Fundamental Rights of Equality in Education
Our project is called Fundamental Rights of Equality in Education (FREE) and it aims to get our students to look at school in a broader context than they do normally. All four schools experience some level of lack of engagement and drop out from school. Consequently, we want to make our students see more of what lies behind the different documents that state the right to education, and also think more about everything that develops from such a right. As stated in the UN Declaration of Human Rights, Article 26, every person has the right to an education. This is also mentioned in the European Commission's Human Rights and Democratic Governance document.
We want our students to work on what is implied in these rights, and also see the value of said rights, as well as recognizing the duties that follow. The four schools that participate in the project all have some common denominators that we base the project on, such as lack of engagement in the school activities at times, drop outs (in small or greater numbers) and a view that the school is a service more than a stepping stone to achieve the best of your abilities through engagement and work. We also see some important issues regarding equality of rights on various levels, and we want the students will find out more about this as part of the project. Our overall aim is to heighten the students' awareness of both similarities and differences between the four school communities, and use this as a basis for creating school activities that are student run, together with their European peers. These activities will differ from school to school, as they are to be partly decided by the student groups, but also due to the fact that each country has its specific educational system and curricula. In the end, the numerous activities will become parts of a wholesome project. The activities will be carried out in the four schools, and then showcased and discussed in Belgium where delegates from each school present the work that has been realized. In Belgium the final year of the project, we plan a model EYP, where the students participate as delegates from their countries, work on a new declaration on equality in education, and bring this proposition back to their schools and share it with the rest of the school community. The aim of the project is to raise awareness in all students in the four schools of their rights, but also of the obligations that follow these rights. The methodologies used will differ from activity to activity, but they include peer to peer work, discussions and debates, individual presentations, mood boards, evaluations of the work that has been carried out, and reflections on improvements that can be done. We will involve the students in the decision making as a big part of the project. This is to develop their abilities of critical thinking, both as an important factor for their future lives in general, but also specifically to prepare them for the model EYP in Ieper spring 2021. The project's long-time aim is that the students use this as a basis for their engagement in school activities, but also that they share their new understanding of the fundamental rights that lie as a background in their nations' educational systems.