UNESCO and the Council of Europe both have the right to participation at the heart of their respective education programmes. Now the two organisations are coming together in a joint conference that aims at tackling the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought about in the field of education. These include, in particular, protecting and promoting students’ voice and related fundamental rights and freedoms, while at the same time exploring the opportunities the current crises can provide to reshape the education systems with a view to full student participation.
The conference will build on the preliminary findings from a joint UNESCO/Council of Europe research study on the impact of COVID-19 on student voice and participation as well as on key materials developed by both organisations. Participants will be teachers, school leaders, policy-makers and students from around 60 countries in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, who will discuss the role, responsibility and opportunities of schools in increasing young people’s voice, and in promoting civic engagement in the digital age.
After the conference, a report for policymakers with recommendations based on research from evidence will be produced.