Fundació Bofill

Let’s open up education: a plea from the Fundació Bofill

¿Por qué abrir la educación? Contra las desigualdades educativas


Due to the coronavirus crisis this year, children and young people may be out of school for six months. If we add the summer break to the final term of the 19/20 school year, which was online learning, children and young people are unlikely to set foot in the classroom until next year.

Research shows that prolonged school absenteeism exacerbates educational inequalities between students and families and leads to a loss of learning and school disengagement. This is experienced in a critical context by many households suffering from financial difficulties, unemployment or health problems. Critical issues arising from anxiety, insecurity and frustration need to be addressed.

We cannot allow the health crisis to trigger an educational crisis. Good educational opportunities are an important part of wellbeing; they do not go against it. Education must take individual inequalities and situations into account, in order to build a network of support and encouragement.

How can educational inequalities be offset in the era of coronavirus? Our answer is clear: education must be opened up to create conditions of opportunity for all.

Community-built education, enriched education, open to new opportunities for learning, care, well-being and high-level collaboration, allowing us to create a collective emergency plan.

Opening Up Education is the Fundació Bofill’s response to this shared need and opportunity. A project that aims to prevent the current health crisis from turning into an educational crisis. To do this, we aspire to open our suggestions and ideas to the whole community by:

  • An agenda of urgent educational measures with one key aim: to end the current school year in the best possible way for our students, to create the conditions for an enriched educational summer for all and to begin the new school year full of new opportunities. Now is the time to lay the groundwork for a resilient education system that, faced with possible new challenges or new health crises, can overcome all difficulties and ensure quality and fair learning for all students. It is time to put the framework in place to prevent the system from collapsing again.
  • A map of challenges to be resolved in an open and collaborative way in the era of coronavirus: a call to the whole educational community to face up to challenges, experiment and share solutions and drive forward proposals in the face of (new or old) problems that the coronavirus crisis has exposed. No organisation alone can solve the problem of educational inequality, but together we can achieve it.
  • A space in which we can reflect and share our learning and resources regarding what is being done for education on a global level in the face of Covid-19. A place to share ideas on what could be initiated in Catalonia, to learn about who is already promoting educational actions and explore together how to respond to the health pandemic.
  • A manifesto that represents our commitment to promoting a country full of educational opportunities. A constantly evolving tool with which we can share our values and insights on how to keep up the fight against educational inequality.

A manifesto. For a country filled with new opportunities

Here we begin a process of building a shared manifesto that will be enriched by your contributions and the work we do through this project:

Opening Up Education...

In a time of well-being and of healing

Lockdown is a difficult experience and can have severe consequences, not only on an emotional level, but also socially and within families. During this time, the world of education must focus on offering a place of refuge for students, where emotional well-being is prioritised over academic results. Supporting students emotionally is vital for creating good conditions for education.

To create opportunities

The closure of schools has led to a weakening of the link between the school and the student, increasing existing inequalities. Reversing this “school disconnection” and the loss of learning in terms of skills, abilities and content, must be one of the priorities to be resolved. To do this, we need more education than ever before, filling neighbourhoods with opportunities during the summer holidays and planning a new school year that is more ambitious than ever.

With all the community

Teachers and families have once again borne the brunt of this crisis on their own. Now it is up to the community and the local authorities to work quickly to show that we are a responsible society who together have a duty to restore the educational future of children and young people with new opportunities. We believe that now is the time to push for an ambitious community response project, to enrich the educational environment of all students.

Against inequality

Being aware of these inequalities cannot be used simply to acknowledge their existence and see them as highly complex and immovable. There are effective actions to be taken and tested in many places that show us that we do not have to settle for an unequal society. Let’s activate them and reinvest what we have learnt from this crisis by equipping ourselves with a more resilient and equitable education system.



Project team

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