Institutional Greeting

THE EDUCATING CITY: CITY OF PEACE AND OPPORTUNITIES

As Gandhi said, «there is no road towards peace; peace is the road» and here is where education plays a key role: it acts as the paving stones that build the road and make the journey smoother. Educating Cities not only recognise the paramount importance of education in building spaces for change, but we also know that this road cannot be travelled alone: far-reaching partnerships between all walks of life are necessary. A huge collective effort is needed to create growth opportunities that revolve around the well-being of their citizens, where rights are guaranteed and opportunities are created for everyone in order to eliminate inequalities, which are one of the problems that threaten peace and the free and dignified development of all people.

We need anchorages that firmly take root, but we also need to have reference points on the horizon so that we know where we should be heading, even more so in historical moments of instability and uncertainties such as today’s. However, uncertainties aren’t always negative. Doubt is the cornerstone of learning and the starting line. We need more critical thinking, curiosity and imagination to bring back the power of education as a tool that allows us to convey key values and build cities of peace, respect, justice and dialogue. We’ve had to learn that human rights aren’t negotiable, while international law reminds us that governments don’t grant them, but do have an obligation to protect, develop and monitor their implementation. Therefore, the fundamental right to education also entails the obligation to be educational. This is probably one of the most important historical milestones and calls for ongoing and collective work. The Educating Cities have known this for a long time, and we have gradually weaved an ever larger and more robust global network.

The first institutional body for contact with citizens is local government. Major global challenges begin here and we can’t be a latecomer. We must make the seed germinate at its root and understand, now more than ever before, that education doesn’t exist just as a reality of technical or methodological study, but also as a global concept that entails other issues related to history, inclusion, inequalities, accessibility, peaceful and harmonious living, diversity and social cohesion, among many others.

With all these precedents, and in the current global climate, it might seem naïve to speak of the importance of peace in the face of violence, of education in the face of exclusion, or of caring over individualism, as not only is it not utopian, but it’s indispensable. In many respects, peace and education share the same semantic field: cultivating peace calls for respect, observation, learning and imagination, as does education. These are unique tools of change that we have at our disposal. On 30 November, we’re holding the International Day of the Educating City and we, as Educating Cities, are committed to looking for, imagining and generating opportunities and spaces to grow.

Pau Gonzàlez Val
Deputy Mayor for Education, Barcelona City Council
Delegated Chairman, IAEC

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¡Guadalupe 🇲🇽 se suma a Ciudades Educadoras!
Con el propósito de consolidar acciones sustantivas, sustentables e integrales a problemáticas comunes, se suma a las Ciudades Educadoras de América Latina.

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Creix la nova xarxa d'espais familiars de criança municipals. Educar les criatures és una tasca tan important que calen més suports públics diversos per fer comunitat amb la petita infància al centre!

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Us esperem al Cèntric per escoltar a Begoña Roman i reflexionar plegades sobre educació.
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  • IAEC
  • International Association of Educating Cities
  • Avinyó 15, 4ª planta, 08002 Barcelona.
  • Phone: +34 933 427 720
  • edcities@bcn.cat
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