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The ERF delegation, led by its president Sheikh Manssour Bin Mussallam, has arrived in the Republic of Djibouti on the 12th January 2019 at the official invitation of Minister of National Education and Professional Training, H.E. Moustapha Mohamed Mahamoud. Motivated by the commitment to achieve the vision of the International Call for Balanced and Inclusive Education (ICBIE), ERF is determined to ensure that we collectively fulfil the mandate of the ICBIE’s call to action. “We must, collectively and with the greatest sense of urgency, work towards Balanced and Inclusive Education for all: not because we are better, wiser, or more virtuous than our predecessors, but because there is, simply, no other choice. The clock is ticking and history is our merciless judge” – remarked the ERF president at the preliminary meeting, with Djibouti’s Secretary-General of the National Commission for Education, Science, and Culture.
In the context of the launch of Djibouti’s National Week of Solidarity and Social Action (Semaine National de la Solidarité et de l'Action Sociale) on the 13 of January, the ERF delegation accompanied the Minister of National Education, and the Secretary of State for Social Affairs, to the inauguration of a school in the Markazi Yemeni Refugee Camp, in the Obock region. This was the opportunity for the ERF delegation to exchange with the residents, whose dignity and pride made it abundantly clear that they did not wish to inspire pity nor compassion – they merely expect justice.
President of ERTF, Sheikh Manssour Bin Mussallam, had a series of high-level meetings with the Ministers of National Education, Foreign Affairs, Higher Education, and Culture, President of Republic of Djibouti, Ismael Omar Guelleh and Prime Minister, Abdoulkader Kamil Mohamed. These meetings marked a concrete step towards fulfilling the mandate of the ICBIE by identifying the synergies to jointly set pilots for Balanced and Inclusive Education in Djibouti.
As a result of these meetings, Republic of Djibouti took an important step towards Balanced and Inclusive Education (BIE) by signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Education Relief Foundation. A cooperation agreement, between the Ministry of National Education as well as the Ministry of Higher Education and Research and ERF, towards fulfilling the mandate of the International Call on Balanced and Inclusive Education (ICBIE) to jointly set pilots for BIE in Djibouti.
On 22 November 2018, in the context of the II ForumBIE 2030, representatives of Ministries of Education, International Agencies, Academic Bodies, and Civil Society Organisations convened in Mexico City to sign the International Call on Balanced and Inclusive Education (ICBIE), based upon the Global Guide of Ethics, Principles, Policies, and Practices in Balanced and Inclusive Education (Global Guide) which was launched on 21 November. An expression of a collective aspiration for the realisation of Balanced and Inclusive Education for all, the signatories called for the research, development and implementation of Balanced and Inclusive Education globally. A historic document, the ICBIE is a testament to the inevitable necessity of confederating efforts to face our common challenges and answer our collective aspirations.
Resolving to reconvene in 18 to 24 months, the signatories have mandated the Education Relief Foundation (ERF) to ensure the piloting and contextualisation of the Global Guide with the relevant international, national and local stakeholders, and draft – through consultation meetings with the signatories – the Universal Declaration for Balanced and Inclusive Education, to be signed at the III ForumBIE 2030.
To this end, the ICBIE has provided a broad, international framework for cooperation and partnerships in Balanced and Inclusive Education, bringing the world a concrete, unambiguous step closer to justice, equity, and sustainability.
For more information about the Global Guide:
For more information about the International Call:
The Geneva School of Diplomacy & International Relations is committed to bridging the gap between theory and practice in the field of International Relations. In addition to GSD’s international relations courses given by the school's renowned faculty, serving Ambassadors and other members of the diplomatic neighbourhood, representatives from the International Organisations as well as high-level experts on cutting edge issues are regularly invited to share their invaluable knowledge and experience with the students. Read more here.
Guest Lecture, Academic Year 2017 – 2018, Spring Semester
Sheikh Manssour Bin Mussallam, President of ERF: Balanced & Inclusive Education (BIE) and its dynamics, local and global
21 February 2018, The Geneva School of Diplomacy & International Relations
Education experts and stakeholders endorse principles for global guide on Balanced and Inclusive Education
GENEVA (8 December 2017) – Education experts meeting at the United Nations in Geneva have agreed on a framework aimed at reforming school systems around the world, based on balanced and inclusive education.
“The unity and diversity of human beings must be recognized in education,” said Edgar Morin, French philosopher and sociologist. The UNESCO Chair of Complex Thought, who is considered the founder of the field of transdisciplinarity, said education had so far failed students in teaching them to understand their own humanity and to cope with uncertainty.
Morin called for greater links between disciplines in education and added that despite increased communication tools such as the Internet, education had not made progress in teaching students to understand other cultures.
