Fundamental Values of Education – Is One Minute Enough? 

Education on all levels has been a major focus for attention and recognition around the world especially in the recent decades. It is without hesitation an enormous privilege for anyone of us to get the necessary time and resources required to join education at any level. University, higher education and professional training are becoming key instruments of increasing importance for joining not only the labor market but the global social community in large. Such evolution is a result of four major factors: (1) accelerating motivation and wishes to take part in global social-media and socio-economic debates where safety, security and peace are central components; (2) the emerging global transfer and adaptation to sustainable societies where environment and social issues are becoming major components in shaping and re-shaping world economy; (3) accelerating participation of the population, investors and expertise from the new emerging and growing economies and markets; (4) the growing public awareness of gender issues, the increasing pressures for erasing poverty, integration of marginalized groups and mitigation of increasing social- segregation resulted from religious and ethnic  conflicts. 

Education has enormous power to empower individuals in many aspects. This, also, creates huge pressures on political systems and policy-makers to respond promptly to the non-ending needs of more informed young generations facing a totally new different and demanding future.

However, we should not be naive and ignore the increaing threats, anti-actions and hostile behavior of conservative powers, interests and groups around the world. There are clear demonstrations and evidence for more and more threats from terrorist attacks against education on all levels especially in Africa and the MENA region. Unfortunately, these attacks started to becmore and more organized and coordinated thus making huge pressures for finding collective actions, policies and strategies for productive and sustainable solutions. Kenya, Mali, Nigeria and other countries in the MENA region as well as Pakistan, and even in Europe and the USA are some examples. 

The most recent of these terrorist attacks is what happened at Garissa University College in Kenya on Thursday 2 April 2015 where 147 students were killed and at least 79 people were wounded. The European University Association invites and encourages all European universities to observe one minute’s silence today, Monday 27 April 2015, 12:00 CET, in remembrance of all those killed and affected by such barbaric attack. This is certainly not enough, sustainable and more effective long-term and large-scale solutions need to be found. 

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