UNESCO calls for voices on Education futures 2050


unesco ingles


three main topics will be discussed.

Topic 1: Our changing world: How do you view the future? 2050

The first question asks participants to imagine the future in broad terms.

When you think about 2050

What are you most hopeful about?

 - What are you most concerned about?

Topic 2: Broad Purposes of Education

The second question focuses on the ‘why’ of education (note that ‘education’ should be understood as all forms of organized learning for people of all ages).

Considering the visions of 2050 that you just described and the collective purposes of education that you just described, How should what we learn, how we learn, and where we learn change in the future?


Responding Group:   Education for an Interdependent world

                                         India (Pune, Honavar, Gujarat)

                                           Philippines (Manila, Davao, Iloilo, Cebu)

A group of ten teachers/ guidance counselor/ NGO coordinators from India and the Philippines gathered online to respond to the call of UNESCO on the EDUCATION FUTURES. They are members of an international association EDUCATION FOR AN INTERDEPENDENT WORLD which through selected projects promote capacity building of young people and professional groups. Their teaching experience span from the kindergarten/primary levels, to middle school, secondary, and university levels. Of these ten participants, seven are actively involved in formal education, of which four are in their first few years in the public school system in the Philippines from primary to the university level, four are employed in private systems of the Philippines and India respectively and two are engaged in non-formal education with the indigenous peoples of Davao, Philippines and with rural communities in the Karnataka area in Honavar India.

Everyone who participated started her projection of the future from the current status of education and the changes that the pandemic imposed on the educational system in the realities of India and the Philippines where they are practicing their professions.

Projecting the FUTURES of EDUCATION by 2050

Reasons of hope:

The group found hope in the possibilities that technology brings in the field of education. The younger generations have a real grip in the use of technology as a growing valuable resource for information gathering and for making sense of data through the different potent computer programs available.  In the limitations brought about by the restrictions of face to face teaching, visiting, and relating, technology has brought people together and filled the void that otherwise would have been created in the closing of schools and other institutions, in the control of free and fluid access to travel and entries to social venues where ordinarily social interactions would be happening. As a whole society has been resilient and learned and adapted itself to virtual communication to remain connected with one another. We have proven in these challenging times that human beings have the capacity to be resilient … to adapt … to meet the challenges head on. We bank on this human resiliency to foresee new opportunities in the futures of education by 2050.

Another reason for hope is the belief in the capacity of young people to bounce back and to rise to the occasion, for many, impelled by the real desire to learn even in the direst condition such as literally no physical space for those in the slums, the limitations of distance for those in far flung areas , the limitations of access to internet connectivity faced with the closing of schools and navigating the new normal long distance learning imposed upon them by circumstances, the limitations caused by the pressure to work instead of being in school and even the limitations of physical hunger. The pangs of poverty while heavy were surmounted and carried well by many of the young people. In the Philippines, there are still many parents who will do everything to send their children to school as the way out of poverty, and still many teachers who are fired by the mission to make a difference in the lives of their students. These too are factors of hope.        

While still in its very initial realizations, interventions by the educational authorities or ministries are starting to address the mental health of students affected by the “new normal” pedagogy caused by the pandemic. The Department of Education in the Philippines has begun to deploy personnel trained in mental health in some of the schools. The fact that the concern for the total child is now looked into as integral in the focus of educational directives by policymakers is already a sign of hope. In addition, a growing acceptance that with the child must be addressed as well the total wellbeing of the teacher. The mental health of the latter is directly affecting the student in a cause-and-effect relationship if not by osmosis.

