Dear friends in the WCCI community:
Warmest greetings in peace and solidarity!
I hope this message finds you well in all your educational and social programs , projects, activities and endeavours in diverse regions and countries. As the elected President of WCCI for the 2019-2022 term, I greatly appreciate the opportunity to serve in this role and to work closely with you in fulfilling WCCI’s vision and mission as a transnational educational organization dedicated to building a peaceful, just, culturally diverse and sustainable world. As humanity approaches the third decade of this new century, it is clear that considerable challenges and obstacles lie in the path of building a peaceful, just and sustainable world.
Armed conflicts and wars still rage in various regions and countries, while millions of refugees seek refuge from violence, human rights violations and conditions of extreme deprivations. Social and economic inequalities and injustices continue to deepen. Discriminations on the basis of social class, nationality, culture and sexuality abound despite over 70 years since the Universal Declaration on Human Rights was proclaimed followed by multiple covenants, conventions, treaties and other instruments. With the environmental crisis propelled by climate change, Planet Earth also stands on the edge of destruction threatening human survival and that of countless other species. And while a small fraction of the world’s population has gained unparalled access to the “bounties” of consumerism, disturbing signs of a loss of inner peace are emerging.
In the face of such challenges and contradictions, the role of education and educators in raising critical awareness and understanding of the root causes of conflicts and problems besetting humanity is indispensable. Furthermore, inspired by such understanding, learners of all ages and generations will hopefully be catalyzed and empowered to engage in personal and social action for transforming cultures of violence in all its dimensions towards a holistic culture of peace. As one of the long standing international organizations of educators , the World Council of Curriculum & Instruction (WCCI) embraces within its vision and mission a commitment to education which seeks to nurture local and global citizens dedicated to the building of a more peaceful, just and sustainable global order.
All members of the Board , including the Secretariat officers, look forward to hearing the good news of your activities which have been conducted under the auspices of WCCI at local, national and international levels. We hope you will also actively integrate into as many of your projects and programs themes and issues related to UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Please send us reports of such activities so that they can be reported to the United Nations Economic & Social Council (ECOSOC) to highlight our responsibilities as an NGO with Special Consultative Status to the ECOSOC. In this regard, SDG 4 whose goal is to “ ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all’ and target SGD 4.7 which seeks to “ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development” are clearly very relevant to WCCI’s vision and mission.
Next year will be the 50th anniversary of the founding of WCCI, a memorable event which will be celebrated at the 19th World Conference of WCCI in San Diego, California, USA in July 9-15. The Conference theme of “Educating the Global Citizen for the Future: Today” provides a most timely opportunity for educators worldwide to share their curriculum, pedagogical and broader educational visions, ideas, policies and strategies that help nurture citizens with a deep sense of belonging to a common humanity. Today, more than ever, our world needs people imbued with values, principles, knowledge, socio-emotional capacities and commitment to transformative action for the building of a peaceful, just and sustainable global order. I hope you will be able to contribute your ideas, reports of research projects and creative curriculum and pedagogical strategies at this 50th Anniversary Conference. Participants will surely share and also gain helpful lessons in global citizenship education to bring back to their local, national and international institutions and learning communities.
All of us who work in the educational field are mindful of the challenges in transforming educational systems, institutions, processes, curricula and pedagogies so that they can authentically fulfill the values, principles and goals which yield a more compassionate, loving, nonviolent, just, human rights-oriented, inclusive and sustainable world. However, as members of the WCCI community, let us continue to be persevering and hopeful as we patiently sow seeds that we nurture to grow into the plants, flowers and fruits of a holistic culture of peace.
I look forward to engaging with you in dialogue through the WCCI newsletter, email and other social media and hopefully, if circumstances allow, to meet with you in person if I may be visiting your country in the next few years. I understand it may not be easy to attend international conferences or other meetings due to the limitations of resources, time and distance. Nevertheless, the sustainability of WCCI rests strongly on the grassroots activities organized by members locally as individuals and through national Chapters.
Do please send news of your programs and projects to the Newsletter Editor, Joyce Pittman, and also your concerns and suggestions to enhance WCCI’s work to Board members and me (email: email@example.com with a cc to the WCCI Executive Director, Estela Matriano, email firstname.lastname@example.org )
Furthermore, as Carole Caparros, Executive Assistant, WCCI Secretariat, has earlier informed you, there is an ongoing call for members to submit proposals for educational research or curriculum development projects under the Small Grants Initiative program – the guidelines can be found in the WCCI website and we look forward with anticipation to receiving submissions from diverse regions.
Many thanks for your continuing sharing of energies and your commitment to WCCI.
Toh Swee-Hin (S.H.Toh)
President, World Council for Curriculum & Instruction (WCCI)
Professor Emeritus, University of Alberta
Laureate, UNESCO Prize in Peace Education (2000)