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Sarah Carrica-Ochoa, Professor of the School of Education and Psychology

A day of action for quality Education

Fri, 24 Jan 2020 12:19:00 +0000 Published in Navarra Newspaper

The Education is a human right, a public good and a collective responsibility. This is how UNESCO begins its text on its website commemorating the International Day of the Education. Today, January 24, is the second year that it celebrates the role of Education in the search for peace; in the development of just, resilient and sustainable societies -in its three dimensions: economic, social and environmental-; in final, in the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals development . Yes, all the goals of development, not just one. Today, we are reminded that Education is the tool through which we can develop our full potential at staff and social level. This means improving and fighting for situations of poverty, various inequalities, health, environment, relationships and many other issues that would continue this list.

For all this, not just any Education will do, but we are talking about a quality Education . In the message launched this year by Audrey Azoulay, Director General of UNESCO, there is a call for action by all actors, at all levels, to make this right a reality for all people. In view of this - and I could not agree more with agreement with this wish - the following question arises: What is a quality Education ?

I think that talking about a quality Education implies talking about three main things.

The first, train to people to choose their own vital project . The Education has the task of guaranteeing people access to lives worth living, as the award Prince of Asturias Award for Social Sciences, Martha Nussbaum, would say. And a life worth living, beyond political, economic and ideological debates that enrich but sometimes divert attention to non-educational issues, is a life chosen by a person who is capable of deciding his or her vital project , that is, who knows himself or herself, knows his or her options and possibilities, and based on this decides what is best for him or herself and his or her environment.

The second is to demand a high level of content. Maybe once it has been useful to talk about minimum curricula, but nowadays it is certainly not useful. Let us not be satisfied with our children having basic knowledge. Celebrating this day for the second year is a sample that has cost us to make visible the role of the Education in the development of societies -surprising that it has not been until 2019-. However, its value is being recognized, and although we have improved a lot and there are hopeful data that show it, it seems that we still have to believe that all people deserve the best. Demanding is the best we can do, in the sense of trusting in people's capabilities, without limiting their possibilities and therefore their rights.

Finally, to bet on the inclusive Education , without conditions. I understand inclusive Education as recognizing diversity, encouraging the participation of the whole community in the process of teaching-learning. Inclusive Education is not an option, but a condition and the path to social inclusion.

In final, the quality Education is one that seeks on the one hand to improve the quality of life of people (through processes of empowerment, training and relationship) and on the other hand, social cohesion (through citizen participation and co-responsibility). It is a Education that with this double purpose, individual and social, contributes to a good community development .

Returning to Azoulay's message of taking action, let us hope that we do so as an exercise of collective responsibility, seeking to guarantee a quality Education for all people, of all ages and from all places. Because, as it is often said, quality Education is a right and a duty for everyone. So let us celebrate this day, let us act for it and hopefully one year, sooner rather than later, it will serve to celebrate quality Education for all people and not to defend and remind us of its necessity.