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Engaging Youth in Planning Education for Social Transformation
an article by UNESCO and Plan with Youth Website

IIEP [International Insitute for Educational Planning is organizing its annual policy forum from 16 to 18 October in Paris (France) that will focus on youth engagement in educational planning and policy-making processes. The event will create dialogue between young people, policy-makers, practitioners and researchers to promote meaningful youth engagement within different levels of formal and non-formal education and training sectors.

Young girl, member of the Parliament of Students in South Sudan. ©UN Photo/Albert Gonzalez Farran

click on photo to enlarge

Despite considerable progress, many countries are not on target to meet the six Education for All goals by 2015. Education and training systems in many countries are failing in their mandate to provide quality education that is both universally accessible and relevant to youth in their new and changing environments. Consequently, many young people have become disenfranchized with their education systems.

Youth are far from defeated however, as many of them have become informal yet active participants in the creative learning and educational planning process. There is also growing recognition amongst global and national institutions that young people are key partners in ensuring continued progress.

The opening of the forum is set to coincide with the launch of the 2012 UNESCO Global Monitoring Report (GMR) on Youth, Work and Skills, and will include presentations from UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, Forest Whitaker and winner of the International Children’s Peace Prize 2011, Chaeli Mycroft, panel discussions amongst youth, researchers and policy-makers, and an interactive web platform to promote follow-up discussions between youth and key stakeholders from around the world. The event will explore three key themes:

1. Youth engagement in planning education for conflict transformation and peace building.

2. Strengthening young peoples’ skills and opportunities for civic engagement within formal and non-formal education systems.

3. Enhancing the relevance of education systems for young people in their transition into employment.

Partner organizations of the project include the World Assembly of Youth, two UNESCO Chairs, Laval University, the International Fund for Agricultural Development.

(Click here for a French version of this article)


Question(s) related to this article:

Peace education at the United Nations, how does it work?

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[Editor's note]: This is a continuation of the article by Oliver Rizzi Carlson, Culture of Peace Advocacy at the UN.

In the historic, international hallways of the United Nations, multitudes of people from every country in the world are busy going to meetings, addressing agenda items relevant to their governments and organizations, and making contacts. Lists are set, events are scheduled… agendas are largely inherited and predictable, presenting many issues and objectives that people have been working toward for a long time: goals of peace, prosperity, equality, justice. And yet, agendas still provide an incredible space to speak about the process by which those desires are achievable. Most of the time, documents just fall short of that transformative element, seeming to be longing for it. Peace education is seldom included; but once mentioned, it is immediately recognized for its relevance and importance. The “whats” are many and detailed in the world of international conference-making; the expertise of the “how” is a welcome newcomer to the discussion.

Advocating for peace education in the midst of governments, international organizations and even NGOs, few of which promote peace education directly, appears as a lonely journey. But as soon as one starts to speak about it, people’s eyes light up, new ideas and proposals flow, and diverse groups gather to talk about it further – it seems the momentum is building very quickly to create a real consciousness about peace education at the international and institutional level. Many also say it is “refreshing” to see youth doing this work. . ...more.

This report was posted on October 12, 2012.