International Conference 2017
From November 05 to 07, 2017 more than 50 members of GPENreformation and the Protestant Council of Rwanda (CPR) from 18 countries came to Kigali, Rwanda to learn about concepts facing Peace Education at Protestant schools as well as to discuss and develop new approaches from a global perspective.
A special focus was set on conflicts in the field of Protestant education. Experiences from South Sudan, DR Congo, Burundi, Cameroon, Poland und Brazil demonstrated the range and diversity of conflicts Protestant schools worldwide are facing. A keynote about the Rwandan Pedagogy of Remembrance and Reconciliation combined with a visit of the Genocide Memorial Center in Kigali pointed out initial approaches who were deepened and supplemented by another session about Protestant responses and ideas: After an introduction to the foundations of Peace Education, the participants were led to the Participatory and Active Pedagogy (PAP) in the Great Lake Region in Africa. Examples and experiences from Rwanda, Egypt, DR Congo, Cameroon and Germany proposed solutions of a practical implementation.
Besides the thematic work, the attendants worked on the development of the network structures of GPENreformation: The first Council were mandated! With Dr. Wim Kuiper (the Netherlands), Dr. Jonathan Laabs (USA), Rev. Samuel Mutabazi (Rwanda), Rev. Prof. Dr. Annette Scheunpflug (Germany) and Dr. Birgit Sendler-Koschel (Germany) a multi-national and multi-denominational team will forward and lead the network during the next years. Furthermore, GPENreformation could gain 23 new Ambassadors who will represent and support the network in their regions and countries.
International Symposium 2016
During the international Conference of schools500reformation in Wittenberg in October 2015, participants suggested the compilation of a common “Charter” of Protestant Schools Worldwide. This aim was partly achieved during the concluding workshops of the conference.
Within the global scope of protestant schools, a “Charter”, in terms of shared foundations, can fulfil several important functions: It highlights the characteristics and quality criteria of protestant education by focusing on a variety of transnational contexts. Each school as an institution is rooted in its own national context through language, statute and curriculum. This can be reflected in a position paper that gives a worldwide vision for protestant education and opens up the possibility for profiling protestant schools in an appropriate way. For schools, this is linked to the expectation of internationally-accepted quality criteria for protestant schools that help them to assert themselves in an increasingly competitive education market.
From 15 to 17 December 2016, around 40 members of our network came together in Soesterberg (NL) to develop such shared foundations. After three days of intensive work, we are now very happy with the fruit of our work: “Establishing common ground for Protestant Schools. A position paper by schools500reformation”. The position paper was written in English and will be translated into several other languages.
The more, the winners of the lottery in the scope of the activity “Protest for the Future” were presented. The prizes were handed to the headteachers of the respective schools or to the coordinators representing the respective countries.
We also had an intensive discussion about the network GPENreformation which will follow the project schools500reformation. All participants claimed that a continuation is definitely important and desired. Everyone agreed “we are just getting started”. In this spirit we are looking forward to shaping with you our global community of Protestant schools beyond 2017.
We thank all participants for their important contribution to this milestone of our network.
Many thanks to Mireille Boissonnat (France) for the short report and to Martin Affolderbach (Germany) for the pictures.
Second International Conference in Wittenberg 2015
The second international conference was held in Wittenberg from October 15–17, 2015, under the heading “500 Protestant Schools – One World. Towards the Reformation Jubilee 2017”. The conference addressed headmasters of schools that are involved in the project and had the following aims:
- discussing the identity and profile of Protestant schools in an ecumenical and global horizon,
- establishing new contacts and partnerships with Protestant schools from different countries and continents,
- planning and coordinating further steps of the project towards the Reformation Jubilee 2017 according to the annual themes,
- experiencing and celebrating the interplay of reformation, education and global responsibility in Martin Luther’s home town Wittenberg.
Many thanks to Alasdair Coates (UK) and Mireille Boissonnat (France) for the reports.
Regional Conferences in 2014
Three regional conferences were held:
- 2nd to 5th April 2014 in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo
- 3rd to 6th June 2014 in Koforidua, Ghana
- 12th to 16th August 2014 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
International Conference in Eisenach 2013
This audio recording, a radio transmission, contains interesting information about the International Conference which took place from 10 to 12 April 2013 at Eisenach on the one hand, about the project schools500reformation itself on the other hand.
Some of the participants talk about their ideas and hopes concerning the project, about their experiences during the conference and about their visions of the development of schools500reformation.