“Each one of us has the potential to bring about change if we channel our energies and our anger at injustices in the right way. Even a small spark can dispel darkness in a room. And each of us represents a small but critical spark if we act on the problems we see rather than just witness them”.
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Kailash Satyarthi wants to ignite the spark in each of us, in our capacity not to be just bystanders, helpless witnesses or spectators, but up standers: people who shout aloud and act.
November, 20 is the day of the Convention about the Rights of the Child. It reminds us that any transformation starts with children, acknowledging their capacity and their right to act.
The Convention establishes in it article 12 that “States Parties shall ensure to the child who is capable of forming a proper judgment the right to express his or her opinion freely in all matters affecting the child, taking due account of the views of the child, according to his age and maturity.”
How many children know about this fundamental right to stand up in a community, speak and act?
It is ironic, as educational expert Roger Hart says, that in many countries illiterate children who live basically on the streets, far from the influence of their families, know their rights better than those who live with their families in an accommodated situation.
Innovation in education has a lot to do with children participation. How can we promote adaptive children and projects base learning without endorsing the political consequences of giving children the right to participate in their communities?
Taking children participation seriously, means that we want to see them demonstrate and shout for the things that they personally believe to be true.
There is a great variety of forms of participation and means of expression. Several projects truly recognize the ability of young people to play a significant role in community-based sustainable development, especially through collaboration with adults.
P.A.U. Education‘s education project “Children write a book in school” has two main objectives: to enable students from schools around the world to express themselves creatively about their rights and, at the same time, to promote the Convention. This project has already been developed in more than 100 countries. Discover here the latest book of this unique collection written by children from a Sevillan school in Spain.
Innovation in the classroom can be as simple as letting children write about their rights… Just as if innovation itself was a new children’s right.
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