In September 2015, 193 countries signed up to support the UN’s 17 sustainable development goals for our planet and the people that live on it. The all-encompassing plan included promises to end poverty, feed everyone, create stability and peace, provide quality education and protect the future of our world. Every man, woman and child on the planet were invited to play their part to turn 17 goals into action and the promises into reality.
Goal 4 promised to achieve inclusive and equitable quality education for all. “OECD countries have generally been successful in guaranteeing adequate infrastructure and near-universal access to basic education,” says Andreas Schleicher, Director for Education and Skills at the OECD. But he notes that participation in education is not enough “to ensure the knowledge, competence, skills and attitudes that are necessary to increase individuals’ well-being and the prosperity of modern societies.” He adds that the OECD’s programs have a key role to play “in the achievement of – and measuring progress towards – SDG 4 and its targets, as well as other education-related SDG targets.”
Since September 2015, education leaders and other influencers around the world have encouraged schools to promote all the goals. We’ve talked to teachers that acknowledge there’s nothing like real world challenges and case studies which allow students to apply the knowledge skills and dispositions they will need to succeed in an interconnected world.
How are we all doing so far? What have leaders learned from the implementation journey, and as a new school year begins, how can we build on those lessons to improve our efforts to achieve our planet’s plan moving forward?