Concerns Underlying Futures of Education

With hopes come concerns as well. With the easy access of technology for our young people some very existential questions are now increasing in its relevance. Since the pandemic, the number of suicides among young people has increased. Cases of depression before known only as isolated cases studies are now rampant, expressed by students ’withdrawal, by rebellion or apathy felt in the schools. So we ask, “ How do we form our young people to be adept in technology and at the same time in competences that are social in nature … relationships, communication, values that are the references of conduct and behaviors, in mores and traditions that are the anchors of one’s identity and culture in a society that has isolated them from these realities? Have we provided in our educational curriculum ethics in the use of the internet and social media? It looks like many of our young people are no longer sensitive to the respect of intellectual property and are using information with no criteria or limits and without respect to its source. By 2050, would we have taken measures of formation to be in place beyond the use of technology for more and better-commercialized products even if these would have made our lives more comfortable? Is the threat of the potent G5 really impending? There is a strong concern for the diminishing value of children relegating the child’s expertise to the manipulation of gadgets in gathering information without forming in him the values of critical thinking, socialization, and even to the extent that gadgets control the individuals and not the opposite. Like addiction, our young people are controlled by the gadgets they use opting to be glued before a screen and leaving aside values of family, of friends of expansion that are not within the realm of digital control. The group describes this phenomenon as the diminishing value of every child.

Another cause of concern is the urgent need to update teacher education. According to one of the participants, only 10% of teachers in her school are really equipped to teach effectively with the strategies of flexible and or blended learning. This is a problem that can have longtime consequential effect on generations who would be adults by 2050. These are teachers taught to teach from a teacher-directed perspective and from assessments of knowledge through written quizzes and tests. It is doubtful that they now have the language to reach young people who have evolved in having a language of their own and who would belong to a labor force where skills and competencies are foremost above repetition of knowledge heard from the teacher.

The fact that the highest policymakers in education are political appointees of administrations that come and go from one election to the next creates an unstable pattern in the priorities of the educational system. This is of concern as politics become the frame of reference for policies that should be determined by real educators. Because of this it can happen that population pockets not considered of importance in elections may not be of priority concern for the politicians themselves. Unless there are strong advocates representing the marginalized groups, they may not be beneficiaries of policies that should directly benefit them. Hence, still of main concern for the future of education is the lack of intentional directives to allocate resources and scholarships for the youth leaders of identified marginalized groups and create programs of implementation for this purpose. While this may be legislated the conditions of the schools especially in challenged areas show that legislation is not a guarantee of implementation especially when the last, the least, and the lost are concerned. From these policies come the concern of social promotion. Schools or administrators, districts or regions fall into the practice of reporting numbers of successful performance to get the subsidies that are determined by the quota of passing students or promoted students they need to reach. Data reported as success numbers may not correspond to reality. Therefore real needs are obfuscated leaving many children caught in the circle of illiteracy with a diploma that will not in effect mean anything for some. Policies sometimes while may have good intentions do no take into account the real settings where policies are to be materialized. An example of this is the use of the mother tongue to teach in the first three year. Policies did not take into account that teachers may not have been trained for it. Because policymakers may not be educators, legislating policies may miss the nuances of pedagogy and psychology key to the educational process.

A Collective Purpose of Education

UNESCO calls for a collective purpose of education . Without this, efforts would be piecemeal depending on regions or countries. Some will be at the forefront of development, others lagging behind for nothing else but for lack of resources. Representatives of the two NGOs in the group advocate for a synchronized action and strategizing of priorities between initiatives of formal and non-formal education institutions especially in programs where the youth are at stake.

According to this group, by 2050 they dream that education would have erased illiteracy, that everyone can read to be at least functional and be able to participate in the decision-making process of his own group. That by 2050, education would be the vehicle that would prepare the young people in skills and competencies to be productive in the labor force. That by then, no child is left behind with the basics, so that the current occurrence of students reaching high school unable to read is completely erased. They also dream of the collective project of equipping the teachers to teach not so much as the only source or interpreter of knowledge but as facilitators of the same. By2050 teacher education programs would have incorporated in teacher training the capacity not only to deliver content to be accessible to learners but most of all develop competences to teach from the heart and with the heart, that is, to see the total child before them and take them where they are out of ignorance to the unfolding of the gifts innate in every child in the words one participant, the almost guaranteed results of “the wisdom of goodness”.

