The UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development is an opportunity to create a culture of sustainable living. But it will only be successful if we find better ways to support and strengthen adult learning and education for sustainable development, argues Christiana Nikolitsa-Winter
World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development takes place from 17
to 19 May 2021. While education at all levels has experienced unprecedented
interruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the impact on adult learning and
education (ALE) has been little considered, certainly when compared to schools
and universities. While the pandemic has highlighted the importance of ALE in
coping with and emerging from the crisis, it has also deprived adults around
the world of access to education, and presented providers with difficult challenges in maintaining their learning
offers, with a particularly, and by now depressingly familiar, negative impact on the poorest and least-advantaged.
It is important that we reflect on this and consider, in particular, the key
role of ALE in sustainable development and how we can foster it. I would like
to reflect briefly on the role of ALE in education for sustainable development
(ESD) and in building bridges to a future that is safe, fair, inclusive and
development begins with education. Agenda
21, adopted at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development in 1992 in Rio
de Janeiro, recognized the critical role that education plays in the transition to sustainable
development. Education is an essential tool in making individuals aware of the issue
of sustainability and providing them with related skills, while encouraging them
to take actions and find solutions to the local and global challenges we face. In
addition, education for sustainable development and citizenship education are
strongly linked. Yet, although the question of sustainability has risen to the
top of policy agendas worldwide, policy action is limited, particularly in
adult learning and education. Continue reading →
talk about infrastructure, we tend to think of roads, railways, cables and
other physical networks crossing the landscape, enabling economic activity and
growth. But the term can be extended to other areas that provide people with
ways to achieve their goals, such as culture, research, and, of course,
looks at the last of these – the infrastructure for learning, throughout life.
In particular, it considers the role of libraries both as providers of support
and as partners and platforms for others, and looks at how to make the
most of the unique characteristics of libraries as public, non-commercial,
well-known and trusted community spaces. Continue reading →
To truly achieve sustainable development, writes Norman Jackson, we must embrace, consciously and fully, our experiences and what we learn and become through them.
Humankind has always engaged in lifelong learning, but it has
meant different things at different points in time. This will always be the case. In this period of rapid transformation, contemporary society obliges people to learn and to keep on
learning throughout their lives. The world is complex, hyper-connected and increasingly turbulent. It is also fragile, and cannot be sustained if we carry on using it in the way we have.
The idea that lifelong
learning can be harnessed in the service of preserving our presence on this fragile planet is gaining more traction among sustainability’s strategic planners. Remedies to the myriad
threats to our survival can be found in the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Education has its own goal – SDG 4 – which
calls on countries to ‘ensure
inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all’ (UN, 2015).SDG 4 advocates a new role for education: to educate the
world in ways that encourage behaviours that support
sustainable development. Continue reading →
The COVID-19 pandemic could come to be seen either as an important turning point for humanity or a huge missed opportunity, a landmark in the decline of human civilization. The choice, in the end, is ours, writes Paul Stanistreet.
As the 51st
World Economic Forum (WEF) meets virtually to discuss
rebuilding trust, making ‘crucial’ choices and reforming systems in the context
of the agenda WEF founder Klaus Schwab describes as the ‘great reset’, it is
clear that we are living through times of profound change and challenge, in some
respects unprecedented in human history.
And whether you
welcome this for reasons of social justice and the promotion of equity and
equality, or see as it a threat to entrenched systems of advantage that must be
carefully, and, if necessary, coercively, managed, it is clear that the
COVID-19 pandemic has created a rare moment in the human story when we have an
opportunity to read the map, change direction and do things differently. Continue reading →
de la COVID-19 a provoqué une crise sanitaire mondiale sans précédent accompagnée
de graves secousses socio-économiques. Plus que
jamais, l’éducation se retrouve au cœur de tout développement durable. La résilience
des systèmes éducatifs à travers le monde est attendue tant les nouveaux défis se
révèlent complexes et difficiles à relever.
L’UNESCO, qui a un rôle central à jouer, a réagi
dans l’immédiateté en renforçant ses programmes éducatifs et en incitant toutes
les parties prenantes à devenir plus créatives et plus agiles.
cette perspective, les gouvernements se sont engagés à mettre en place des
systèmes et des réformes permettant d’assurer
le droit à l’éducation et de généraliser l’enseignement et la qualification
pour tous. Continue reading →
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the least advantaged the hardest and highlights the harsh reality of educational inequality. As we look to rebuild, we must ensure that the global literacy challenge is finally and decisively met, writes Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands, UNESCO Special Envoy on Literacy for Development.
COVID-19 has disrupted education worldwide in an unprecedented way.
Millions of students have not been able to continue learning in schools,
universities, vocational training institutions and adult learning programmes. Many
governments responded to the pressing need to provide school children with
learning possibilities via online and distance learning. Virtual lessons were
adopted, home learning materials distributed and education provided through TV
and radio or in open air spaces. These efforts were essential and undeniably
very challenging for many governments, teachers and students alike as it
demanded a reshuffling not only of delivery mechanisms but also of roles and responsibilities.
The crisis also shows us, with a frightening clarity, what consequences a
lack of basic literacy skills can have. Some 773 million youth and adults globally
lack basic levels of literacy and numeracy, two-thirds of them female. Most of
these youth and adults face multiple disadvantages. They are often unable to
acquire decent jobs, suffer from hunger and bad health, cannot make informed
choices, and are excluded from social interaction and full participation in
society. Continue reading →
In a world increasingly globalized, multilingualism is becoming the norm rather than the exception. Supported by mother tongue-based multilingual education, linguistic diversity brings a number of benefits to learners but also to society as a whole. Growing evidence suggests that multilingualism can effectively contribute to sustainable development and to peace, argues David Atchoarena
Since the year 2000, the world has been celebrating International Mother Language Day on 21 February. Linguistic diversity is an invaluable part of the heritage of humanity. About 7,000 languages are spoken around the world. Yet, 2,680 of them are in danger of disappearing, and many more are already gone.
In that context, offering education and learning opportunities in the mother tongue is essential to transmitting and preserving traditional knowledge and culture in a sustainable way. Children, youth and adults require learning opportunities that are relevant to their lives and needs. This also includes having access to an education in their own language. Evidence shows that such provision contributes to improving learning and developing confidence and self-esteem. Continue reading →