Join the celebration of #ParentsAndSchools Day on 10 October, organise an event in your school or publish your videos on social media. This years main topics are career guidance, inclusion and 21st century education.
On 10 October, as on the second Tuesday of every October, Europe celebrates the European Day of Parents and Schools since 2002. Initiated by the European Parents’ Association (EPA), this day is used to highlight the importance of parents and teachers working together for the benefit of children. Events are organised all over Europe by parents’ organisations, often supported by their respective national Ministries of Education. In the past few years European-level celebrations were joined by members of the European Parliament and education organisations such as ESHA or OBESSU (Organising Bureau of Secondary School Student Unions).
Every year there is a topic EPA and its partners are focusing on, but national celebrations can highlight areas of cooperation relevant in their national or local contexts. This year the European messages will focus on the need for all educators, including school professionals and parents alike, in career guidance from early ages on. This will be a prelude to EPA’s international conference on career guidance and diverse tertiary education forms to be held at the end of November in Tallinn, as an event of the European Vocational Skills Week.
As last year #ParentsAndSchools Day is a good occasion to promote and advocate for the implementation of 2016 policy messages by the European Commission on transforming schools to make them more attractive for students and families alike in order to achieve the EU2020 headline target of reducing early school leaving. These recommendations fundamentally build on the school community, parents, teachers and students taking ownership of learning by actively participating in transforming the school to meet the needs of today’s children as well as preparing them for the challenges of the 21st century.
Active participation is another key issue for concerned parents of Europe. Our continent has been in turmoil for the past couple of years as a result of the migrant crisis and the underlying problems it brought to daylight, especially the need for action to prevent or stop exclusion. Involvement of parents and students in all aspects of school life is a form of active citizenship, offering meaningful, hands-on experience. Parents and teachers need to work together in order to transform all schools into becoming open and inclusive, to make it possible for everybody, regardless of their socio-economic status, be them people with special needs or migrants – parents and children, newly arrived as well as second-third generation, coming from war zones or from other EU countries – to fully participate, and to feel accepted and included.
In the present situation, active parents must engage to ensure the rights of all children, in the school context
· the right to childhood, to play and express themselves,
· the right to an education that meets their needs/necessities/wishes,
· to equal access to adequate services regardless of the financial situation of the family,
· to education in the mother tongue as well as,
· supporting everybody to have an operational knowledge of the majority language and everyday life,
· to foster the education of parents to understand and be able to help protecting the rights of their children and that of others.
This year a Europe-wide awareness raising campaign is accompanying the event. EPA and OBESSU are asking students to make a short video answering the simple question: Why are parents important for you and your school? Everybody is invited make videos and share them on social media using the hashtag #ParentsAndSchools. Some of last year’s videos of teachers, school heads and MEPs are there on the EPA YouTube Channel.