With the rise of distance learning due to COVID-19, the Living Letter Campaign comes at an important time in the educational field. There is a chance to advance educational opportunities globally, but with little regulation of the digital education sector, it can be hard to determine standardisations for online education. The campaign, run jointly by Globethics.net and the International Council for Open and Distance Education (ICDE), aims to inform and encourage stakeholders and decision-makers to promote ethics in higher education.
To celebrate Global Ethics Day on 19 October 2022, Globethics.net and the ICDE launched a Living Letter Campaign to provide a “living testimony for equality, inclusion, and diversity”. This advocacy campaign encourages people to write to decision-makers to urge them to lift their voices and drive decisions in their respective fields.
During the campaign launch, conference participants were provided with postcards and letters in four languages to sign, address, and send to key stakeholders and decision-makers. They were also encouraged to promote the letter-writing campaign widely among their global networks: Globethics.net made all of the campaign resources available online prior to the conference and urges our community to take part in this important campaign.
Examples were also shared of decision makers to address, including Farida Shaheed, UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Education, and Gordon Brown, UN Special Envoy for Global Education. Beyond global leaders, the campaign also urged participants to write to their country-specific leaders, as a key part of the campaign is also through outreach at regional and local levels.
The campaign agenda focuses on ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities, promoting ethics and values as a transversal subject matter in higher education curricula, and encouraging and advocating for the establishment of cross-sectoral alliances and networks on education at regional and global levels for open, flexible and distance learning opportunities for all. ICDE Secretary General Torunn Gjelsvik and Board Member Ebba Ossiannilsson underlined these important goals, contextualising the campaign with presentations about the ICDE Global Advocacy Campaign.
The Living Letter Campaign is an action contributing to key Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), such as SDG 4 Quality Education. By focusing on the SDGs within the campaign, Globethics.net and the ICDE state that ethics and sustainability should be at the forefront of quality education. Empowering members and communities to advocate within their local or strategically specific contexts can allow for greater change and can help mobilize and encourage relevant stakeholders and decision-makers in the education field to improve and standardize what quality education means.
The collaboration between Globethics.net and ICDE marks an important partnership. With the world becoming more polarised, now more than ever ethics and education can play a factor in the future. Studies have shown the more education a person has the higher quality of life they can achieve. Quality education should not just be guaranteed for children and young learners, but also for lifelong education. The Living Letter Campaign advocates for all people wanting to educate and better themselves.
Article credit: Allison Pierok