How Schools Can Easily Achieve UN Sustainable Development Goals
These past 3 years have made it increasingly evident that it is not going to be easy to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals; in spite of the attention that governments around the world are paying to them.
In 2015, the United Nations, in consultation with member states, international agencies, NGOs, corporates & civil society came up with a set of 17 goals called the UN Sustainable Development Goals. These goals focus on developing people, protecting the planet, fostering peace, ensuring prosperity and engaging in collaborative partnerships. Broken down into 169 targets, this comprehensive set of goals has three ambitious objectives - to end poverty, fight inequality, and tackle climate change.
As we celebrate the 3rd anniversary of the SDGs with events and activities planned across the world to create greater awareness about the goals, we need to take a critical look at how our country, as well as our region, has been doing in terms of progress towards achieving the goals. Recent reports have suggested that the Asia-Pacific region that accounts for over 60% of the world population, is on track to meet only one out of the seventeen global goals by the year 2030. In India too, the implementation of the SDGs has been slow even though significant progress has been made on some aspects, most notably on SDG 6 - Clean Water & Sanitation, with the implementation of the Swachh Bharat mission.
These past 3 years have made it increasingly evident that it is not going to be easy to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals; in spite of the attention that governments around the world are paying to them. To fully realize this bright new world that the global community imagined, there is a need for greater participation from all members and sections of society in collaboration with governments and international agencies.
We, at Worldview, have always believed that students, schools and individual households have the capacity to collectively make a significant contribution towards the achievement of the goals. Working on the goals can also be a valuable way to prepare students for future careers as a focus on sustainable development is deeply intertwined with business objectives in the 21st century. Moreover, the action around goals will also help students develop various key skills, develop their knowledge and contribute to building their profile as community developers which is a key aspect of university and job applications today.
A host of resources have been made available by organizations around the world for schools and individuals to learn about the goals, to understand them and to implement them. Below are a few such resources:
United Nations Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform
The UNSDKP hosts several newsletters on various sub-themes of the SDGs, which can be subscribed to through a school email client, https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/
World Bank Atlas of Sustainable Development Goals
The World Bank Atlas features specially-curated animations, graphics and images to help understand complex data in a simplified manner, which is especially helpful for classroom discussions. http://datatopics.worldbank.org/sdgatlas/
Microsoft Educator Community
The Teaching Sustainable Development Goals Online Course is a one-hour online course for educators that equip them with relevant information and tools to take the SDGs into the classroom. https://education.microsoft.com/teachsdgs
The World’s Largest Lesson
WLL hosts a series of comics which are specially curated and designed for the United Nations, and are a fantastic resource to engage younger students in learning about the Global Goals. http://worldslargestlesson.globalgoals.org/
TeachSDGs allows educators to connect with local TeachSDG ambassadors who can volunteer their time and knowledge towards assisting school’s initiatives or projects. Educators can also apply to become an ambassador for the future! http://www.teachsdgs.org/
Education 4 Justice, United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
E4J developed a Resource Guide to support organisers of Model United Nations conferences to incorporate issues from UNODC mandate areas into their conferences, which is available for free! https://www.unodc.org/e4j/
The #Schools4SDGs Action Kit
Worldview Education has put together an SDG Action Kit that outlines a set of activities, tasks and initiatives that individuals and schools can take to contribute towards the goals. The full SDG Action Kit can be downloaded here – www.worldview.global/sdgactionkit
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house
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