Monday, 24 August 2020

Reputable New York City Croat Quoted by FOWPAL Commemorating World Humanitarian Day with Conscience

August 24, 2020 - August 19 marks World Humanitarian Day. The Federation of World Peace and Love (FOWPAL) hosted a virtual event to commemorate World Humanitarian Day with Conscience, paying tribute to real-life heroes who help the needy, save lives, or promote human welfare. 

A reputable New York City Croat Srecko Mavrek, an official KDP International Honor Society in Education representative to the UN Department of Global Communications, delivered his message to recognize importance of humanitarian works. His well noted quote was posted by the International Day of Conscience on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. 

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“Humanitarian assistance is badly needed in many countries due to lack of political commitment, media attention and international support. The pandemic has made the situation even worse. Humanitarian crisis have worsened due to medical supply shortages. It is especially meaningful and important that we commemorate this World Humanitarian Day today. I would like to pay my highest tribute and gratitude to the great jobs of aid workers who have risked their lives in the most difficult environment extending helping hands to the helpless. Conscience is the wellspring of love, and love is at the core of humanitarian spirit,” said Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze, President of FOWPAL 

In 2008, the United Nations General Assembly designated 19 August as World Humanitarian Day to raise awareness about humanitarian assistance worldwide and to pay tribute to the people who risk their lives to provide it. World Humanitarian Day was commemorated for the first time on 19 August 2009. 

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Tuesday, 28 July 2020

New York City Croat Quoted by International Day of Conscience

July 28, 2020 - The Federation of World Peace and Love (FOWPAL) hosted a virtual forum in celebration of the 1st anniversary of the United Nations’ adoption of the International Day of Conscience on July 25, 2020.

The president of FOWPAL, nine distinguished panelists and invited global citizens shared their thoughts about promoting the culture of peace with conscience. Among them was New York City Croat Srecko Mavrek, an official KDP International Honor Society in Education representative to the UN Department of Global Communications, who shared his uplifting message in recognition of the day. His well noted quote was posted by the International Day of Conscience on Twitter and Facebook.

Dr. Hong, Tao-Tze, President of FOWPAL, stressed that “Conscience inspires acts of kindness, makes us grateful for what we have and willing to give back to society, and makes us realize that it is better to give than take. Our time in this world is limited, but the value we can add to our lives is limitless. In this critical time, let us continue to work together. With conscience as the antidote to our hearts and love as the wellspring of life, we can unleash our potential to promote a culture of peace, create a new era of conscience for all humanity, and build an achievable and sustainable future for the Earth and future generations.” 

“I pray today and every day that the voice of conscience guides me to awaken me and that I’d be a benefit to others,” said Mr. Jonathan Granoff, President of Global Security Institute, adding, “Only if my heart is clear and good can I really be a benefit to others.” He also said that “This initiative that you’ve started of the International Day of Conscience is not an abstract lesson in a university. It’s a reality of the nations of the world brought to life through our individual efforts.” 

In July 2019, during the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly, the United Nations adopted a draft resolution submitted by the Kingdom of Bahrain and declared April 5 as the International Day of Conscience. The Assembly invited "all Member States, organizations of the United Nations system and other international and regional organizations, as well as the private sector and civil society, to build the culture of peace with love and conscience in accordance with the culture and other appropriate circumstances or customs or their local, national and regional communities, including through quality education and public awareness-raising activities, thereby fostering sustainable development." 

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Sunday, 19 July 2020

A Croatian International Educational Expert about Teaching Civic Culture

July 19, 2020 - Srećko Mavrek, a Croatian international educational expert based in New York, attended the 2020 Sphere Summit: Teaching Civic Culture Together, July 13-15, hosted by the CATO Institute, Washington DC (https://www.cato.org/).

Given the concerns related to COVID-19, the 2020 Sphere Summit was held as an online public policy and professional development seminar exclusive to educators and administrators.

“The most important goal of the Sphere Summit was to restore a spirit of civil, constructive, and respectful discourse and engagement. To that end, the Summit emphasized on the common values and objectives we hold as citizens. It is necessary to return facts, objective analysis, and independent research to primacy as the vehicles for discussion and academic, public and political debate. Discussing shared values is essential to a restoration of civic culture,” said Mavrek.

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“The objectives of the Sphere Summit included civic culture, foundations, applications, understanding each other, and policy discussions. Participants explored and addressed the current state of public discourse, partisanship, and tribalism in America. They also shared tools and approaches for the classroom on current public policy issues from diverse viewpoints. Other topics included the U.S. Constitution, the rule of law, and freedom of expression. While some speakers were struggling with their own political biases during examination of the various political philosophies and understanding the viewpoints of audiences with diverse perspectives, it was really valuable to analyze key policy issues from diverse perspectives with an emphasis on shared values and common objectives,” concluded Mavrek.