Morin was speaking at the Palais des Nations a day after the Global North Round Table Discussion on Balanced and Inclusive Education, the last of a series of Regional Consultation Meetings of 2017 hosted by The Education Relief Foundation (ERF) and Globethics.net in cooperation with the University of Geneva.
In his keynote address, ERF Fellow Mr. Jack Mathieu Émile Lang, Former French Minister of Culture and Former Minister of Education, and President of Institut du Monde Arabe said, “In order to have a successful educational reform, it is essential to develop a guide that would act as the foundation, without which education reform may remain meaningless.”
Professor Abdeljalil Akkari a faculty member of the Psychology and Sciences of Education and Research Team in International and Comparative Education at the University of Geneva, added “Many people don’t see school as for them and by them. ERF’s importance is in asking what kind of impact education can have on communities in the north and the south.”
The meetings brought together decision makers within governments, development partners, research institutions and civil society organizations.
President and Founder of ERF, Shaikh Manssour Bin Mussallam, said “we must abandon the imperial industrial understanding of education as a one-size-fits-all approach.”
He pointed to ERF’s regional stakeholder meetings in Bangkok, Nigeria and Panama City throughout 2017 as revealing the need for an overhaul of education, saying, “We must look at each other’s respective histories to unveil our historical and civilizational inter-indebtedness.”
Policy briefs and reports produced after the regional meetings of ERF and its partners form the basis of the recommendations supported at the meeting in Geneva. The recommendations will be taken up by a Consultative Expert Working Group (CEWG) at ERF, in collaboration with the UNESCO International Bureau of Education (IBE) and other partners, with a view to creating a Guide for a Code of Ethics on Balanced and Inclusive Education.
Referring to previous ERF meetings, Bin Mussallam said, “If ERF’s 2017 regional stakeholder meetings have demonstrated anything, it is that models of education consistently taken as exemplary, such as the Scandinavian and Singaporean models -- commendable as they may be -- are not equipped to address the diversity and challenges facing the Global South, nor to the growing interactions between the Global South and the Global North.”
The ERF plans to convene a meeting of stakeholders in 2018, where it will present this Guide on Balanced and Inclusive education.
The overall aim is to develop strategies for achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) on inclusive and equitable quality education for all.
Endorsements of the framework includeMinistries of Education in Malaysia and Uganda, UNESCO IBE Geneva, and the Union of University Social Responsibility for Latin America (URSULA), UNESCO Bangkok and School of African Heritage in Benin.
ERF recognises the importance of acting as a facilitator, rather than an enforcer, so as to encourage local-led initiatives. ERF will, consequently, ensure the efficiency, sustainability and replicability of its projects.
Our team coordinates activities aimed at increasing contextualised learning and raising awareness on balanced and inclusive education. Our works focus on creating high level value to build on the organisational work with countries.
This project comprises of a series of short education workshops for residents of the Hospice Général Asylum Seeker Centre in Geneva, Switzerland aged between 16-19 and residing in Geneva since less than a year. According to local Swiss sources, more than 935 people had arrived in Switzerland until December 2016 counting more than 64 Syrian refugees from Lebanon welcomed as part of the UN Refugee Agency's relocation programme.
This area of focus of ERF is an aspirational, and inspirational arm of its activities to encourage the spirit of global citizenship.
ERF works with project coordinators at the Hospice Général Asylum Seeker Centre in Geneva to deliver a project that will complement the framework prepared for the youth residing at the centre to help them a smoother transition into Swiss Society.
The objectives of the project are to:
- Enhance Community Cohesion: The young people are assisted to understand and respect their own cultural heritage and acknowledge the contribution of other cultures for constructing an inclusive identity.
- Inspire Young Learners: The young people are encouraged to learn and study for progression to further and higher education.
- Promote a Counter Narrative: An imbalanced perception of society and its culture may cause problems of identity. This inclusive and balanced programme will help safeguard young people from being coaxed towards behaviour incompatible with the spirit of global citizenship.
During 2017, ERF and its partners namely the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organisation (SEAMEO), The Nigerian Academy of Science, the Centre for Applied Linguistics (CAL) and Globethics.net (GE.net), delivered regional meetings as global contributions to moving SDG4 forward in Southeast Asia, Latin America, Africa, and the Global North.
Following the three meetings in Africa, Asia and Latin America a Round Table Discussion was hosted in Geneva, to obtain the view of the ‘Global North’ (EU and North America) on Balanced and Inclusive Education.
This meeting was organised on December 7th, 2017 by The Education Relief Foundation (ERF) in cooperation with the Faculty of Psychology and Sciences of Education – Research Team in International Dimensions of Education, University of Geneva and Globethics.net on the topic of Balanced and Inclusive Education with the participation of stakeholders from the Global North.
We live in a globalised world with unprecedented movement of people across continents. Consequently, our societies need a sustainable solution to achieving inclusion, global collaborations, and non-discrimination.