The new year had just begun and the Council gathered together for its first longer meeting in the beginning of January. During two days, Dr. Birgit Sendler-Koschel (Germany), Jonathan Laabs (USA), Samuel Mutabazi (Rwanda), Prof. Annette Scheunpflug (Germany) and Wim Kuiper (Netherlands) discussed about the current challenges and future priorities of GPENreformation.
They followed the suggestion of the Kigali conference participants to put an emphasis on Peace Education over the next four years. This major topic involves every network member even if it can be in very different ways. All around the world teachers and students face challenges of conflict resolution – whether it is in interpersonal relations, in the school community or society. GPENreformation wants to work on these issues aiming at a peaceful learning and living together. Apart from this, quality education is an ongoing concern for the Council. They defined the improvement of the quality of Protestant education as one major goal of GPENreformation in general.
They also decided on the future terminology to be used: The category of the current participating schools will be widened to schools and universities and denominated basic members. The members currently registered in the category institutions will find themselves in the renamed category of constituent members including associations, organizations and churches supporting Protestant schools and universities. Furthermore, another category, the friends of GPENreformation, is planned to be created allowing interested individuals to get connected to the network as well. All categories are functionally different but equal. The renaming process will happen automatically, you don’t need to take action by yourself and can take part in the network as usual. As you are used to all members will figure on our world map in the future as well.
For this year 2018 the Council members agreed to work especially on strengthening the bonds between members, Ambassadors and Council already involved and on gaining new members as well as new funds for staff and projects in the years to come. There is a lot to do – but all Council members are motivated to give their best for the development of our network. Their next meeting takes place in Brussels, Belgium 15th/16th April 2018.