(Reposted from: Northeast Today. February 19, 2018)
UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP) and the Human Resource Development Department(HRDD) of Sikkim signed a ‘Partnership Agreement’ for the project to embed concepts of Peace, Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship in textbooks of core subjects for the schools of Sikkim.
The project will be implemented by State Council of Education, Research and Training (SCERT) and third party partnership with Ajim Premji University, Bangalore.
After signing agreement with UNESCO, Sikkim became the first state in the country to have school Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and Global Citizenship Education (GCED).
The agreement was signed between HRDD Additional Chief Secretary GP Upadhaya and UNESCO MGIEP Curricular Head Yoko Mochizuki at a local hotel in Gangtok on Sunday.
As the world gears up to achieving SDGs, it was informed that the Embedding Project of UNESCO MGIEP will play a key role in supporting Member States’ efforts to achieve SDG 4.7 on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and Global Citizenship Education (GCED). The project aims to embed concepts of peace, global citizenship and sustainable development in textbooks of core subjects especially Mathematics, Science, Language and Geography.
GP Upadhaya said, “Sikkim is the first state to enter into agreement with UNESCO. It a happy and a proud moment for Sikkim and HRDD to have Sustainable Development Goals incorporated in school curriculum from Classes I-V. We are grateful to state government and UNESCO for giving this opportunity. A total of 45 resources teachers are being trained for this project.
This is this first time where we are training teachers for textbook writing scientifically and we are in the process to adopt and pass Sustainable Development Act. In terms of education it very important to have SDGs in school education for the future generation.”
He also said that education for peace, education for sustainable development (ESD), Global Citizenship Education (GCED), Global Learning, Development Education and Awareness Raising (DEAR), Human Rights Education etc have existed for a while and their significance is huge in the education sector.
Embedding in core subjects puts the values and principles of sustainable development at the heart of education and contribute to achieving education ‘for’ sustainable development. Around 30 experts from around the world have produced a guidebook on embedding for textbook authors titled ‘Textbooks for Sustainable Development’. In its next phase, UNESCO MGIEP is partnering with textbook development agencies and governments to train textbook authors utilising the guidebook as a resource, it was informed.
Yoko Mochizuki said, “it is a great learning journey for us in improving the education textbook system in Sikkim and we are looking forward to this opportunity in front of us.”
Director, SCERT Dr. Rabin Chettri informed that textbook from Class I-V will be ready from end of this December for the pilot project. The program was also attended by the officials of HRDD along with representatives from UNESCO MGIEP.