Public Ceremony:»2030 Agenda: the challenge of an education that change the world»
This morning, in the Auditorium of the Palacio de Cibeles, between 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., a number of experts from the world of education, members of government bodies, and representatives from the world of international cooperation and education met with representatives of the most vulnerable groups to discuss the challenges and proposals for achieving Sustainable Development Goal 4 as well as specific educational challenges.
‘2030 Agenda: The Challenge of Education that can Change the World’ sets out the importance of quality, equal and inclusive education for everyone, and has been included in the public agenda to be put into practice in the 2030 Agenda, and to be included in the High-level Political Forum of 2019.
The event was part of the 47th Congress of the International Federation of Fe y Alegría held in Madrid. The congress was made up of three different parts. The first two were internal, while the act on the 1st October at the Palacio de Cibeles included the presence, among others, of Isabel Celaá, Minister for Education, and Juan Pablo de Laiglesia, Secretary of State for International Cooperation and for Ibero-America and the Caribbean, and was open to the public. Various media channels were also present.
The day began at 10 a.m. with a welcome to the more than 200 attendees. This welcome was given by María José Garcíato, a TVE journalist who called the different figures involved in opening the event up to the stage. Daniel Villanueva SJ, Entreculturas Fe y Alegría Spain VP, described the act, stating that “Quality, inclusive and equal education is necessary for eradicating inequalities, and we are pleased that the 2030 Agenda and SDG 4 are involved in this kind of education.’’ Carlos Osoro, Archbishop of Madrid declared, “2030 Agenda is an important beacon of hope.” Antonio Zurita, Managing Director of International Action and Global Citizenship Madrid City Council, emphasized `’‘For another world to be possible we must transplant and translate the SDGs into the fabric of our daily lives’’. Juan Pablo de Laiglesia, Secretary of State for International Cooperation and for Ibero-America and the Caribbean said, “Education is a fundamental right; it is the cornerstone of the 2030 Agenda and is one of the key ways to achieve sustainable development.” And lastly, Isabel Celaá, Minister of Education and Vocational Training, thanked Entreculturas and the Fe y Alegría network for all the work they have done to promote education. She also addressed Fe y Alegría, saying, “Its schools are where the tarmac ends, and it thus shows its commitment to popular education as an element of emancipation and as a way of overcoming poverty and injustice.”
After the opening session, the first round-table discussion took place at 10:45 a.m. Called ‘Challenges and Proposals for Achieving Sustainable Development Goal 4’ its aim is to guarantee inclusive, equal and quality education, and to foster lifelong learning opportunities for everyone around the world. Inclusive, equal, quality education for everyone. The discussion was moderated by Lola Huete Machado, Director of Planeta Futuro – El País, who asked the various participants questions. Aína Calvo, Director of the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation for Development (AECID), spoke about how this education, set out in SDG 4, will change the world, and what its role is in achieving other Sustainable Development Goals. Federico Buyolo, Managing Director of the Office of the High Commissioner for the 2030 Agenda, spoke about the commitments made by countries with regard to education and to the Sustainable Development Agenda. Ana Millán talked of her experience as the Director of the Accenture Foundation, and how companies can contribute to achieving these goals by offering equal access to professional and technical quality training to acquire the necessary skills that lead to good jobs and entrepreneurship. Fernando Mudarra, Managing Director of Ayuda en Acción – and a representative of the Global Campaign for Education – explained how an international network like GCE is contributing to achieving SDG 4. 2030 Agenda and SDG 4 also set out specific goals in other regions of the world, such as Ibero-America. Mariano Jabonero, General Secretary of the Organization of Ibero-American States (OEI) spoke on this topic, answering a question regarding the main educational challenges in a region like Ibero-America that is so diverse, yet has so many common ties and features.
During question time, Andrés Rodríguez Amayuelas, President of the Coordination of Development Organisations-Spain, spoke of the role that civil society plays in the achievement of 2030 Agenda and SDG 4, why its role is important, and the challenges it faces. Roxana Rosales Migliore, School Counsellor at the Colegio Blanca Paloma of the SAFA Foundation, asked what role education plays and what it needs to do to meet SDG 4.
The second round-table discussion, moderated by Cadena SER journalist, Nicolás Castellano, which began at 12:30 p.m., was called ‘Leaving No One Behind. The Most Vulnerable People and Groups’: refugees and forced migrants, women and very young girls, people with disabilities, those in contexts of social exclusion, and child poverty in the world as well as in Spain. Tom Smolich, SJ, International Director of the Jesuit Refugee Service was entrusted with explaining why education in situations of emergency and conflict is particularly important, and what the main obstacles are when it comes to complying with this right to education for children, young refugees and displaced people. Gloria Angulo, a consultant in international development, and an expert in education and women’s rights talked of the main obstacles and disadvantages faced by girls and young women in getting quality, inclusive, equal education. Gehiomara Cedeño, from the Fe y Alegría Federation Coordinating Team, referred to the main obstacles identified by Fe y Alegría regarding people with disabilities and their access to quality, inclusive and equal education. Consuelo Vélaz de Medrano, Managing Director of Evaluation and Territorial Cooperation, reflected on the role that education must play to reverse this situation and not leave anyone behind.
During question time, Juanita Bagés, Professor at the Faculty of Fine Arts at the Complutense University of Madrid, and participant in ‘Gazes That Migrate’, the joint Service-Learning Programme with Entreculturas, asked the following question, ‘What can the educational system do, not only at university level, to encourage commitment to the global community, to truly internalize – from specific experience – a spirit of leaving no one behind?’ In addition, Macarena Céspedes, Director of Educo España reflected on the participation of children and adolescents as a key strategy for leaving no one behind and asked the following question, ‘Children and young people are, without a doubt, the most important collective, and the goal of SDG 4. How can they participate in achieving it?’
After the two round-table discussions, the master of ceremonies, María José García, gave the floor to the two speakers who brought the event to a close. Irene Ortega, Citizenship Desk Coordinator at Entreculturas concluded that, ‘Entreculturas Fe y Alegría Spain and the entire Fe y Alegría Popular Education Movement are full of people who are totally convinced that education is essential for changing the world. And not just any education, but a transformative kind of education which, in the context of our world, can only be an Education for Global Citizenship.
Carlos Fritzen SJ, Coordinator of the International Fe y Alegría Federation showed his concern for cuts to budgets earmarked for cooperation in the area of education, “We would like to call on all countries that, over the past years, have drastically cut budgets earmarked for cooperation in the area of development, and that they look at the numbers. The less money they give, the more poverty will increase.”