School Management Symposium on Global Citizenship Education
News16 November 2022
Irish Aid in partnership with WorldWise Global Schools (WWGS) hosted a symposium for school leaders in Iveagh House on November 16th. Over sixty principals and deputy principals from second level schools gathered for the first in-person management symposium since 2019. The aim of the event was to give principals a deeper understanding of Global Citizenship Education (GCE) and to share ideas on embedding a GCE focus in every aspect of their schools. Speakers included Anthony Doogan, principal of Moville Community College in Donegal, Sharon Maher, principal of Navan Youthreach , Marie-Thérèse Kilmartin, CEO of Le Chéile Schools Trust and Dr. Eilish Dillon from Maynooth University.
Participants at the 2022 WWGS Management Symposium
The Director General of Irish Aid, Michael Gaffey, opened the event. He outlined the many challenges facing humanity, and how it can sometimes feel overwhelming. He told participants that “at an individual and collective level we can and do make a difference to those around of us and our actions can have an effect beyond our expectations”. He noted that GCE was one of many calls on a principal’s time, but that it is essential to our future.
Laura Walsh, Department of Education, Michael Gaffey, Director General of Irish Aid, Dr. Eilish Dillon, Maynooth University and Dr. Michael Redmond of the Joint Managerial Board for Voluntary Schools.
The keynote speaker was Colm O’Connor, principal of Cork Educate Together Secondary School. Colm spoke of his own experience with activism for social justice, and how he gives students the space, both inside and outside the classroom, to become activists. He has made space for GCE in the timetable, with a short course on Sustainability and a TY course called Changemaker. He also creates opportunities for students to engage with GCE in extracurricular activities such as their Global Issues Café.
Laura Walsh from the Department of Education (DoE) opened the first panel discussion. She spoke of the work the DoE are doing in this area, and the Education for Sustainable Development Strategy. Dr. Michael Redmond of the Joint Managerial Body said how a school’s culture is a school’s ethos. He also spoke of the need for hope and how embedding GCE in a school’s culture can offer students and teachers a sense of hope. Dr. Eilish Dillon of Maynooth University told participants how being an educator is to be a person of hope and not despair. Finally, Róisín Markham from the Irish Doughnut Economics Network introduced the school leaders to the concepts of planetary boundaries and doughnut economics.
Organisers of the Management Symposium from WorldWise Global Schools and the Department of Foreign Affairs
Other speakers on the day came from a range of schools across the country. They shared their own experiences of working with WorldWise Global Schools to further their GCE programmes. WWGS is fully funded by Irish Aid at the Department of Foreign Affairs. Their GCE programme provides an opportunity for young people to reflect on their roles and responsibilities as global citizens and encourages them to take action for a fairer and more sustainable future for all.