The uncertainty, the distance and the adjustment to new ways of teaching and learning, along with the external pressures that came with the pandemic were, and still are, a great challenge for us all. As we, Magis Americas, continue in our mission to promote Global Citizenship Education in a context in which COVID-19 is still affecting many, I choose to focus on all we have learned and the achievements we have had within our network. Together we are stronger.
Globally, more than 500 million children lost access to their education in 2020. Education for sustainable lives was the slogan of last year’s La Silla Roja campaign (The Red Chair, in English), a global campaign for education that uses the red chair as a symbol to represent the right to an inclusive and quality education. In 2020, this campaign went further, calling attention to the educational gap that only intensified in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The focus was on the new challenges that emerged in guaranteeing access to quality education in order to live sustainable lives in the context of a global pandemic, where 90% of the global student population saw their education affected.
This year’s campaign saw the participation of just over 200 students from all over the US who investigated, reflected and tapped into their creativity to share their newly acquired knowledge with their peers. Designed to grant teachers the flexibility needed in uncertain times, each class could define how to implement and carry out the challenge.
Dr. Cristina Deleano, Foreign Language Department at Jesuit High School in Tampa, shared her experience with us:
As a Spanish teacher, it is important that my students learn about the lived experiences of Spanish-speakers throughout the world. The La Silla Roja campaign exposed them to the realities faced by students whose education has been frustrated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The campaign sparked important discussions and made them aware of the challenges faced by students who lack easy access to the technology and other resources we take for granted in the US. It is my hope that these conversations inspire a sense of solidarity and the desire to ensure educational equity for all.”
As this year’s campaign comes to an end, we want to thank you for your commitment to Global Citizenship Education. Your work to encourage your students to continuously seek to deepen their awareness of their place and responsibility in an increasingly interconnected world, both locally and globally, is crucial to our work and mission. Thank you!
We look forward to working with you on next year’s campaign, set to launch in September. In the interim, we encourage you to continue your efforts as Global Citizens, working towards our joint goal of “inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for all”.