The enhancement of human elements in schools

In this article the aim is to enhance the roles of teacher and pupil by looking at two important days of the year: 5 October(World Teachers’ Day) and 20 November (World Children’s right day). Concerning these two dates it is important to take in consideration also the 16 of November, day in which we remember one of the intangible assets of UNESCO to emphasize the importance of education to food diet in the learning of knowledge.

Every 5th of October since 1994 is ‘World Teachers’ Day’, aimed at making the most of one of the key figures in the development of society, in relation to the progress made and the new emerging situations. On the same date, in 1966, during a special Intergovernmental Conference, convened by UNESCO and the ILO (International Labour Organization), the ‘Recommendation on the Status of Teachers’ was drafted: first international declaration on the status of school educators.

This year’s theme was: ‘Teachers: Driving in the crisis, reinventing the future’. In order to deal with this issue in as much depth as possible, UNESCO decided to celebrate this day with a series of virtual events lasting one week. The first was held on October 6. In it there was the delivery of the 6th Hamdan Prize. The objective of this award, which amounts to US$300,000 evenly divided between the three winners whose projects aim to improve the effectiveness of teachers worldwide, is to achieve Goal 4 of the UN 2030 Agenda. The virtual event session ended on October 12.

On the same October 6, Orizzonte Scuola Tv organized a debate mediated by Andrea Carlino and among the guests also was Carlo Mazzone, one of the candidates of the ‘Global Teacher Prize’. Through the different dialogues it was noted that the situation covid-19 has brought positive aspects such as the presence of individual health products, the change of the learning paradigm-teaching, first mainly focused on the figure of magister ex cathedra, with a teacher figure in a higher level for more educational knowledge, but also negative sides such as the lack of a top-down planning and a strong Italian educational leadership supported and projected into a vision of long-term unity. In the debate emerged an important aspect: Investing in human capital is crucial in improving the education system. A teacher has a key role in making the potential blossom in the student by illuminating it with arguments conveyed with the love of knowing in the improvement of society.

November 20th, 1959 is a date to remember. On that day, the United Nations General Assembly approved the Declaration of the Rights of the Child: a first approach that will show great progress in protecting the most vulnerable age groups. In the same day, but 30 years later, the Convention on the Rights of the Child was approved. Legal instrument and statement on the protection of children by all the States of the world, which have ratified the Convention (except the United States). Non-discrimination; the best interests of children; the right to life, survival and development; listening to the opinions of the child and education. These are the basic principles contained in the document. Thirty years later, too many people are still living in very uncomfortable conditions, and with the pandemic, the situation will get worse. It is therefore right to realise that there is still a great deal of work to be done in this direction. Work which must not stop at the results already obtained such as the laws to prohibit corporal punishment and those that sanction more effectively parents who abandon their children or who abuse them, the establishment of systems of juvenile justice distinct from those of adults and the establishment of systems of control and verification of the effective protection of children. It must be borne in mind that as report Save the Children, one of the largest independent international organisations, one billion children between the ages of 2 and 17 are still victims of physical, sexual or psychological violence, 12 million girls are married before the age of 18 to men who are often much older than themselves, 85 million children and young people are involved in dangerous forms of child labour. This situation is not only in the poorest countries but also in Italy. In Italy, 13.5% leave school early. This data makes us think and pushes us to do even more even in our small actions including everyone. Rights such as the right to legal identity, respect for privacy, freedom of expression should not remain just on paper. Protect and safeguard the smallest regardless of the country of origin and different characteristics that each of us has a collective duty and responsibility. Every child must have the possibility to make use of their abilities without limiting restrictions. Every child is a gift and not in an abstract way.

One of the elements necessary for human sustenance is food. Fuel of thought. In this point, the importance of education to the Mediterranean diet with historical references will be highlighted. On 16 November 2010, in Nairobi, Kenya, the Intergovernmental Committee of the UNESCO Convention on Intangible Cultural Heritage approved the inclusion of the Mediterranean Diet in the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage. It was initially assigned to Italy, Spain, Greece, Morocco and then to Portugal, Croatia and Cyprus. On the occasion of the tenth anniversary, the Ministry of Education organized the seminar entitled “Educating in the Mediterranean Diet and Mediterranean Lifestyle” and on Facebook in the profile of the Ministry of the Environment and the Protection of the Territory and the Sea you were able to watch a live feed of the event, in which they participated leading figures. From these emerged important concepts such as the meaning of diet. The Mediterranean diet is not only an arid and aseptic list of foods but it is a lifestyle composed of food, land care, beauty, sustainability, well-being, health protection, curbing the problem of diseases linked to an unbalanced diet, conviviality, respect for the landscape that we have inherited and that must be transmitted, which is possible through the learning of this concept from future generations, to safeguard the biodiversity that makes us unique in the world and to safeguard and harmonious development of activities, traditional and crafts related to fishing and agriculture of all communities in the Mediterranean. Promoting the Mediterranean diet means promoting the quality of agri-food products, organic farming, preserving biodiversity, combating food waste, working to ensure quality food, to support policies to protect the work and quality’ of work in agriculture. Teaching it and raising awareness of future generations on this subject means transferring motivation for which it is important to follow certain lifestyles and experiential objectives that suggest acting in their own right, others and the environment, preventing diseases, recognising their social component in the school system, disseminating a food culture, based on the prerequisites of healthy and sustainable nutrition, (objective of the ‘School and Food-Educational Program for a Healthy and Sustainable Diet’), to re-evaluate the food heritage linked to the food diet with the possibility to make necessary changes: less waste of food and water, resulting in the search for global quality, the fight against illegality, the choice of agricultural products of the land and according to the season, the enhancement of processing capacity and the excellence of dietary ,Made in Italy, knowledge and respect of other countries food habits and customs, intercultural dialogue, awareness of global citizenship and sustainable development in accordance with ecological, social and economic criteria.

The three points in the article emphasize the importance of caring for others in an improvement of lifestyles closer to every human need

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