They dream of an education that would nourish the cultural identity of every child and enhances his or her capacity to open to a wider world beyond that of his or her own. By 2050, education in its collective purpose should be geared towards the appreciation of lessons and achievements of the past instead of falling into a revisionist history contingent on the philosophies of passing political powers. It is the collective purpose of forming citizens of the world, aware and cognizant of who he is and who he can be , aware and cognizant of his responsibility to the world and to his fellow human beings and anchored in a belief in One higher than himself giving meaning to who the person is and the meaning of his existence.

Where should the change happen: It starts in a restructuring of a curriculum where the student is the center, where the teacher has a non - negotiable role to facilitate learning and to empower the student, where communities are included as stakeholders of the educational development of every child. Change start with learning that includes awareness and creativity to use and to sustain the resources available where one is , where learning fosters civic responsibility awakening in young minds the need for policies that are future oriented and not anchored on the immediate gains of political groups that shine and fade. It starts with an educated electorate and citizenry owning the responsibility of nation building as a civic duty of all perhaps as future leaders of the same. It starts with a curriculum that brings students to see the gift of nature and the value of every human being as much as he values himself if not more. It starts with bringing ethics back to the curriculum and for those ready for it, the recognition of Someone higher than himself with whom he can find anchor and meaning . It starts with a curriculum where expertise in the academe or in one’s profession is sought not as an end to itself but a means to be offered for the good of all.

For this group gathered to answer the call of UNESCO, the above reflections are offered to be part of that collective voice on purpose of education that would hopefully be the drive for the FUTURES of EDUCATION 2030 and beyond.

By: Irene Bettina Pueyo and Roopa d’Souza, participants in the UNESCO's call. 

PROJECT FORTH: A project with a mission


It is the second year of Project FORTH, an Erasmus plus capacity building project in Higher Education co-funded by the European Commission on “Formation of Teachers in Emerging Challenged Areas of the Philippines” (FORTH).  On March 19-22, its third Transnational Training of Trainers was held online with five universities in the Philippines, fifteen public schools from four main islands of the archipelago and three universities from Europe. These are the University of Groningen (Netherlands) coordinating the project, the University of Bologna (Italy) and the University of Deusto (Spain). Partners as well are professional associations and NGOs with advocacies in education and social concerns including the Teresian Association International Inc from the Philippines, InteRed from Spain and EDIW Education for an Interdependent World from Brussels. EDIW spearheaded the design, its writing and its current implementation in the country. To be noted is the partnership with the Commission of Higher Education (CHED) and the Department of Education as Associate partner.

FORTH passed from scrutiny to recognition by the academic institutions and government ministries regulating the viability and academic rigor of its trainings and the  proposal for a new major Teaching in Challenged Areas in the existing MA in Education.  Approved for implementation this March of 2021, it is the first major of this type in Teacher Education in the Philippines and perhaps in other parts of the world. Following the Tuning methodology of collaborative approach among partners, FORTH pulled from the expertise of the academe and the wisdom and experience of teachers in the field the competencies needed by teachers in challenged areas. From these competences the curriculum of the new major was anchored.

  FORTH pic 1   FORTH pic2


Project FORTH was conceived for the purpose of changing the narrative of a situation that is almost always seen from the point of view of a chronic problem to one of opportunity for social transformation in areas where the attention for “the least, the lost and the last” is most urgent.

A quantitative research conducted by the project on the likelihood of developing careers choosing this path show a very high positive response from more than 800 respondents, specifically from the group of young teachers in their first to five years of teaching in challenged areas and those preparing to be teachers. Likewise, in an initial survey of teachers asking for their collaboration to be part of action research on good practices in these contexts, more than 490 responses indicated they would be willing to participate. These findings leave us with a challenge to enkindle this idealism of our young and future teachers, in the words of EDIW Team Project Designers, “to develop a network of HE Institutions, associations and stakeholders to create a system of quality, motivation and support to the training of teachers to work in emerging challenged areas in the Philippines as a model of teacher training for other marginal areas in the world.”

Intended to be a pilot project with the capacity to be replicated in similar contexts in any part of the world, Forth is ready to open the possibilities of a joint Erasmus Master’s program in the near future. 

