“I would really like to change the reality of my people. In Chile, we have high levels of private education and I think that this worsens inequality for my people.” (Benjamin, Chile).
“Schools should be taught by professionals, not by people who politicians know. In Montenegro, there is corruption in education. People give money to pass examinations and we lack quality teaching. I would like to change that.” (Sanja, Montenegro).
“They tell us that Bulgarian children are very bright. We go to the Math Olympiads and IT Olympiad, and win many medals. But these are just the prodigies. What about the rest of the children? The problem is not with democracy, but with how the elites are practising it and what this tells us about it.” (Daniel and Daniel, Bulgaria).
“I would not say that our education system is bad but it can definitely be improved. After transitioning from a Soviet system, we need newer ideas. That is why I am here today. I would like to try to take good and successful European practices to try to implement it in our countries.” (Sergiu, Moldova).
“During economic crises, funding for education is always the first thing that gets cut. This makes no sense. Instead of betting in education, their excuse is that there is no money. But here’s the thing, the money is always there, if they want to find it. We have come to a stage where everyone only cares about themselves. The teachers’ union doesn’t care about the state of education any more, rather more about how they are treated than how much they are paid. They should be the first to improve education, but they are not. And the victims of this are the children.” (Oussama, Tunisia).
“We are lucky to be here because it was due to many people. The French embassy gave us free visas, our universities gave us free airplane tickets, and our French friends provided us with places to stay for free. We are really fortunate. But, when we go home, it will be hard. We plan to have a meeting with the Moroccan delegation to share the ideas that were discussed here. Hopefully, this will improve education in North Africa.” (Gleya, Tunisia).
openDemocracy is at this year's World Forum for Democracy, exploring the relationship between education and democracy with a youth newsroom. More here.