Project Description

The Center for UNESCO of Catalonia-Unescocat has promoted an alliance of schools and civil society entities for an advanced educational system, responding to the United Nations Agenda 2030 and UNESCO’s call for the participation of all sectors in an inclusive process to enable change in the educational paradigm. The ultimate goal has been for all children in all schools, regardless of their context or conditions, to be able to enjoy empowerment and relevant learning experiences that allow them to develop their life projects with dignity, meaning and wellbeing.

The alliance, named “Escola Nova 21 [New School 21] – Alliance for an advanced educational system”, has, as its reference, the New School movement of the beginning of the 20th century and links it to the challenges of the 21st century. It was created in January 2016 through an agreement between Unescocat, Jaume Bofill Foundation and the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC), and joined by “la Caixa” Foundation and the Diputació de Barcelona. The presentation to the press was made on 21st April 2016 at the CosmoCaixa in Barcelona, along with the directors of 25 schools and institutes with advanced educational practices, and the support of the Federation of Associations of Mothers and Fathers of Students (FAPaC in Catalan), the Federation of Pedagogical Renewal Movements and the FemCat Businessmen Foundation.

The program proposes the consolidation of the educational projects of these centers, to extend their example and to contribute to the whole educational system advancing towards a similar updating, from the shared vision of an autonomous, competent, inclusive school with globalized learning. 

For this reason, the program wants to accompany and train the centers and their teams so that this transformation can take place, deepening the purpose of education and the knowledge of what an advanced school is, the methodologies that we already know are promoted in what we know about learning, and the stages that have to be overcome to make an effective and lasting change. 

The Escola Nova 21 initiative wants to promote this process of deep, systematic and planned transformation over three academic years. It wants to do it with the complicity and support of educational reference centers that already carry out advanced educational practices and which are agents of change that can act as a guide. It also wants to achieve this through advising and training management teams and teachers, sharing spaces (face-to-face and online) of knowledge and training, and forming an alliance with groups and institutions across the country that share this desire for educational transformation. 

Thus, on 21st May 2016, the Escola Nova 21 program was publicly presented at a conference in Barcelona’s CosmoCaixa. More than 400 people representing schools attended, and they discussed educational learning practices based on the principles of learning and what the processes of transformation of an educational center consist of. They were also informed about the steps to follow in order to be part of the initiative and how the selection process will be developed. This event was also attended by various prominent people, including the Speaker of the Parliament of Catalonia, Carme Forcadell, the Vice-President of the Catalan Government, Oriol Junqueras, the Minister of Education, Meritxell Ruiz, and the Minister of Health, Toni Comin.

The presentation was attended by the heads of the entities that form the alliance: Eduard Vallory, Chairman of the Center for UNESCO of Catalonia-Unescocat and Director of Escola Nova 21 Alliance; Ismael Palacín, Director of the Jaume Bofill Foundation; Josep A. Planell, Rector of the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC); and Elisa Duran, Assistant Managing Director of the ”la Caixa” Foundation. The event was closed by the Minister of Education of the Government of Catalonia, Meritxell Ruiz