9.4 Raising awareness about global issues
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Main target groups:
- Pupils and pedagogical staff in kindergartens, primary and secondary schools
- Students and academic staff at Universities
The State educational program for ISCED 3A formulates the following goals related to Global education objectives:
- to acquire the basis of general education provided by the school
- to have the interest and the need to learn outside schools
- to acquire and use effective learning strategies
- to acquire an adequate level of communication skills and cooperation
- respect for the others and responsible relationship to each other and to their health.
School subjects where global issues are integrated: History, Geography and Citizenship education.
Only few secondary schools have opened separate subject in the framework of their autonomy.
There are several obligatory cross-curricular themes integrated in all school subjects, some of them reflecting topics of global education e.g. Multicultural education, Media Literacy education, Environmental education and Protection Life and Health.
The State educational programmes for vocational education sets out even more challenging objectives similar to those of the global education:
- to acquire social and civic competences,to gain and strengthen respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and principles laid down in the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms,
- encourage pupils to better understand the world in which they live and the necessity of sustainable development,
- develop free, critical and independent thinking of pupils, their judgment and decision-making, leading to the assumption of responsibility of pupils for their thinking, decision-making, behaviour and feeling,
- creating respect for the living and non-living nature, protecing the environment and understanding the global problems of humanity,
- lead pupils to actively participate in civic life and cooperate in the development of democracy.
Thanks to the financial support of the SlovakAID Program, many NGOs received grants for projects in which they carried out educational activities directly at schools.
As an example, Centre for environmental and ethical education Živica (Centrum pre environmentálnu a etickú výchovu Živica) implements a project called Global Education in cooperation with Slovak branch of People in Need NGO, PDCS, and Faculty of Education of Matej Bel University.
IUVENTA – Slovak Youth Institute implements an accredited programme called Global Education. The aim of the programme is to deepen the understanding of global topics in graduates through the development of key competencies such as the ability to think critically, express one's own opinion, work in a team or resolve conflicts.
- youth workers
- youth leaders
- youth volunteers
- representatives of local governments
- workers with marginalized and disadvantaged youth groups.
IUVENTA, as one of the actors in the field of education, strengthens the implementation of these key topics in non-formal education, for example by conducting workshops on Agenda 2030: sustainable development, environmental issues, human rights, inclusion and participation. IUVENTA and several key actors in the field of formal and non-formal education, participated in a study visit to the Camões – Institute for Cooperation and Language in Portugal in March 2019, to exchange best practices and information in the field of global education and to establish deeper cooperation that would enable better implementation of Global Education in Slovakia. The meeting was organized and financed by the SlovakAID in cooperation with the Global Education Network Europe.
Raising awareness about global issues today, takes place on many levels and on different platforms and is carried out by large number of actors in Slovakia.
The overarching framework for raising awareness about global issues is the Agenda 2030 and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals. These have been created under the auspices of United Nations in a wide and global participatory process from the public, including youth. The process in itself has been one wide and impactful awareness raising campaign, which continues and will remain active throughout the implementation period of the SDGs, until year 2030.
EU level campaigns and awareness raising activities about global issues have been taking place most of all as part of Development Education and Awareness Raising programme of the European Commission.
The programme has produced some quite significant and impactful campaigns, as for instance:
The first social media campaign “Shared Journeys” opens the migration stories of five young people. Active young Youtuber Evert Poom and social media marketer Kristjaana Mere share their emigration experience and reveal why they returned to Estonia. The stories of coming to live in Estonia are shared by three young Estonian-speaking people from different backgrounds – a professional footballer Zakaria Beglarišvili, Maria Angelina Lasprilla, who has lived in Estonia for 12 years and works in the technology company Pipedrive, and Narong Lasuai from Thailand, who runs a restaurant in Estonia.
The Faces of Migration campaign challenges the existing views on migration. Hearing and understanding people’s stories allow for more complex perspectives on people’s lives and why they migrate. The aim of the campaign is to change public dialogue and policies from “us vs them” to the human beings affected by inequalities that are structural and pervasive and how the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are an answer to create a better world for all.
Trade Fair Live Fair has been a 3-year long campaign organized by a number of national Fair Trade parent organizations in Europe. The campaign has achieved increase in awareness of the Agenda 2030 and Sustainable Development Goals, mostly in terms of SDG 12 which frames the need for sustainable production and consumption practices to be implemented and undertaken globally.
For more than twenty years the KinderKulturKarararawane has been offering the world's youth a stage in theatres, cultural centres, festivals and city festivals - and above all in schools. Young artists from the Global South show scenes from their everyday lives, from the lives of their families, peers and neighbourhoods with theatre, dance, circus, acrobatics and music.
These (young) people get face and voice here. In the creative dialogue from peer to peer between the young people from the Global South and the young people in Europe, the foundation stone is laid for a joint commitment to global justice, to move from diverse knowledge to action and thus to become real global citizens.
Start the change! is a project co-funded by the European Commission. It aims to raise European citizens’ awareness of the importance of a joint effort to contribute to ending poverty, protecting the planet and ensuring peace and prosperity for all, as stated in the Sustainable Development Goals by the United Nations.