Below are videos of some sessions of this TTT3.




Webinars 3rd Semester of the Project Youth ACT

160 young people from 14 countries of América and Europe, participated in two webinars as the closing activity of the third semester of the current project of EDIW, Youth ACT.

Foto Webinar Ingles 060321


This Project is being carried out by EDIW with universities and associations in Europe and America. “The competencies required for a successful decision-making process” was the topic of the whole semester finished with the two webinars, held on March 6, with 187 participants.

Both events began with words of welcome from the EDIW team represented by Emma Melgarejo for the English-speaking group and Emilia Paniagua for the Spanish-speaking group. With these opening words, the youth groups of the Youth ACT project were recognized for the time, dedication, and work that each group has put into the tasks that lie ahead this third semester. “Despite the limitations brought on us by the pandemic, you had the tenacity to continue with the program and reach out to the disadvantaged groups in your communities affected by Covid-19. Hats off to you our young people. We are all looking forward to this day, to appreciate each other’s learnings and to enjoy the sharing that will happen today,” said Emma.

The groups then shared their work experiences on the issue of decision-making, some from the analysis of cases and others from their own experience of deciding which minority group they wanted to work with this semester or the next one. The webinar in English was attended by five groups of young people with headquarters in Belgium, Brazil, France, Italy, Portugal, and the USA, and María Yarosh, from the University of Groningen, a partner in this project. The Webinar in Spanish was carried out with the participation of 16 groups of young people from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Spain, Mexico, Peru, the Dominican Republic, and Uruguay. The next cloud of words shows some of the topics addressed by the groups during the third semester.


Carla Micele and Trinidad Vicente, two professors from the University of Lanús and the University of Deusto respectively, both partners in this project, were also present at the event and gave their feedback to the groups.

After the group presentations, there was a work in groups by cities to make the decision of which question they would ask the other groups. This was followed by a question and answer session for all groups. José Gutiérrez, a European Commission official, had a special intervention encouraging the young people to keep working on this project as well as on others that the European Commission is promoting.

The words of Julia González, President of EDIW, who gave warm feedback to the group, concluded the webinars and ended the third semester inviting the young people to stay motivated for the fourth and final semester of the project.

EDIW supports Indigenous Peoples Academy Josefa Segovia




February 22nd, 2020, the Indigenous Peoples Academy- Josefa Segovia was launched with the backing of the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP-XI), Indigenous Peoples Apostolate of Archdiocese of Davao, Barangay Local Government Units, Teresian Association-Philippines, InteRED Foundation, and Maureen Guilday Scholarship Fund. The Academy is an initiative and one of the activities of the Josefa Segovia Foundation to further develop the indigenous talents and promote the creative arts of the indigenous cultural communities in Davao, Philippines.  EDIW is one of its supporters. Many of the youth in the Academy were members of the Youth for Dialogue (Y4D), a capacity-building project for the youth coordinated by EDIW selected among the Erasmus + grants co-funded by the European Commission.


IP JS Academy


Following the nonformal education methodologies, a systematic leadership training for the IP youth was given on competences of dialogue to foster inclusive participation among the unique and diverse groups present in Davao.

Aired throughout the Philippines by public television are videos produced by the academy of IP music, dances, arts, life, and spirituality.

Four participants from the Erasmus project Y4D are now core leaders and ethno-artists of the IP Academy.


Some dances from the IP Academy Josefa Segovia:

Mix dances


Spiritual Redemption


Joes Estopil, Josefa Segovia Foundation 




Project FORTH – Formation of Teachers in Emerging Challenged Areas


FORTH was conceived as a response to some important challenges: awareness of the existence of critical areas in the world, the transformative nature of education, a repeated circle of lack of specific training to teach in these challenged areas, lack of support, resources, and motivation to opt and to remain teaching in these areas.

What if the challenged areas are seen as places to make a difference for teachers who see the possibility that transformation is possible and can change the narrative from one of a problem to one of opportunity? What if teachers who opt to teach in these areas are professionally recognized with an MA degree specializing in methodologies apt for these contexts?

