The Spanish Prime Minister, Mariano Rajoy, has presided over the award ceremony of the Grand Cross of Alfonso X the Wise, at Madrid’s Prado Museum.
The Minister for Education, Culture and Sport, Iñigo Méndez de Vigo, has presented Doña María Rosa Bonet with the Grand Cross of Alfonso X the Wise, awarded posthumously to her husband Felipe Segovia Olmo (1936-2013), founder of SEK Educational Group (Camilo José Cela University and SEK International Schools). An emotionally-charged event that has also been attended by his daughter Nieves Segovia Bonet, President of SEK Educational Group.
Méndez de Vigo, in his address, highlighted the figure of Felipe Segovia and the reasons for granting him this prestigious award: “In this very special day we also posthumously award the Grand Cross of Alfonso X the Wise to a major figure in the fields of education and culture who is no longer with us. Felipe Segovia was an innovator of teaching methods, through the SEK family group, where over 20,000 students study in Spain and abroad.
With a life’s work devoted to quality education, Felipe Segovia, is a source of pride for the whole educational community and for those who have made teaching their life.
Entrepreneur, education enthusiast and tireless worker, he left his legacy in the hands of his daughter Nieves, the President of SEK Group, secure in the knowledge that she would continue with his work in line with the tenets of innovation, justice and excellence”.
The Grand Cross is the foremost award granted in the field of education in Spain and is awarded for “his unconditional devotion to teaching and educating the young, the founding of cutting-edge schools and the improvement and innovation of the Spanish education system for over more than a century”.
Son of teachers and a teacher of teachers, his vocation for education gave meaning to his life. A life devoted to society that he aspired to perfect. It would be difficult to understand the history of education without his vast body of work.
He held a Degree in Mathematics from the Universidad Central and was a State teacher. He also held a qualification in Psychology from the Higher School of Psychology at Madrid’s Complutense University and a PhD with honours in Educational Philosophy and Sciences with the thesis ‘The Intelligent Classroom: design and assessment of an innovative educational experience’. He was General Director (1958) and President of SEK Educational Group (1965) and from the year 2000 he was the first Rector Magnifico, Honorary Rector and Chancellor of Camilo José Cela University.
Felipe Segovia was one of the greatest thinkers in education in the second half of the 20th century and early 21st century and at the same time was a great educational entrepreneur, with a life’s work that included the creation of over 20 schools that today teach over 20,000 schools in Spain and abroad. Over 150,000 students have learnt in their classrooms.
Furthermore, SEK was founded based on his principles and values. Felipe Segovia’s educational ethos is the cornerstone of all SEK’s teaching. The pursuit of excellence, innovation and liberty set the path towards a new educational horizon that is redrawn time and again, always placing students and their dignity at its heart.
The 125th anniversary of the founding of SEK Educational Group
This award to the work and life of Felipe Segovia Olmo coincides with the 125th anniversary of the founding of SEK Educational Group. The first SEK school was founded in 1892 in Madrid’s historic centre, the oldest private, non-denominational educational institution in Spain. One hundred and twenty-five years ‘at the service of the common human spirit of achievement and striving for a better society’ as is enshrined in the SEK Educational Group’s ethos.
Born from a one-hundred-year family tradition of freedom and independence, SEK Educational Group is committed to offering quality education in line with its educational values.
SEK Educational Group represents the tangible, moral and educational legacy of its President for over 50 years, Felipe Segovia Olmo. The acknowledgement of his life, his professional career and his vast body of educational work will be the cornerstone of the events commemorating the 125th anniversary of SEK Group.