Education for a better Nation?
“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela.
Humanity faces many sustainability challenges between people and the environment. Human behaviour, although not intentionally malicious but is recognised as the root cause of most sustainability challenges. Choices made individually and collectively can increase environmental, economic and social problems. Therefore, addressing pressing sustainability challenges, requires changes in public perceptions, values, attitudes and behaviours, and the right conditions for these changes to happen. It requires fundamental changes in the way we think, act, and relate to other systems. Certainly, education is the most important tool to reshape worldviews and values and has enormous potential to address the sustainability challenges that humanity faces.
The success of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) encourages the world leaders to adopt the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at United Nation’s summit. There are 17 goals which have been adopted for 2030 agenda of SDGs. Among the 17 goals of SDGs, the goal-4 which is the “Quality Education” is considered very important for the overall development of the nations and the world and an effective tool for achieving other Sustainable Development Goals. The 4th Goal of Sustainable Development also known as ‘Transforming our World which ensures inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
No nation can achieve development without the education, particularly quality education. Human Development Report of UNDP (United Nations) clearly states how top ranks in Human Development are held by those countries which are also ahead in quality education. Studies show that there is a strong relationship between the quality education and SDGs
and how the quality education can help in realization of SDGs.
Goal-1: No Poverty: End Poverty in all its Forms Everywhere: 171 million people could be lifted out of poverty if all students in low‐income countries left school with basic reading skills.
Goal -2: No Hunger: End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture: 47 million children in low-income countries are stunted as a result of malnutrition in early childhood. If all mothers in those countries had a primary education, 1.7 million children would be saved from stunting.
Goal-3: Good Health. Ensure healthy lives and promotes well-being for all at all ages: studies show that each extra year of a mother’s schooling reduces the probability of infant mortality rate by 10%.
Goal-5: Gender Equality-Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls: The quality education provides opportunities for full development and reduces gender disparities at every level, this increases the income of women thereby contributing towards gender equality.
Transformation of education systems is essential because our current systems does not support sustainable models of development and this change would ensure that the system provides education that predisposes learners to consider sustainability across their life choices.
Quality education can bring big changes in the planning, policy making and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. The World community can achieve the Sustainable Development goals till 2030 with the help of quality education.