The Municipality of Porto and the Aga Khan Portugal Foundation signed a cooperation agreement, in Alfândega do Porto, on Monday, which aims to "promote the quality of life of the population of the municipality, with a special focus on publics and territories with greater challenges". The document was signed by the Mayor, Rui Moreira, and Prince Amyn Aga Khan, even before the "Schools2030 Global Forum", which takes place for the first time in our country.
The agreement aims to "promote pluralism and citizenship through participation, networking and the creation of innovative and sustainable responses", including, among other examples, the "co-creation of a participatory strategic vision for childhood" and the "collaborative participation of education agents (teachers, non-teachers, families, community, researchers, policymakers)" in three age groups - 5, 10 and 15 years old - in six groups of schools in the municipality.
The constitution of "collaborative networks between civil society organizations, and between these and public sector institutions, and strengthening of the Private Institution of Social Solidarity (IPSS) of the municipality" and "parish social commissions of the Social Network of Porto and support in the mapping, consulting and evaluation of territorial approach programs (for example, Escolhas Program) or social development plans of the city" are other purposes in the document.
The agreement, which will be valid for one year and will be the subject of specific addenda or sectoral agreements, also provides for the "promotion and training for active ageing and quality of life of the population and informal/family and formal caregivers", the "promotion of the inclusion of young people in situations of social vulnerability", the "contribution to increasing the participation of young people in the construction of communities and projects to improve the quality of life", the "development of programs that promote the valorisation of diversity, including immigrant population, descendants and ethnic minorities" and the "support and collaboration in the implementation of municipal plans for gender equality and non-discrimination".
Porto's "long tradition of humanism and solidarity"
After the signing of the agreement, Rui Moreira and Prince Amyn Aga Khan were present at the opening ceremony of the "Schools2030 Global Forum", which takes place for the first time in Portugal. "It is undoubtedly prestigious for the city of Porto to host an event of this size and interest, whose organization was, for the first time, attributed to Portugal", said the mayor.
“Our city has a long tradition of humanism and solidarity, of openness and intercultural dialogue, of tolerance and political pluralism, of promoting education, science and innovation”, said Rui Moreira, adding: “Therefore, [the city of Porto] shares the goals of equity, inclusion, and quality that the 'Schools2030' program and the Aga Khan Foundation are promoting in education systems, in the so-called global south”.
For the mayor of Porto, "educational systems need to adapt to the principles of inclusive education, which advocate a teaching-learning process that guarantees the active and equitable participation of all students, regardless of their specific educational needs and their ethnic, cultural, social and biological characteristics".
“A global political commitment is needed to ensure that, also in precarious socio-economic contexts, education develops the potential of children and young people and prepares them for the future life”, concluded Rui Moreira.
Also present at the opening ceremony was the Minister of Education. “We advance in education if we work, if we develop together. It takes practice, but we also need research. We need to show, we need the evidence, the voice of the students, everything that is in the 'Schools2030' program”, assured João Costa.
“It's much easier to say it's impossible, but we have, in real life, people who, every day, show us that we shouldn't be afraid to experiment. No one has the magic key, but you show that this magic is possible”, he added.
The Schools2030 Global Forum will be held for three days at Alfândega do Porto. The Aga Khan Foundation's program is focused on the sustained improvement of education from early childhood to secondary education, delivered by educational agents from ten countries (Afghanistan, Brazil, India, Pakistan, Portugal, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Tanzania, and Uganda) and runs from 2020 to 2030.
The focus of the research, monitored by scientific partners (in the case of Porto, the Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences of the University of Porto) will be the transition years between the levels of education and teaching, namely the five, 10 and 15 years.