9.4 Raising awareness about global issues
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National curricula for upper secondary schools defines two general competences that are related to global issues:
- cultural and value competence - the ability to evaluate human relations and activities from the standpoint of generally accepted moral norms and ethics; to sense and value one's ties with other people, the society, nature, the cultural heritage of one's own country and nation and those of others, and events in contemporary culture; to value art and creativity, and shape a sense of aesthetics; to value general human and societal values, to value human, cultural and natural diversity; to acknowledge one's values and take them into consideration when making decisions; be tolerant and cooperative and to contribute for achieving joint objectives;
- social and citizenship competence – the ability to become self-actualized; to function as an active, aware, helpful and responsible citizen and to support the democratic development of society; to know and follow values and moral standards in society; to respect the rules of various environments, including communication environments and societal diversity, human rights, the particularities of religions and nations; to engage in cooperation with other people in different situations; to accept differences in people and their values and to take them into account in interacting with people; the ability to understand global problems, take responsibility for solving them; value and follow the principles of sustainable development: feel like a member of society capable of dialogue in the context of Estonia, Europe and the whole world.
General competences are shaped through learning outcomes expected in all subjects, but also through discussing cross-curricular subjects in lessons, extracurricular and out of school activities.
The relevant subjects in this field are History; Civics and citizenship education; Personal, social and health education and Geography (Human Geography). The subjects are divided into compulsory and optional courses.
The compulsory courses by subject are the following:
- History 6 courses: General History; Estonian History I (until the sixteenth and turn of the seventeenth centuries); Estonian History II (until the end of the nineteenth century); Contemporary History I – Estonia and the world in the first half of the twentieth century; Contemporary History II – Estonia and the world in the second half of the twentieth century; and Modern History III – Main characteristics of 2 the developments of the twentieth century: Estonia and the world.
- Human Studies 1 course: Family Studies
- Civics and citizenship education 2 courses: „Development of the society and democracy“, „Economy and world politics“.
The optional courses in the subject field are:
- History 2 courses: General History – World History: Civilization outside Europe; and General History – History of European countries and the United States of America.
- Human Studies 1 course: Psychology.
- Civics and citizenship education 1 course: Everyday law.
The field of social studies includes the compulsory course on ‘Population and economy’, which is described in the field of natural sciences under human geography, and the optional course on ´The globalizing world’.
Youth participation in non-formal learning is supported mostly in youth work. There are a large variety of opportunities provided for youth to participate in youth organisations, youth centre activities and hobby schools. All of these formats may provide a non-formal learning experience for youth also related to the promotion of knowledge or understanding of global issues. There are hobby schools with dedicated activities on nature and environment, and a lot of activities in youth organisations and youth centres are based on self-initiative and volunteerism of young people, which is also encouraged.
There are a number of youth work programmes initiated by the top-level authority and many of them support the awareness and understanding of global issues among youth, however, there are none specifically addressed to them.
In addition, the Erasmus+ programme has opportunities for youth, including European Voluntary Service, which provides a considerable number of opportunities for youth in Estonia in relation to global issues.
The non-governmental organisation Mondo has created a portal for educators called Maailmakool, where training materials and information, including about training courses, is available. The materials for educators are presented by age group, subject and possible subject field in school curricula. The materials are available in Estonian and Russian.
There are training courses offered for teachers and youth workers on subjects connected with youth and global issues. For example, Mondo provided a training course “Digital learning through global education for secondary schools” targeted to teachers.
The Department of Youth Programmes of the Agency of Erasmus+ and European Solidarity Corps of the Education and Youth Board (until 31.12.2020, the Youth Agency of the Foundation Archimedes) is providing materials for youth workers mostly in a dedicated portal Mitteformaalne. Until 2019, they also provided training activities. They have also publicised the special issue on intercultural topics in youth work in youth work magazine MIHUS.
Mondo had a network of film clubs targeted to young (16-30) people, who were interested in showing documentary films in their schools, community, networks on global issues. In 2019, there were a variety of educational films available for free on their website.
Keskkonnaharidus mediates information on environmental education opportunities in Estonia. The portal aims to support teachers and nature enthusiasts by providing information on nature centres, educational programmes and educational materials.
The HeaTeoTöö päev (HTT) is a new innovative activity for young people, local communities and enterprises. Young people are encouraged to work for a day and the money earned is donated to the development cooperation causes. Young people can also initiate joint activities to raise money. The programme started in 2014 and is ongoing. The organisation in charge - the non-governmental organisation Mondo – is partly supported by public funding, however much of the funding comes also from fundraising activities, private support, etc.
The non-governmental organisation Mondo is supported by public funding from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and has created a portal for educators Maailmakool, which is also developing and promoting campaigns and information activities targeted at youth, specifically in schools.
In 2015, the youth climate campaign was held with the aim of youth taking part in shaping climate policy in Estonia.
Grass-root campaigns – the non-governmental organisation Mondo has implemented the project “Grass-root Campaigns” in 2013-2014 aimed at raising youth awareness about basic rights and active citizenship through encouraging local youth-led campaigns and helping young people with the creation of films, materials, etc. Young people receive also training about social campaigns.
Youth information belongs to the area of responsibility of the Ministry of Education and Research. A central organisation responsible for the system of Rajaleidja centres is the Education and Youth Board, which also implements youth policy, including developing the provision of youth information in Estonia.
Contact points for youth and youth information and counselling structures
Youth information has been recognized as a specific field in youth work since 2001. There was a separate system of youth information centres, which in 2014 were merged with career guidance centres. In 2016 there were 16 centralised publicly financed centres in all counties. The regional youth guidance centres, called Pathfinder centres (Rajaleidja), provide information and counselling for young people up to 26 years old.
There are also dedicated websites available for the provision of youth information:
- National portal
- Web-sites providing information for youth, e.g. Rajaleidja or Teeviit
- Regional youth information portals such as Põlva Noored or Noorteinfo
The centres and youth information activities are receiving annual public funding.
There have been no additional key initiatives to specifically disseminate information on global issues among young people besides the campaigns noted in section Youth-targeted information campaigns on global issues in Estonia.