Parental engagement in Happy Schools

Parents International has long been a supporter of the Happy Schools initiative of UNESCO. On 4 October, we had the opportunity to contribute to their webinar timed for the eve of World Teacher Day. The reason is the same as for our joining the Let’s Care project: we belive that feeling safe and happy at school is a key factor in preventing early school leaving and preserving the joy of learning – a key for educating lifelong learners. What is a positive aspect of the Happy Schools initiative that it is not trying to interfere with personal relations and the role of family while keeps the right professional boundaries – unlike some aspriations of Let’s Care.

According to the Happy Schools initiative, if schools are to be the vectors for high-quality educational experiences, they need to be happy environments. UNESCO uses the four pillars of Happy Schools (people, process, place, and principles) to help policy-makers break down the concept into criteria to be targeted by system-wide policies. On World Happiness Day 2023, UNESCO kicked off a webinar series to discuss each of the four pillars of the global Happy Schools framework in a dedicated webinar session. This third focused session, organized in celebration of World Teachers’ Day 2023, explored the people pillar, which concerns the well-being, work conditions, skills, and interpersonal relationships between the main actors within school communities.

This 90-minute webinar explored the people pillar of the global Happy Schools framework to:

  • Discuss systemic changes needed to improve relationships between teachers, students, parents, school leaders, staff, community members, and managers to establish and sustain positive learning environments where teachers are happy to teach and students are happy to learn.
  • Share perspectives from around the world on the importance of supporting teacher well-being by strengthening the happiness of the school environment and attractiveness of the teaching profession.
  • Encourage all to join Happy Schools in partnership and commit to happiness and a whole school approach to learning as the foundation of quality education.

In our contribution, we had the opportunity to talk about our trainings, materials and programmes that can support a better home-school partnership, primarily by the capacity building of professionals.

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