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Global Education Pact – A Thousand Mile Journey

February 12, 2024

The Global Education Pact (GEP) sets long-term goals. It is visibly linked to the aspiration for quality education, number 4 of the seventeen United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030. And we do not need to make complicated reflections to see the relationship of the Compact with any of the other sixteen SDGs.

Says the Edelvives Foundation, when it sees the synergy between the Pact and the Development Goals:

“This is not just a series of inspiring or interesting events, but a call to initiate a formidable and challenging process: to place education as the key to a better world”.

This is a “long-term” objective , not because it is not urgent, which it is, and very much so. But because achieving it is not something we can fix in time, much less in a short period of time.

Sometimes I think it is an unattainable goal, a utopia.Is it feasible, is it realistic, to propose to reach a great educational pact at a global level, which will lead us to understand ourselves as a great village that educates present and future generations? The United Nations certainly does not lack ambition with its “universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and improve the lives and prospects of people everywhere”.

It is neither necessary nor essential to address all objectives at the same time. The PEG offers seven perspectives and being able to approach it from seven points of view helps us to better connect purpose with reality. It may be enough for us to achieve a certain degree of satisfaction, contrasted in the educational community, for the achievement of some of them. Discovering some achievements, or why not, some failures, can be a clear sign of a firm option for a transformative education.

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a first step.”

Lao-Tze seems to have said, and experience confirms it.

The San José school in Medina del Campo (Valladolid) has joined the Pact and, in its reflection, a group of educators says about the sixth proposal:

“it is difficult to find the time and the best disposition to talk to students. Sometimes students who “don’t make a fuss” go unnoticed …”.

These small observations introduce big changes.

Stella Maris School, Almeria, Spain, says:

“we set to work in groups and thought of actions that would allow us to work on both the objectives of the PEG and our strategic plan. In this way, it all makes sense and is not seen as “something else”.”

Indeed, membership in the PEG cannot be an add-on, nor is it a question of adding student activities.

The Blanca de Castilla School, Burgos, has also made its analysis. They conclude by seeing aspects that are more developed, such as putting the person at the center; others that need to be deepened, such as making the family responsible; and some that need to be clarified.

These three schools belong to the Jesuitinas Educational Foundation of Spain.

Maria Teresa Pinto FI