Education can save the world
Nov 15, 2021|4Quality Education
What is or was your favorite subject in school? Do you have or did you have a favorite teacher? What do you believe was the most important thing that school taught you?
Did you know that quality education is a right but in some countries is a privilege? According to UNICEF, an estimated 411 million children cannot reach minimum proficiency levels in reading and mathematics, even though they are in school. This is what quality education in goal #4 aims to grant quality education for all children.
Now, let’s review what education vs. quality education is. You’ll get different answers depending on who you ask about what education is and the quality. But, here's the one we agree with; according to UNESCO, education is the process where knowledge is acquired, and quality education deals with the right development of the child for education. One deals only with learning, while the other with education as a whole.
How does education affect our lives? Education is a socio-economical transformative tool for everybody. By having a highly educated population, more and more people will access better jobs and opportunities. Education can lift people out of poverty and make them vulnerable by their lack of education.
The SDGs were established in 2015 by the UN General Assembly as goals to achieve by the year 2030. All of these goals are traversal and aimed to create a better, more sustainable society. It means to achieve and end economic, social and environmental problems for a better future.
Goal 1 - End poverty in all its forms everywhere.
Goal 2 - End hunger, achieve food security and agriculture sustainability.
Goal 3 - Ensure the well-being of all ages.
Goal 4 - Quality education and improve learning opportunities for all.
Goal 5 - Achieve gender equality, empowering women and girls worldwide.
Goal 6 - Ensure water sanitation and availability for everybody.
Goal 7 - Access to affordable and sustainable energy.
Goal 8 - Sustainable, inclusive, and productive employment for all.
Goal 9 - Building resilient and sustainable infrastructure while fostering innovation.
Goal 10 - Reduce inequalities in countries and between countries.
Goal 11 - Sustainable, safe, resilient cities and human settlements.
Goal 12 - Sustainable production and consumption.
Goal 13 - Take action regarding climate change and its effects.
Goal 14 - Conservation and sustainable use and exploitation of the oceans.
Goal 15 - Protect, restore and use sustainably terrestrial ecosystems, such as forests, and combat desertification and biodiversity loss.
Goal 16 - Promote an inclusive, peaceful, and sustainable society. Granting everyone access to justice and building accountable and inclusive institutions on all levels.
Goal 17 - Creating partnerships for achieving the goals.
For knowing all of this, you are also helping to achieve one goal of the SDGs! The United Nations included in goal #4 of the SDGs that all learners acquire the knowledge to promote sustainable development. Target 4.7 of the Goal #4 is all about creating consciousness between learners and understanding sustainability, social responsibility, and environmental issues.
Why SDGs for younger generations?
Let’s explore some more about education, younger generations, and the SDGs. Learning about the goals is also creating a better world. To be able to have a better future, we need to comprehend what is wrong in the present. Check out our previous blog post Together We Can Change the World to learn more about your own power.
Have you ever mentioned the SDG goals at school? Learning about the SDGs in formal education is an excellent idea for various reasons. Everything we know in our formative years will impact the outcome that we have as adults. Learning, asking questions, and having conversations are essential for being conscious, empathic, and educated adults.
But, that’s not all. The new generations, according to the United Nations, have 5 different roles in the accomplishment of the SDGs:
- Critical thinkers: Being able to be a critical thinker is being able to absorb information and process it. You need to ask questions about the world that surrounds you, the structures that are being imposed, challenge the systems, and expose contradictions.
- Change-Makers: As we saw on COP26, the real protagonists were the young leaders, who were asking for a fundamental change because their future is being jeopardized. Young people can and are a force to reckon with. Now more than ever, with social media, everyone has a voice that can be listened too.
- Innovators: A fresh perspective is needed to create new solutions, but younger generations have a different perspective regarding social and environmental issues that adults can’t have.
- Communicator: This is primarily due to social media and democratization communication. Now, not only the voice of the powerful can be heard, the voice of everyone can be heard. We have seen the rise of influencers in social media who create consciousness about inequality and sustainability.
- Leaders: We are all able to be leaders. You don’t need a big following on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, or even TikTok. You can be your leader within your friend’s group, community, or family. If you want to go further, you can be part of a youth organization that helps promote the SDG of your choice.
How is education essential to achieving the recent COP26 deal?
Remember we talked about the protests that were taking place in Glasgow for the COP26? If you need a refresher, the demonstrations were happening because young people were asking for fewer promises and more actions. They were so persistent that world leaders had no other choice but to address their concerns.
But that was on the COP26; how are they going to help achieve the agreements? They are forces to be reckoned with. They were able to make presidents acknowledge their presence; for their communities, they are heroes. Their campaign for educating other people, communities and making their voices heard means that their influence would translate into more eco-conscious people.
If you were given a calculus book to a 1st grader, would he be able to understand it? Most probably, he won’t. The same goes for SDGs; if young generations become adults and talk about environmental, social, and sustainability issues, they don’t have the foundations to understand the point entirely. They weren’t given the tools to understand, which leads them to dismiss the problem. Education is the bridge between apathy and empathy.
This is why educating ourselves and others is so important; how can we change if we don’t know what is right and wrong? Educating people on the importance of making changes is going to be essential for accomplishing the promises. The more the people know, understand, and start making pressure for change, the world leaders will need to comply. For now, everything starts with education.
Education at all levels!
Let’s learn how you can help other people! We will be exploring some options that you can do! You can be part of the change.
If you can or are mentoring younger people, providing tutorials and homework or delivering a lesson on the Global Goals will help seed the curiosity to learn more and empathize.
These are our favorite resources! There’s nothing like playing and learning at the same time.
If you are younger, you can try creating consciousness with your family, friends, and community. Here is one of the best resources to take care of the planet without altering your daily life, just small changes for a big one.
Remember! You can be an ambassador for our planet too! It's never too early or too late to make a difference.