The Sphere Summit featured presentations by leading policymakers, scholars, and academics, who discussed key public policy issues facing the US and Western countries today. The Summit also featured professional development workshops conducted by leaders in civic education. Featured speakers included: Anne Applebaum, Staff writer for The Atlantic and a Pulitzer‐​prize winning historian, Gary Colletti, Senior Manager, Teacher and Student Programs, Bill of Rights Institute, Chelsea Follett, Policy Analyst and Managing Editor of Human​Progress​.org, Cato Institute, Caroline Fredrickson, Senior Fellow, Brennan Center for Justice, Peter Goettler, President and CEO, Cato Institute, Jonathan Haidt, Thomas Cooley Professor of Ethical Leadership, Stern School of Business, New York University; and Cofounder, Heterodox Academy, Michael A. Lewis, Professor, Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College, CUNY, and others. Two House Representatives participated in the Keynote Address on July 14 - Rep. Kelly Armstrong (Republican-ND) and Rep. Ro Khanna (Democrat-CA).

Sunday, 12 July 2020

A Croatian International Expert on Safely Reopening America’s Schools

July 12, 2020 - On Tuesday, July 7, the White House hosted a half-day Summit on Safely Reopening America’s Schools focusing on reopening America’s schools in safe ways that respect the holistic health and learning needs of America’s students. The Summit included state and local leaders, health professionals, teachers, administrators, parents, and higher education institution leaders from across the USA. The live broadcast of this event was attended by nearly 700 attendees. Among them was Srećko Mavrek, a Croatian educational expert based in New York, who has officially represented Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education at the UN Department of Global Communications. Communications since 2016.

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“In the weeks ahead, educators and government officials at the state and local level will have to make important decisions about when and how to safely reopen America’s schools. Therefore, it was very important to initiate the national dialogue about safe reopening. Everyone agrees that students should return to the classrooms as soon as possible, but there are also several main disagreements regarding the safety concerns, learning models and financial issues. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released detailed guidance to ensure school officials understand how to prepare for, prevent transmission of, and react quickly to coronavirus cases within an education system,” said Mavrek.

President Donald Trump and the federal government demand that schools must reopen, and they must be fully operational, i.e. five days of classes per week. He added that America’s Coronavirus mortality rate is down tenfold from the peak of the crisis.  Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said the Administration expects children to be back in their learning environments this Fall and urged decision-makers to think practically about the consequences if children do not return to the classroom this year. She added that is best to leave to education and community leaders to determine how the schools will reopen.”

“Their opponents argue that premature full school reopening could lead to further spread of the coronavirus. They therefore support different models of blended learning, i.e. a few days at school plus a certain number of distance learning days. On Wednesday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza unveiled their "Blended Learning" plan for the city's 1.1 million public school students. The mayor noted that most schools will not be able to have all students in school at the same time. Classrooms will be limited to about nine to 12 students. That's instead of the average class size of 30 students. Chancellor Carranza said that the plan to bring students back into school buildings requires the use of PPE and social distancing. He added that parents can choose only distance learning and that later in the year they will be able to request a transition to combined teaching. Parents will have opportunities throughout the year to transition their child into one of the in-person models. If any family wants to switch from the "Blended Learning" to "All Remote Learning" they may do so at any time.That doesn't necessarily mean that schools will reopen because Governor Andrew M. Cuomo also announced on Wednesday that New York State will decide during the first week of August whether schools will reopen in the Fall. "

 “Distance learning was introduced because of the extraordinary circumstances and it was a big shock for students, teachers and parents to adapt to such a sudden hard situation. I think that students with learning difficulties lose the most because many of them cannot cope with distance learning or stay behind because of various factors. On the other hand, distance learning can be beneficial for students who can learn at their own pace. Some of my college students did very well last semester. In addition, the question is how further social isolation and lack of social interaction will affect students’ mental and social health. The situation is uncertain for now, but it is quite certain that the federal states and some large school districts will independently decide on the safe reopening of schools and learning models. I think there will be a lot of complications with the organization of the blended schedule because there are many unresolved issues, e.g. how to learn and teach while wearing face masks, how to effectively plan scheduling for the Fall, how will school districts handle the question of student transportation, and if there will be enough teachers needed for reduced classes," said Mavrek.

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