Statement by Paul Rowe, CEO Educate Together
‘On a personal note, and on behalf of the Board and members of Educate Together, I would like to applaud the students taking part in today’s Global Climate Strike.
It is now an imperative on all in education, both nationally and world-wide, irrespective of school model or patronage that we prepare today’s generation of young people for the world into which they are growing up. We must ensure that the curriculum, methodologies and content in our schools and colleges provide them with the skills, tools and knowledge that they need to ensure that that world is safe and sustainable for all.
We as adults have a responsibility to support them and to take a stand on these issues.
A modern school ethos must be centred on listening to and engaging with the student voice and enabling young people to express their concerns for themselves, their generation and their future. Today’s kind of civic action is in line with such universal ethical aims. In second-level and secondary schools, this ethos must be founded on the principles of student-centred and democratic education.
Supporting and encouraging student voices and valuing active citizenship is central to what Educate Together is aiming to achieve in its schools and we are proud of the students for their leadership in taking action on this important and urgent issue.
This protest is firmly grounded in the curriculum taught in our primary and secondary schools. It is reflective of active learning approaches to teaching and learning that is paramount in our network. Technically, it links directly to the Activating Equality and Activation and Responsibility and Stewardship strand units of the Learn Together curriculum taught at primary level. At second level, it corresponds with the strands of ‘Power and Participation’ and ‘Global Citizenship Education’ on the Junior Cycle Curriculum and the strands of ‘Pleasure, Purpose and the Meaning of Life’ and ‘Values in Action’ that are on the Senior Cycle Curriculum.
We aim to facilitate learners in developing conscious, considered and informed values, as well as the skills to discuss, refine and utilise these values, enabling learners to become caring and active members of a culturally diverse society. We think that these are objects that are shared with all responsible educators, irrespective of nationality, patronage, culture or religion.
At Educate Together we believe that any public protests in which our schools take part should be learner-centred – that the speaking platform should be there for students to use, to make their voice heard and to express their frustrations, hopes and determination. Their call to action must be heard and acted upon. Climate change will impact these young people in unprecedented ways – it is their future and it is they that we need to listen to today.’
#fridaysforfuture #schoolstrike4climate #climatestrike