With the collaboration of teachers and educators, Start the Change! proposes a replicable educational model to increase the engagement of students and young people within their communities. At the same time the project aims to strengthen networks among schools, organisations and local authorities.
The proposed “citizenship paths” invite young people aged 15 to 24 to explore the reality in which they live to reflect on the relationship between migration and global inequality as well as to actively participate in starting the change and supporting sustainable development.
Walk the Global Walk, through Global Citizenship Education (GCE), mobilizes young people as catalysts for transformational change, localizes the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and produces an innovative educational model addressing complexities of the current global agenda. The transferrable and pioneering model, capable of integrating a new understanding of global issues related to migration, climate change and gender equality, will be adapted to the formal education curricula of secondary schools.
Other organizations active in awareness raising work on the European level are CONCORD Europe, Solidar Foundation, Platforma, OXFAM International, Amnesty International Slovakia, Greenpeace Slovakia, Action Aid, Global Education Network Europe, Plan International, World Wildlife Fund Slovakia and Save the Children.
In terms of Slovak actors active in awareness raising on global issues, the most active ones are members of Ambrela – Platform for Development Organizations.
Some notable awareness raising campaigns which have taken place in the last years, are the following:
Yet don't buy it! (No nekúp to!)
No nekúp to! Was a campaign implemented by Ambrela and which pointed out how unsustainable consumer habits in the areas of fashion, food waste and in general sustainable consumption and production. The campaign invited young people as well as the general public, to try and live without either buying new clothes or throwing food away for 30 days.
Let's choose (Vyber si)
Vyber si was also a campaign implemented by Ambrela and yet again concentrating on themes of sustainable production and consumption, mostly in the context of the SDGs and the Slovak Presidency to the European Union.
Some other notable campaigns which have taken place in the past years and created space for youth to encounter or become active in global issues have been Fjuzn Festival, Vyzva k ludskosti, Fridays for Future and Extinction Rebellion, among others.
There is also several annual fundraising campaigns which connect their fundraising with development cooperation, humanitarian aid and youth volunteering in these sectors. Annual fundraising campaigns are implemented by number of organizations which are members of Ambrela, namely UNICEF, People in Peril, eRko - Dobrá novina, Integra Foundation, ADRA Slovakia, among others.
Much of the campaigning and awareness raising about global issues in Slovakia, has been institutionally encouraged and supported namely by SlovakAid and IUVENTA.
The only public authority responsible for disseminating information on global issues among young people is the Slovak Agency for International Development Cooperation. The agency provides information mainly about the funding opportunities for development projects. There is no specific contact point which young people can access to receive information.
General information can be found on different websites, as for example the website of Ambrela – the Slovak Non-Governmental Development Organisations Platform. The platform performs also advocacy work in favour of global topics. It seeks to increase the interest of policymakers, decision-makers, the media and the wider public about development aid. Platform issues a regular Bulletin Development Assistance, information and analytical materials, cooperates with journalists.
The platform also publishes information, booklets and other materials about the different topics which may be of good use also for young people, such as Slovak Guide for Development Volunteering.
Milan Šimečka Foundation website.
Global Education in the Future Teacher Education is a study on the level of implementation of global education in study programs of pedagogical directions at universities in Slovakia. The authors of the publication found out whether and to what extent aspects of global education are present in study programs of pedagogical directions at universities in Slovakia, and where there could be room for improvement in the given situation at present. The study was conducted by the People in Need Slovakia in cooperation with University of Prešov, Matej Bel University, Trnava University, Comenius University and Pavol Jozef Šafárik University.
Long-term training for teachers of ethics and Slovak language. Within the framework of the project "Learning in the Global Contexts 2“, new training was conducted. The training is using the form of so-called blended learning, combination of e-learning and face-to-face training for teachers and teachers of primary and secondary schools as well as future teachers and teachers. The objective of the project is to systematically integrate Global Learning into individual subjects so that individual themes such as climate change, migration or gender equality are easily integrated into the lessons while fully compliant with the State Education Programme. The National Institute for Education is one of the key partners in the implementation of the International Program for the Support of Global Education called Increase and Innovation, funded by the European Commission.
One of the first outputs of the consortium of three non-governmental organizations called Increase and Innovation is to analyze what already exists in Slovakia in this area of education, to deepen the cooperation of relevant institutions, and ultimately to introduce innovative global education methods in Slovak conditions. Several European Union countries, including Latvia, Malta, Cyprus and Greece, should be involved in the international program Increase and Innovation.
Currently, there are two main NGO´s offering the volunteering programmes for young people specifically targeted at young people.
AIESEC offers volunteering programmes in development countries. The development internships are part of the Global Community Development Programme, which is designed for students and fresh graduates. The aim of the internship is to have a positive impact on society and to help solve the global problems of the world.
the GLEN programme where young people can apply for the volunteering in development countries.
The financial support of the actors
SlovakAID Program is the main source of the financial support for non-governmental organisations that is available from public funding. The programme is managed by The Slovak Agency for International Development Cooperation. There are no specific regular calls that would be directly targeted at young people.
The Slovak NGOs in cooperation with foreign partners use also funds of the European Commission under the Development Cooperation Instrument. European projects have higher financial allocations and give the opportunity to work on multi-annual projects with greater impact on target groups.