How Education can Contribute to Healing and Well-Being: The Voices and Perspectives of Global Adolescents
The 2021 IF20 theme is “A Time to Heal”, a call for a collective reflection on the global challenges confronting humanity during COVID-19 pandemic, not only in terms of losing human lives to the virus, but also revealing the myriad social malaises suffered by peoples and communities, not least the structural violence and systemic dehumanisation, and their symptoms such as poverty (material and spiritual), discrimination, divisiveness, violent antagonism, and the violation of ecological integrity.
Hence the IF20 Forum’s focus on healing aims to unite global communities and forge a robust “WE” by “connecting souls”, and recognising the dignity in our common humanity, located within the planetary cosmos, a greater wholeness. This moral reimagination of collective WE-ness is a key to healing the broken world, including making whole, on a personal level, our bodies, hearts, minds, and spirits, as well as on a collective level, our human and systemic interactions, and where need be, reconciling former enmities and restoring all beings divine and sacred in nature.
A Time to Heal calls for all to take responsibility for our collective future. For the IF20 Education Working Group (IF20 Edu WG), it is important that at such time we engage with global adolescents (aged 14 – 18), listen to their voices, and integrate their perspectives in re-imagining post-COVID educational transformation. To this end, we propose a series of regional listening / dialogue / consultation meetings where our partners and worldwide collaborators will intentionally create safe and caring spaces to engage adolescents through online and/or face-to-face conversations and discussions
to explore broadly the following questions adaptable to the specific local contexts:
During the COVID-19 pandemic:
How has your education, learning and life been impacted?
What has helped you (when schools have been closed and learning has moved mainly online) to stay motivated, safe and connected with others?
How has your education (teachers, classes, activities, etc. …) helped you and others (who may feel distress, anxious, sad and/or disconnected, and/or have suffered violence, exclusion or poverty)?
What support have you received from your communities (e.g. faith, religious, village, family…) as you and others struggle with difficulties and challenges due to the disruption of education?
What would you like education to focus on?
What kinds of change would you like to see in your school and in the way education is provided?
What support would you like your communities (e.g. faith, religious, village, family…) to provide to nurture your learning and well-being?
Between March and May 2021, each participating partner/collaborator will organise workshop(s) with adolescents to explore these questions in dialogue with educators and interfaith community leaders, and where possible and relevant, host a regional webinar, featuring adolescents’ voices and perspectives.
To capture the diverse perspectives shared, the GHFP Research Institute’s team will help collect adolescents’ voices and perspectives, analyse them in the light of literature on healing, well-being, and spirituality in education. These insights will be summarised into policy recommendations to be integrated in our existing Policy Brief on inclusive and caring education.
The finalised 2021 IF20 Edu WG Policy Brief on educational transformation towards healing and well being will be presented to G20 Leaders Summit in Rome to be held on 30-31 October 2021.
Working Group Areas
- Religious Literacy