Integrating Youth and Students Voices for Improved Advocacy: GCE Youth and Students
GCE believes that Youth and Students must be recognised as equal and active partners within the civil society movement for education, and youth voices must be included as co-architects of the future. Education policies will be strengthened by encouraging the active participation of youth-led organisations in strategic and decision-making processes within GCE and globally. GCE further deems that youth and students are the experts on their own contexts, challenges and solutions to these challenges facing them and their futures. There is an urgent need for a paradigm shift – one that moves from tokenism to one that truly engages young people as full partners in the design, implementation, and evaluation of strategies and programs and policies on challenges facing education. The genuine and meaningful participation of youth and students in advocacy, campaigns, and research is necessary for the education agenda and the achievement of SDG4. Youth and students should not be included as neutral participants but must be a driving force engaging in the general work and structures as equal partners of the movement to truly learn from their perspectives. Together, GCE aims to shape a better and more sustainable future for equal access to free, inclusive, public, quality education for all.
Half of the world’s population is estimated to be younger than 30 years old. Still, young people are one of the most marginalised groups on a global scale. Youth struggle to access education: the UN estimates that 142 million young people of upper secondary age are out of school and the upper secondary enrolment rates average only 14 per cent in low-income countries. Youth are at higher risk of unemployment and many live in poverty despite being employed. Youth will live with the consequences of decisions made by the generations before them, however they are still excluded from decision making processes and from shaping education policies from local to global level.
Meanwhile, students and youth are leading some of the most progressive movements all over the world fighting for quality education, fairer societies and human rights. Youth and students must be recognised as equal and active partners within the civil society movement for education. Youth involvement is key to a sustainable world and youth voices must be included as co-architects of the future. Policies will be strengthened by encouraging active participation of youth led organisations in the Global Campaign for Education and in the decision-making processes. Together we shape a better and more sustainable future for equal access to free, inclusive, public, quality education for all.
In January 2015, the World Assembly of the Global Campaign for Education formally recognised the need to represent and include youth-led movements more formally in its structure. Many of our members already work in partnership with youth-led organisations, and it is time to give them the place they deserve in the global education civil society movement.
As a youth or student led organisation member of GCE, you will get the possibility to connect, exchange and work together with other young activists, advocates, students and youth-led organisations from across the globe. You will have a chance to be heard in the international discussions where topics relates to education are debated. As a GCE member you will participate in a strong movement working to achieve SDG4, advocating for everyone’s right to a free, inclusive, quality public education. Together we can strengthen the youth voice worldwide!
There are many benefits to becoming a member of GCE:
- Your organisation will be part of a truly international movement with members in 100 countries.
- You will have access to a network of like-minded organisations and professionals working for the same objectives, with opportunities to develop skills, share knowledge and increase the impact of your work.
- You will connect with other youth and student-led organisations to strengthen the youth voice globally to work together to achieve our 2019-2022 strategic plan.
- GCE is led by its members: the way the campaign develops is down to you!
International youth events help understand the various solutions that exist in other countries and are a source of inspiration to better contribute to improving the education sector at the country level. Osvaldo, Mozambique
How To Become A Part Of The Movement?
Join the National Coalition for Education in your country
As a youth led organisation working in education you can join the GCE national coalition in your country. You can see if there is a national coalition in your country here. If there is no education civil society national coalition in your country, you are welcome to form a new one (more on how to form and qualify as a national coalition here).
As a part of a National Coalition for Education you will be joining a great network of youth and student led organisations working at national, sub-regional, regional and global levels!
The Youth Constituency
As an international or regional youth led organisation for education you can directly become a member of the GCE movement and join the youth constituency, which represents the GCE youth voice globally. Ready to apply? Please fill out this application, which will be reviewed by our Board. In case of acceptance a formal acceptance letter will be issued.
As a member of the GCE Youth Constituency, your organisation can become a candidate to be elected in the GCE Board as a representative for the Youth constituency. To know more, have a look at our Constitution here.