PASIG CITY, May 9, 2017 – The Department of Education, through the leadership of Secretary Leonor Magtolis Briones, cemented the Philippines’ increasingly vital role in heeding the call to produce global citizens and lifelong learners during the conference on “Global Citizenship: The Role of Education in a Globalised World” on May 8, 2017 in Bologna, Italy.
According to the Education Secretary, “while concepts of global citizenship are fairly straightforward, the condition of the youth in the developed countries differ from those in the developing countries,” thus, reframing citizenship education is necessary due to the perceptions and conceptions of the global as shaped by one’s history and defined by experience.
“The UNESCO global citizenship education framework focuses on what to teach. I believe that we must emphasize, as a starting point, the need to understand our learners more in terms of their conceptions of the global,” Briones pointed out.
The Secretary shared how the engagement of a number of Filipino youth with the world in the last two decades is broadly experienced through the overseas Filipino workers (OFWs). While the financial benefits are indisputable, the social and emotional costs on the youth and their families are similarly significant.
“Because history and experience in engaging the world are important factors, leadership is certainly crucial. Are our leaders able to chart a course of history that is more tolerant, kinder, and more equitable? Are they able to build societies that offer positive engagements for families across the globe? If not, I fear that even with global citizenship education, like Alice [in Wonderland], it will take us all the running we can do to keep in the same place,” Briones posited.
Briones joined ministers from G7 and non-G7 countries, international organizations, civil society organizations, think tanks, academics and international experts to discuss the contribution of education systems to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development through policies for Global Citizenship and Sustainability Education.
Keeping school-age children in school until completion of basic education and expanding the Alternative Learning System (ALS), among the top priorities of DepEd, are reflected in the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’s common development plan of not leaving anyone behind.
Through the conference, the Education Secretary also shared DepEd’s fostering of critical thinking and appreciation of one’s history and culture – important components of promoting global citizenship and sustainable education – among basic education learners. The Bologna conference aims to encourage the strengthening of values, knowledge, competencies, and greater respect and tolerance of each other’s identity among learners to engage the most pressing societal challenges in the global community.