On November 23, 2018, was held in San Remo, Italy, the Kick off workshop “Education Inspiring Peace – from fragments and silos to a systemic approach”, organized within the activity framework of UPPER project (Systemic Upscaling of Peace Education PRactices), and financed by the European Union (Erasmus+). The project has been developed by a partnership between the Fondation des Régions Européennes pour la Recherche, l’Education et la Formation (FREREF), the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (UNIMORE), the Ministry of Education and Employment of Malta (MEDE), the European School Heads Association (ESHA) and the International Institute of Humanitarian Law (IIHL). Claudio Dondi, member of IRELAC and of the IIHL, was one of the organizers of the project.
The project UPPER aims at bringing the values of peace, intercultural dialogue and civic participation to the core of educational policies and school practicies and producing significant improvements in skills for youngsters in Europe, by scalling up results of existing practices. The project proposes an analytical review of 50 good practices worlwide. It wants to do a comparative approach for public policies and good practices at school levels by the establishment of a Permanent International Laboratory in San Remo (Italy) to enhance research, policy collaboration and cross-country uptake and mainstreaming of good practices elements.
The workshop was the opportunity to present a synopsis of good practices identified by the UPPER partners and open discussions to find out strategies for capacity building, introduce the concept of international collaborative benchmarking, and propose the activity plan of the Laboratory, to be established in San Remo. Peace education is a major concern for all countries in the world. It is important to open perspectives for living together peacefully, through education. The project aims at emplifying the outcomes of good practices and motivating teachers, schools and policy-makers in education to implement more systematically Peace and interculturalism-related activities.
Members of IRELAC present at the workshop: Claudio Dondi (co-organizer of the project), Christian Ghymers (President of IRELAC), Martine Tassin and Clara Descamps.
IRELAC, as a network for relations between Latin America and the European Union could play an important role in the project: the organization could bridge the gap between the project and Latin America, where good practices are to be identified. On the other side, IRELAC would benefit from the project by identifying good practices in Peace education in regions of the world and discussing them for implementation with Latin American partners. IRELAC truly believes that Peace building through education is important for shaping a more peaceful world.
IRELAC is already working on further developments for the project. Martine Tassin, member of IRELAC and President of Cellure Epicure (an organization that aims to promote cultural educational methods), has organized a meeting with Belgian representatives in order to discuss and develop additional contracts and partnership with Belgium.