【FOCUS】Educational Innovation Brightens the Urban Future
From June 7th to 9th, GaoKao (The China National Unified Examination for Admissions to General Universities and Colleges), an exam engaging more than ten million students is held annually in China. It is a main way for Chinese students to obtain higher education resources through personal efforts. In this case, education has always been the focus of people around the world. It is the foundation of youth development, which shapes a city’s and a country’s future.
In today’s world, educational innovation plays an important role in training up talents and promoting urban sustainable development. This article will present four initiatives of educational innovations -- how cities create educational opportunities, improve their governance capabilities in education, and enhance sustainability in youth training.
Education 360-Degrees Investment Program
Valenzuela’s Education 360-Degrees Investment Program is a systematic, holistic and comprehensive set of seven projects: Nanay-Teacher Program, Summer Reading Camp, K to 6 (kindergarten to grade 6) in-school Feeding Program, performance incentive program, curriculum design, educational necessities supply and infrastructure construction. The program aims to improve the local education system so that education can benefit every child in Valenzuela.
The Valenzuela city government uses a bottom-up approach to enable residents to have a stake in the program. School summits and workshops are held regularly, offering opportunities for city officials, teachers and parents to discuss the situations of students: how many are dropping out, how many are performing well, and why some are under-performing. Then, the summits and workshops turn into listening sessions, where local leaders, parents and teachers share their expectations of students and the difficulties that they face. At the end, the city government will take all these factors into account while designing the program, ensuring that it is collaboratively undertaken by residents.
Educational Parks for Youth
Antioquia has set up an education system of 80 innovative educational parks, which are designed to complement educational and cultural programs on a regional scale and enhance young peoples' knowledge of science and technology, innovation ability as well as their art and culture skills.
The educational parks promote science, technology, research, innovation, connectivity, and entrepreneurship, as well as develop cultural and artistic practices. Offering multiple opportunities and enriching teenager’s school life, the educational parks are conceived a model of developing capacities and creating opportunities through education.
The Barcelona Schools Agenda 21 Program
The Barcelona Schools Agenda 21 Program was promoted in 2001 by the Barcelona City Council in collaboration with the AGBAR Foundation and the Barcelona Municipal Institute for Education. It aims at integrating the principles of sustainability in schools’ educational programs, and stimulates a participatory learning-process, developing skills and knowledge amongst pupils.
Adapting and Installing an international vocational Training for Renewable Energies
Berlin has developed a program to encourage young people who are disengaging from the formal education system to enter vocational training in green and sustainable technologies. An innovative and fun approach is taken to train and inspire the students to develop a range of technical skills in practice.