Today the world celebrates the Global Day of Parents. According the official UN definition, 1 June is “an opportunity to appreciate all parents for their selfless commitment to children and their lifelong sacrifice towards nurturing this relationship.” since 2012. This year, the day is dedicated to parents as the people who “bear the brunt of the COVID-19 pandemic” There is no better time to conclude our #NewEducationDeal campaign. While we believe parents must be celebrated for the way they, we championed in several domains in these past months, there is no better way to appreciate parents than to make it a long-lasting foundation for partnerships. Partnerships between parents and professionals with parents acknowledged to be the first to be listened to when it concerns their children.
Parents International published the #NewEducationDeal call for action a month ago. We have approached and won key stakeholders for our core causes: to not continue schooling where we left off at the beginning of closures and to make new education deals with parents as full partners at the table.
Our research shows that before the current crisis parents had extraordinarily little say on contents of curricula and teaching methods, and we have all been paying for it in the last few months. We also know from research that teachers know little about the backstory of their students, their family and home circumstances, their backpacks, their challenges. These must change now, and Parents International has managed to bring together a growing circle of supporters for this cause.
We have achieved a lot in the last month: key decision makers from high levels of government to school leaders have pledged to implement most of our call, we have a strong academic support and the engagement of parents and also other stakeholders, such as students, teachers, non-formal education providers and businesses. We have done successful advocacy work and reached decision makers in Europe, America, Asia, and Africa.
And this is where we are continuing tomorrow. We will continue to work on the HOW of the main messages of the campaign to show that most of them only need commitment on a local, school level to create better circumstances and learning environments for our children, to make schools meet expectations of parents and the future our children will live in. In the coming months we will focus on one element of our call for action every week, and share inspiration for all education policy makers, school leaders and, of course, parents. We will keep highlighting what kind of support families need in their job as parents, the people brining up children and thus ensuring the future. We will keep offering professional support to policy and practice to make it a reality.
But today we need to stop for a moment to celebrate all parents of the world as champions who tirelessly worked, schooled their children, kept the households together and did everything to keep themselves well for the well-being of their children and family, too, even in these incredibly difficult times. Thank you, parents. The world applauds you all today.
Director of Parents International