Education is the number one beacon of hope to build a better world for all people.
Through education, teachers are forming the world’s future social, moral and intellectual minds who will, probably, lead companies, governments or households in different countries. Every lesson and experience that teachers provide to children of Primary and Secondary Schools today will reflect in actions which might shape the economy, politics and even the education of the future.
But, unfortunately, not everybody has access to a quality education system or even education at all.
As we have stated, in our previous blog posts, there are still millions of children around the world who don’t have access to education. So, when the time comes, who will speak for them? What would the world be missing by not including everybody in the challenging process of education?
We as a Global Jesuit Network and as Global Citizens have the responsibility to reverse this unjust situation and generate an atmosphere that provides equal opportunity for all.
But, what is equal opportunity for all?
Last year EDUJESUIT implemented a campaign called “Right to Education, Right to Hope”. The Key Ideas presented in this campaign remind us of what equal opportunity is.
“Education is a universal human right. • Everyone has the right to a quality education, not just any education. • Education must be available, accessible, adaptable and acceptable to all. • Denying this right implies exclusion and poverty. • Guaranteeing the right to education to all people is possible, we must make it possible. • It is our personal and collective responsibility. • It is possible to make it a reality, but we will only achieve it if everyone is committed.” From the GIAN Campaign Content Guide.
Moreover, another important aspect of understanding the “Equal Opportunity Recipe” is Social Justice. This can be a controversial topic but if we think of it as the key to building students’ capacity to see critically, evaluate ethically, reflect spiritually and act effectively, then it would be easier to implement it in schools around the world. The Irish Jesuit Mission Office’s Development Education Desk produced a very useful and interesting resource to help teachers develop students’ critical thinking, rooted in faith and leadership, you can download it here.
Last, but certainly not least, when thinking of equal opportunity remind yourselves of our mission to educate and to be “Men and Women for and with others”. The Ignatian way is what makes us humble, it gives us the spiritual courage to keep fighting for the right to education.
Here is how: Implement “The Global Red Chair Project” in your school. This project aims to raise awareness of the millions of children who don’t have access to education and to teach students of their responsibility, as Global Citizens, to act by participating in a project that will hopefully provide equal opportunity for children around the world.
We have put together fascinating ideas and classroom resources into a Red Chair Project Resources page. Here teachers can find creative exercises, games and activities for students of ages from 5 to 18 years. You can choose any of the resources and adapt them to your own context or create your own. The sky is the limit!
Get together with your colleagues and brainstorm ideas that work for your school and if you need more assistance, the Educate Magis team would be delighted to help! Just follow this conversation to ask any questions or share your ideas for your local Red Chair Project.