi reste ouverte la possibilité de séparer les élèves pour des motifs d’ordre divers, tant que cette séparation ne remet pas en cause l’égalité qualitative ou «l’égalité de traitement en matière d’enseignement », selon l’article 1er. C’est ainsi que la Convention fait état de trois cas qui ne sont pas forcément à considérer comme des discriminations car ils peuvent signifier une adaptation aux besoins de l’apprenant:
• les systèmes d’enseignement séparé pour les élèves des deux sexes ;
• les systèmes d’enseignement séparé, pour des motifs d’ordre religieux ou linguistique ;
• les établissements d’enseignement privé.

Au sein des organisations internationales, l’UNESCO a été la première à théoriser un droit à la différence dans la Déclaration sur la race et les préjugés raciaux adoptée en 1978: «Tous les individus et tous les groupes ont le droit d’être différents, de se concevoir et d’être perçus comme tels » (art 1, 2).

Il est donc nécessaire, au moment d’élaborer une Observation générale sur le droit à l’éducation de la fille ou de la femme, de repenser l’éducation en tenant compte de la différence et du droit à la différence parce que les systèmes actuels ne résolvent pas le problème de l’égalité des chances.

Claire de Lavernette