With these questions in mind, after two years of consultation and context analysis, a pilot began in the Philippines chosen for its large proportion of the population under 24 years old, a country with numerous challenged areas, excellent Teacher Education institutions, and a populace with the command of the English language. With the Co-coordination of the University of Groningen and the Belgian-based AISBL, Education for an Interdependent World (EDIW), Project Forth was presented to the European Commission for HEI funding. In August of 2018, Forth got the grant approval from the EC.

This consortium is formed by the following partners: Commission of Higher Education (CHED), five Philippine universities Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Centro Escolar University, University of Southeastern Philippines, West Visayas State University, University of Saint La Salle, and 15 public schools under the Department of Education (DepEd) as Associate Partner, Philippine Association for Formation of Teachers and Educators (PAFTE), SEAMEO-INNOTECH and the Teresian Association International Inc (TAII). The European partners are the University of Groningen, University of Deusto, University of Bologna, Education for an Interdependent World, and Fundación InteRed.

FORTH Equipo

Some Partners' representative of the Project FORTH 


FORTH aims to develop a network of higher education institutions (HEIs), associations, and stakeholders to create a system of quality training, motivation, and support to prepare and support teachers to work in challenged areas in the Philippines, thereby be a model of teachers training for other marginal areas in the world.

Teachers will undergo six modules elaborated by the joint Phil-EU team. FORTH will also offer a repository of methodologies and locally created appropriate materials, and videos with easily recognized protagonists: teachers in the schools to be trained. Besides, there will be a learning community working together with resources that allow it to discover new areas to study, research, or work. As a consequence, the Philippines will have children in these areas with self-esteem who see themselves as important as other children in the country

The process to develop this project involves eight milestones and six training modules: 1) Teacher profile in marginal areas 2) context analysis and social impact indicators 3). creating an attractive learning climate in challenging realities: 4)appropriate methodologies in teaching, learning, and assessments making learning accessible in context challenged by poverty: 5) creation of relevant and innovative teaching materials for challenging realities and 6) creating a teaching and learning community among colleagues while reaching out to a global community and other similar experiences in the world

In summary, FORTH is: 

  • A joint venture of regions, institutions, disciplines
  • Locally owned-interests, contexts, paths
  • Sharing, learning together, based on trust
  • Focus on the profile of the teacher-training & a system of support
  • A pilot of global relevance that can serve as an example, inspiration, and good practice for challenged areas in other world regions.


Youth ACT: a new semester for making decisiones

portada 3S Youth ACT

The third semester of the Youth ACT project began this September 2020, in the countries where there are groups of young people working on it: Argentina, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Spain, France, Italy , Mexico, Peru, Portugal, Dominican Republic and USA.

The starting point was the presentation of the plan for the semester. For this, online meetings were held with the Youth Coordinators and Leaders of each country, in which, in addition to knowing in a general way the status of the groups and their members, they were invited to do an exercise of personal reflection on what they had learned / lived up to now, as well as expectations for the next semester.

Subsequently, conceptual reference frameworks were suggested for this semester's topic - Decision making; Likewise, the importance of identifying and enhancing the skills and attitudes necessary to make decisions successfully was highlighted, urging young people to study a real case and eventually also prepare a dissemination plan. Also part of the agenda of these first meetings was to raise awareness about the need to determine with which minority group they would like to work in the fourth semester, as well as to carry out their self-assessment at the end of the current semester, to determine what their learning would be at the end of this period. Those self-evaluations will be contrasted with their peers and tutors.

At present, the local youth groups are in the respective meetings to work on the aforementioned issue. They are also documenting their construction and collective decision-making processes in the Slack tool, which is the ideal space to exchange opinions, resources, concerns and other types of support material.

Collage youthACT para web EDIW

In the following link you can listen to an advertising spot from one of the Youth ACT groups in America, as a measure to prevent anxiety during this time of confinement due to Covid-19: https://www.facebook.com/104513691342776/posts/127826309011514/