OMEP has been working worldwide for the realization of human rights in early childhood for over 70 years. Its members have always been convinced that education constitutes the essential tool to achieve this goal. This is why we devote our work to increase accessibility to education and care from birth to the age of eight, and to enrich and share pedagogical knowledge: in order to improve the quality of the education aimed at young children.
Many voices around the world have been calling for the defense of this stage of human life, in the last years, due to the growing acknowledgement of the foundational importance of early years and to the certainty that boys and girls are citizens, so their rights must be promoted.
OMEP is an ecumenical organization, based on volunteer work, which convenes educators, teachers, researchers, and specialists from a variety fields (Pedagogy, Medicine, Psychology, Architecture, Anthropology, etc.) related to children wellbeing and development. and who are willing to take up the call to defend and protect young boys and girls. So early childhood education and care constitutes a broad, diverse, multi-format, fragmented, heterogeneous field, crossed by multiple discussions. At the same time, public policies, programs, institutions and practices are very varied and are based in different legal and ideological frameworks, gather diverse social actors and are managed by public, community, private or market systems that differ a lot from one another.
We know that young boys and girls need “good” education and care, in ethical and epistemological terms, to be able to grow and develop into fulfilled adults and responsible citizens. In order to achieve this, governments and societies must, among other things, ensure a high-quality integral approach.
Children’s education quality is based on knowledge construction, with a political and pedagogical sense. Knowledge is permanently being created and re-created, due to the progress of sciences and to the interpretations and re-negotiations among actors. In this sense, and following Bruner’s notions, education and culture can be defined as forums, as they are a space for negotiation, (re)creation of meaning and for discovering the purpose of human action. Thus, a dialogue with others is necessarily implied in the construction of knowledge: thereby, meanings are achieved by sharing human cognitions.
Why OMEP’s BLOG “Rights From the Start”?
One of the new communication channels that characterize this millennial are the Blogs: virtual spaces in which short articles with state-of-the-art knowledge on specific subjects are shared on a regular basis.
With this new OMEP blog we aim at establishing a corpus that will enable the organization to strengthen its actions and influence the political and academic arena in favor of young boys’ and girls’ right to education around the world. We are going to use this communication strategy to collaborate with the promotion of inclusive, equitable and quality education for early childhood, positioning ourselves as critical pedagogists and as human rights activists. As we believe that the pedagogical and political narrative carried out by OMEP and its community needs to become visible, we are going to implement several communication channels and actions.
We trust that this Blog will allow us to spread our message among public officials, politicians, colleagues, educators, families and any person or party interested, by contributing to the expansion and strengthening the knowledge community committed to early childhood.
The name “Rights from the start” resumes a project started in 2018 along with CLADE (Latin American Campaign for the Right to Education) and EDUCO Foundation, to whom we thank for their solidarity and commitment to the cause for the realization of human rights during early childhood.
We would like to thankfully acknowledge Arcor Foundation and Navarro Viola Foundation for their support, which helped make this project possible.
Finally, we hope educators and OMEP members will contribute with their views and constructive words to keep insisting on how important it is to reinforce our work with knowledge and a political responsibility towards childhoods around the world.
Mercedes Mayol Lassalle is the World President of OMEP (World Organization for Preschool Education) since January 1, 2020. National Normal Teacher, Graduate in Education Sciences, University of Buenos Aires. Former Director of the Early Childhood Education area of the City of Buenos Aires. Currently, she is a Professor in the Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education at the University of Buenos Aires and in the Regional Program for Training in Planning and Management of Educational Policies, IIPE-UNESCO Buenos Aires, Office for Latin America. Elected member of the Coordination Group of the Collective Consultation of NGOs on EDUCATION 2030 – CCNGO / ED 2030.