LONDON – Education needs a major transformation to fulfill its potential and meet the current challenges facing humanity and the planet, according to a new UNESCO report launched in London Tuesday.
The new Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report by UNESCO shows the potential for education to propel progress towards all global goals outlined in the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDGs), China’s Xinhua news agency reported.
There is an urgent need for greater headway in education, the report says. “On current trends, the world will achieve universal primary education in 2042, universal lower secondary education in 2059 and universal upper secondary education in 2084. This means the world would be half a century late for the 2030 SDG deadline,” the report warns.
The report, titled Education for people and planet, shows the need for education systems to increase attention to environmental concerns.
“While in the majority of countries, education is the best indicator of climate change awareness, half of countries’ curricula worldwide do not explicitly mention climate change or environmental sustainability in their
content,” it says.
“A fundamental change is needed in the way we think about education’s role in global development, because it has a catalytic impact on the well-being of individuals and the future of our planet,” said UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova.
“Now, more than ever, education has a responsibility to be in gear with 21st century challenges and aspirations, and foster the right types of values and skills that will lead to sustainable and inclusive growth, and peaceful living together,” she added.
The report also urges education systems around the world to take care to protect and respect minority cultures and their associated languages, which contain vital information about the functioning of ecosystems.
“Education systems need to ensure they are giving people vital skills and knowledge that can support the transition to greener industries, and find new solutions for environmental problems,” it suggests.
Aaron Benavot, director of the GEM Report, said that “we must ask more from our education systems than just a transfer of knowledge” in order to have a greener planet, and sustainable futures for all.
“We need our schools, universities and lifelong learning programs to focus on economic, environmental and social perspectives that help nurture empowered, critical, mindful and competent citizens;” he said.
The report emphasizes that the new global development agenda calls for education ministers and other education actors to work in collaboration with other sectors. -MYNEWSHUB.CC