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Global education

Global education is intended as a means to familiarize the public with the issues concerning the situation of poorer countries, as well as to show mutual relations, e.g. between Poles and people living in developing countries.

Children in red T-shirts sit on the floor forming the shape of the Polish Aid logo. The inscription "Polish aid" is below.

The aim of global education is to explain global interdependencies, the causes of present-day problems facing the world and the related challenges. It should lead to the personal commitment of people in all countries to fight poverty and to participate in building a global society based on the principles of solidarity, equality and cooperation.

In the Polish legal system, global education is included in the Development Cooperation Act as a component of development cooperation. 

Article 2(2) Development cooperation also means educational activities aimed at increasing awareness and understanding of global problems and interdependencies between countries, hereinafter referred to as “global education”.

In addition, important documents regulating the conduct of global education are:

  • Agreements on supporting global education in Poland,
  • Code of conduct on images and messages concerning the countries of the Global South 

In Poland, in 2010-2011, representatives of NGOs, ministries, universities and educational institutions developed a definition of global education. It reads as follows:

Global Education is the part of civic education and upbringing, which broadens their scope by raising awareness of the existence of global phenomena and interdependencies. Its main objective is to prepare the learners to face the challenges faced by all humanity. Interdependencies are understood as the interconnection and permeation of cultural, environmental, economic, social, political and technological systems.

The current global challenges include:
•    ensuring global peace and security,
•    improving the quality of life in the countries of the Global South,
•    protecting human rights,
•    ensuring sustainable development,
•    building economic and social partnerships between the countries of the Global North and the Global South.

In global education, it is particularly important to:
•    explain the causes and consequences of the described phenomena,
•    present the perspective of the Global South,
•    understand the world as a complex and dynamically changing system,
•    shape critical thinking and change attitudes,
•    show the influence of the individual on global processes and the influence of global processes on the individual.

The term “global education”, to which the signatories of the Agreement for the Promotion of Global Education in Poland have committed themselves, is used interchangeably with the terms “development education” and “education for sustainable development”. 

The agreement signed on 26 May 2011 between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of National Education and Grupa Zagranica, an association of Polish NGOs involved in international development cooperation, democracy support and humanitarian aid, underlines the commitment to global education in Poland. It contains a declaration of the implementation of initiatives aimed at popularising global education in the country, including its promotion both in the area of formal and non-formal education. It has also been agreed that global education broadens the scope of civic education and upbringing by, among other things, raising awareness of the existence of phenomena and interdependencies connecting all inhabitants of the world. Moreover, the agreement unifies the usage of the term “global education”.

In addition, the aim of the Code of Conduct on Images and Messages concerning countries of the Global South is to present the principles that organisations should take into account when developing and implementing public communication strategies. It contains a set of basic principles to support practitioners who undertake outreach activities about the programmes and the values they share in their organisation, and to do so in a coherent and balanced manner. The Code was drawn up by NGOs working in the field of humanitarian aid, development cooperation and global education. 

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