“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Nelson Mandela
The Director of Learning at Endeavour College recently visited the United Nations in Geneva and we are fortunate to share in the experience. The following is an account and the takings from her trip.
Recently I had the opportunity to visit the United Nations in Geneva. I expected a tourist style visit but what I walked away with was a sense of connected purpose as an educator. Education was a clear focus – even the reading material in the foyer included a discussion of global issues facing education. I read with interest, the same issues that our College were also wrestling with. They were simultaneously the very real wrestlings of our partner schools in Indonesia. All of these places in their own contexts were striving for the same goal:
Universal Declaration of Human Rights: Article 26
(1) Everyone has the right to education.
(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.
(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.
The work of the United Nations is informed heavily by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Globally, the United Nations and UNESCO work to develop frameworks and goals for the declaration to be realised. They are wrestling with the impact of technology, the changing nature of work, the development of capacity of countries to work together to solve problems that impact our world and the responsibility of developing countries to support other countries in the pursuit of “education for all”.
In Indonesia, we met many educators in schools and in the supporting departments who were passionate about education and the progress of their students and country. The conversations revolved around access to tertiary study, future employment and self-sustainability.
Conversations at Endeavour College involve the very same issues, but extend to the lives and education of others in our world. Everyone in our community benefits when we gain an appreciation for what we have and the subsequent responsibility we have to every other person we meet in our schools both here, in Indonesia and the rest of the world. To visit Indonesia, to experience their reality first hand was a privilege. It was also a challenge. To be able to hear the global conversation about the role and place of education was also a privilege and a challenge.
The challenge is before us all, no matter where we are in the world. How do we best prepare our students for their place in the world as adults? What will our action be? Our capacity as a country, as a branch of the Lutheran Church, as a school and as individuals is immense. This privilege is also our responsibility. We are compelled to act for our world, our partners in Indonesia and for every student in our College community. Meeting the challenges of the future will need us to work together, so that change can be informed, beneficial, sustainable and above all in the best interests of all of our students.
If God has been generous with you, he will expect you to serve him well. But if he has been more than generous, he will expect you to serve him even better. Luke 12:48
Director of Learning