EFF 14 Reminds Us of UN Education Goals
Why are the UN Sustainable Goals in Education important? First of all, you’ll need to know that there are 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, and the education one is listed as number 4, preceded by #1. No Poverty, #2. No Hunger, and #3. Good Health and Well-being. You can view the others online at http://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals/. The education goal, may seem on first scan, not quite enough, but read it carefully to see what it covers.
Goal 4: UN Sustainable Development in Education
“Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning.”
There is a lot in that short statement, and there is a lot to do in order to get even close to accomplishing what’s in that short statement. Again, many may not have read the UN Goals, but each day educators walk into classrooms and share some, it not all, of those things with students, who are fortunate enough to be in class and at school. When you consider the fact that more of the world’s population has never had the chance to experience learning, or enter a school, you’ll know the reason why we, in more fortunate learning places, must know these UN goals, and take actions necessary to share them. The actions to achieve them are a tall order, and to some may seem a fairy tale, but giving in and giving up cannot be an option. More of us need to know, and more of us need to care, and more of us need to do more to have envisioned goals become reality.
We need things like the UN Sustainable Development Goals to share with us what we don’t know, and to remind us of what we know, but too easily have forgotten. Reminders such as not to give up, give in, and to simply just to say stay involved. We need reminders, especially today, when it seems the world is like so many tops spinning so out of control. It is too easy to throw hands in the air, and give up. It is too easy to think and say that there is nothing we can do, or worse—to turn away to avoid acknowledging that things are happening that shouldn’t, and that things need to happen for change to occur—because for no other reason than it should—and that it is the right thing to do as citizens in a global community.
For a few years, my reminders, in part, have been the Education Fast Forward Debates. EFF14 (http://www.effdebate.org/eff14/) is perfectly timed, too. It is a debate on the new UN Sustainable Goals, featuring some prominent guest speakers such as Carolina Belalcázar from UNESCO’s offices in Paris, Karen Cator, who is the President and CEO of Digital Promise, Tarek Shawki, the Secretary General of Presidential Specialized Councils in Egypt, and Dominic Regester, Senior Schools Adviser for the British Council. But the absolute best thing about these debates is that I, and all of us, can participate live, as equals, through Twitter, and social media. It is, most likely, the only education and world event, where you can virtually sit at the same debate table as some of the most outstanding education thinkers to share and have your thoughts and ideas recognized. On September 24, 2015 join the EFF 14 Debate from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM BST, streamed live at http://www.effdebate.org/eff14/.
Editor’s note: From the 25th to 27th September the United Nations will hold a summit to adopt the Sustainable Development Goals.
*Each day at Promethean, I hear in words, and see in actions, efforts towards reaching UN Goal #4 for all students: “Ensure inclusive and quality education for all and promote lifelong learning.”
About the Author
Ken Royal is a former educator with 34 years of classroom/school and instructional technology teaching experience. He has written at many of the major education publications, including District Administration, TechLearning, and Scholastic Administrator. Presently, Ken is a blogger on all things education and education technology. Teaching accomplishments include: 4-time district teacher of the year, Connecticut Middle School Teacher of the Year, as well as Bill and Melinda Gates award for Technology School of Excellence. He is a Promethean storyteller. Follow @KenRoyal on Twitter.