What is Global citizenship education?

Global citizenship education (GCED) is a form of civic learning, involving active participation by students in projects addressing global issues of social, political, economic, or environmental nature. The two main elements of GCE are worldwide consciousness and global competencies. The aim is to empower learners of all ages so that they can take active part resolving global challenges faced by people and become proactive contributors to a more peaceful, tolerant, inclusive and secure world. GCED wants to nurture respect for all, build a sense of belonging to shared humanity as well as help learners become responsible and active global citizens.

With globalisation, the general public’s recognition of global interdependence has led to a higher interest in global citizenship in education. 19th and 20th centuries saw modern schooling oriented to education for the nation-state. However, in the 21st century, citizenship is understood in global terms, so that schools can improve individual nations’ competitiveness in the global sector. Numerous universities have responded to the need for a globally-oriented education by sending their students to study abroad in increasing numbers. Some have also declared that in no time, it will become a compulsory degree requirement.

Some governments also promote GCE for the solidarity of society. People migrating across national borders mean that the diversity of ethnic, religious, and linguistic groups, has raised questions about citizenship, human rights, democracy, and education.

There are numerous institutions and organisations around the world, advancing towards Global Citizenship Education. Some are:

Peace First: It is a non-profit organisation based in the United States. It has a programme in which youth volunteers work with children to design and implement community projects in a participatory way. Their aim is to develop social and emotional skills of self- awareness, empathy, inclusivity and relationships. It has been implemented in rural areas of Colombia through a partnership between local governments and Colombian NGOs.

Ana G. Mendez University: It is a non-profit institution of higher education, aiming to promote cultural, social and economic development as well as the well-being of Puerto Rican society, along with other Hispanic communities outside of Puerto Rico. It offers educational opportunities for the benefit of the communities it serves.

The Association of Korean Universities in Support of UNAI Korea: Established in 2012, it is an active non-profit organisation adhering to the principles of UNAI. It promotes higher education and global citizenship education through collaborations with institutions of higher education and research both in Korea and overseas.

Shahjadi Jemim Rahman

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