GCED and Authentic and Inclusive Youth Participation

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© UNESCO

UN Secretary General’s Global Education First Initiative, Youth Advocacy Group 'As a young person, what I want is inclusivity and authenticity of youth participation within the Global Citizenship Education (GCED) processes'.

This was the statement raised by Rolando Jr Villamero, YAG member from the Philippines, when asked about what is needed in bringing GCED forward during the panel on Global Citizenship Education: Lessons and Visions from South Korean Experiences at the National, Regional, and Global Levels organized by the Asia Pacific Center of Education for International Understanding (APCEIU) as part of the pre-activities of the 2015 World Education Forum. Rolando Jr joined the panel of GCED experts to critically discuss the commitments, challenges, and possibilities for GCED. 

It must be noted that the Youth Advocacy Group of the UN Global Education First Initiative has been instrumental in ensuring that young people around the world become GCED advocates themselves. Through social media and ICT, and the youth advocacy toolkit, the YAG has been providing avenues of young people to understand the concept of GCED and allow them to practice this in their respective communities. 

In the panel, Rolando Jr shared his insights in participating the GCED Youth Workshop in Busan. He emphasized, 'Books and classroom lessons are not enough. In order to learn GCED more substantially and more meaningfully, young people need immersive and practical experiences'. 

The other panelists significantly highlighted that in order to push GCED forward, concrete initiatives should be undertaken such as teachers training, partnerships with civil society, and utilization of ICT. They recognized that although there seems to be a challenge in terms of creating a universal understanding of GCED, it is clear that the concept is all about going beyond teaching the hard skills. GCED involves the teaching of the soft skills such as intercultural understanding and respect of diversity.