“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." - Nelson Mandela.
Should there be one single sentence which could embody this year’s OBESSU Summer School “Learning for Life”, it would read as the above.
In a Europe faced with a range of modern issues, from inequality and poverty to extremism, 32 participants representing 21 OBESSU Member, Candidate and Affiliate Organisations (plus other School Student Unions from other European countries) gathered Ljubljana (Slovenia) to discover and unearth the most pressing challenges our societies face, and to create solutions, implemented through education, to combat these problems.
The Summer School, co-funded by the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe ran for five days, organised and reviewed in great detail and to a great extent by the Team of Facilitators; Lasse (OBESSU Board) Laura (OBESSU Pool of Trainers) Jane (from ISSU) and Edvardas (from LMS).
Through an exploration of international institutional policies, structures and processes, participants could see clearly where priorities in education lay, and what was currently being done to eradicate the problems seen by large scale entities, such as the EU and the Council of Europe.
Participants, through self-reflection, peer-to-peer dialogue, and immersive simulations analysed the world around them and the downfalls within their society and were challenged to distinguish links and relations between educational curricula and approaches, and the social repercussions of the educational system. They found that many of the problems they identified were not being tackled within international institutions.
Participants questioned their own capacity to make a change in the fields of educational approaches and the social dimension of education. This reflection was carried out on three levels; local, national, and international. Through an intensive brainstorm, participants strove to answer questions such as "What could a school student council do?", "Has your national student union worked on anything similar to this before?" and "Who are the international stakeholders in this issue?".
The main results of the Summer School have been an deep analysis of the state of the art of educational approaches in European secondary education and VET, and a ready-to-use resource pack, mainly based on audio-visual tools, for promoting awareness raising at national level on the main topics tackled during the Summer School; these tools will support also OBESSU’s advocacy work at European level.
We want to thank all the participants in the Summer School for their great contribution, and our Member Organisation DOS, that helped OBESSU in the organisation of the event.
Written by: Jane Hayes Nally, Summer School team member / ISSU
If you have any more questions about this event, please contact the Board of OBESSU: firstname.lastname@example.org