Over the last decade, Flemish schools have shown a growing interest in the Sustainable Development Goals and building a partnership with a school in the Global South. Their wish is twofold: to bring the SDGs and the South in general into the classroom through a personal relationship with a school in the South; and to put their solidarity with schools in the South into practice.
However, these schools often lack the necessary contacts, competences and resources to turn these collaborations into successful and sustainable partnerships. Support from a third party is crucial.
Schools develop sustainable North-South schoollinks that create a forum for educational and intercultural exchange through which competences of global citizenship are fostered.
The SchoolLinks programme centres on strengthening teachers, school leaders, and other relevant individuals of the school community, both in the North and the South, to better understand the other’s reality and challenges, and to respond to them in a positive way. Teachers in particular are trained to use the schoollink as an educational tool to stimulate changes in their learners.
The programme is built around three pillars:
- Quality support and guidance of the schoollinks so they can successfully evolve into a sustainable partnership
- Effective communication about schoollinks so schools are inspired to create or strengthen their own
- A framework for quality monitoring and evaluation so new approaches for better support can be identified