Views & Opinion

Ready to be a child now Comment by ALICIA BLANCO-BAYO, Early Years

lecturer and consultant

How does one define morality in today’s social context? How often does morality come into conversation? Have ty to suit the needs

of the excessively competitive society we have created? we adapted the meaning of morali

many areas of education are leading an era of wonder The turbulent times that are being experienced in

and we are finally questioning what is morally acceptable.

If we analysed the many reforms education systems over the world had been under, we would realise how many of the system throughout history have been based on control. Systems have dictated how to train individuals to become ‘social robots’ in order to develop social circles that can compete against each other.Whether this sits comfortably with any of us or not, it has happened and we are now living with the results of it. This does not mean everything that was ever introduced to develop society was wrong. It means that certain approaches might have suited

beginning to question whether the systems in place suit the needs of the that, if someone like me is writing about this it is because some of us are certain times and some of the social circles of each time. It also means

children of today. This is not about preparing children to become adults, this must be about supporting the needs of children today so that they can be children whilst they are still children.

‘The getting ready for philosophy’

forgotten to place the child at the centre. It has designed a system that techniques to categorise children from the age of 4 seems to have The recent agenda that supports the use of formal assessment

cannot help but wonder how this system is going to help children now. aims to focus on gathering data in order to show accountability, and I

should be there to support them in the process of exploring the world and they must be allowed to be the main characters. The practitioners We need to remember that children will be creating their own stories

without being rigid in their approach.We need to promote a loving approach that accompanies and guides children without leading them in a direction already chosen by the adult.We need an agenda that guides practitione encourage

children to become respectful, caring and tolerant individuals rs so that they can help children flourish. If we aim to

who thrive from sharing their discoveries with those around them, we will be valuing the small things they can do as they happen.

We need a system that offers children opportunities to discover the world and we, as practitioners, need to learn how to be that supportive, but at the same time flexible, pillar.When we start to value what each child has to offer, we will be offering the children of today the opportunity to develop a sense of morality that is based on respect and love for each other.

“I don’t need you to tell me where to go, just watch me grow and try to understand where I want to go”, said the little bird who was learning to fly.

If youwould like to discuss Early Yearswith Alicia, she ca contact

can be cted via

IDSDP: the import of sport pro

Education Above All Foundation)

To mark the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace (IDSDP) on 6th April, education stakeholders all over the world should have affirmed one thing plainly: sports and physical activity are essential pillars of a well-balanced and holistic quality education. Admittedly, it’s hard to overlook this nexus from the purview of Educate A Child (EAC), a global programme of the Education

Above All Foundation based in Qatar, which, as it happens, is the same country that stunned the world this past February by winning the Asian Cup football tournament. Still, the same may not go for other actors

spotlight on the virtues of sports and education to help bring about the physical activity, particularly for children – it’s important to refocus the observe healthy living and bring communities together over sport and generations. So, this IDSDP – a moment during the calendar year to who care about education and sustainable development for future

realisation SDG4 and by extension the world we want. 20

rtant ro rt in education

disadvantaged childre rogrammes for


Director of Educate A Child (a programme of the Comment by DRMARY JOY PIGOZZI, Executive


But, what exactly does this mean for children who are missing out on their right to education and why is it important? For disadvantaged children, it means being empowered to beat back the multiple barriers that impede their path to education. It means affording a quality sports education to children in crisis or on the margins that boosts self-esteem, builds positive values and behaviours, fosters social inclusion and develops leadership skills in ways that conventional classrooms may not accomplish. There’s a world of difference between raising your hand to answer a question when called upon by a teacher and racing down the pitch because you’re a part of a team. Yet those experiences are two sides of the same coin. Increasing a refugee child’s access to sports through an education programme, for example, allows them to cope constructively with the psychological trauma and devastation associated with the flight from home and provides an outlet where they may be free from the pressures of their circumstances, if only for a game.

In a broader context and beyond just the indi education has even been shown to bridge cultu

ral gaps, diffuse tensions vidual child, sports

and promote peace. The synergies are plain and the message is clear: if we can play together, we can live together. And if we can live together, we can work side-by-side and solve problems that face our communities as members of the same team. These are precisely the type of skills and mind-set future generations will need to activate in order to meet the challenges of the 21st century; poverty, conflict, discrimination, governance and climate change to name a few.

In the main, it all returns to a simple fact: sports and education are indispensable to social, physical, intellectual and emotional well-being and can advance social harmony, equality, integration and peace within and between communities. Sometimes we need a reminder. It’s crucial we are cognizant of that and that for the future of the world we share all of our children require education that inspires the mind and invigorates the body.

May 2019

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