In March 2016, the General Assembly of the International Association of Educating Cities (AICE) agreed to declare 30 November as International Day of the Educating City. Coinciding with this day, the Barcelona City Council, through the Municipal Institute of Education of Barcelona (Social Rights Area) and the Barcelona Ciutat Educadora Department, organized on 29 November the conference “The Right to the Educating City“, organized by the Barcelona Ciutat Educadora Department, and on 30 November the symposium “The collective right to education“, organized by the Municipal Institute of Education of Barcelona.
From DUNA we attended these conferences, held at the Bar Association of Barcelona, which were aimed mainly at education professionals, technicians and municipal technicians, AMPA’s, entities, political leaders, agents and operators necessary in the debate on the role of the city as a pedagogical context and its potentialities and also to the general public interested in this subject.
What is the educating city?
• it is the one that invests in education in each person, so that he or she is increasingly capable of expressing, affirming, and developing his or her own human potential;
• it is an interdependent reality with the territory of which it forms part and exercises and develops the educational function parallel to the traditional ones – economic, social, political and service provision;
• it is the one that has its sights set on the formation, promotion and development of all its inhabitants.
From the point of view of local administration, education is viewed from the point of view of the idea of an educating city: education becomes an essential instrument for personal and collective development. During the symposium on the 30th, we reflected on the possible effects of an increase in public investment. In the case of Catalonia, there is a problem of under-funding in education, and the categories that would have the most scope to increase funding in Catalonia would be 0-3 years, extracurricular and leisure, adult education and occupational training, which have all suffered cuts during the years of crisis.
According to the data from the meeting of the International Day of the Ciutat Educadora, from an economic perspective, the reasons for betting on a broadening of the scope of the right to education are several: an improvement in the financing of the welfare state would mean fewer work stoppages and higher wages; the challenges of the present and future labour market will require continuous, accessible and quality training systems; investments in early childhood, leisure and out-of-school education will increase the continuity of educational pathways and will lead to savings in future expenditure on adult education and public benefits and social activation policies.
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