Press note: India Launch of the Global Education Monitoring Report (GEM Report)
- What: The 2016 Global Education Monitoring Report (GEM Report), Education for people and planet, will be launched in India by the Secretary (School Education), Mr. S.C. Khuntia. The event is organized by the UNESCO and the Centre for Environment Education. The director of the Report will present its core findings. A Panel discussion will provide an opportunity to discuss the report and the role of Education in achieving Sustainable Development.
- When: 15th September, 2016, between 2:00 to 5:00 pm
- Where: The India International Centre, New Delhi.
- Who: Mr. Aaron Benavot, Director, GMR Report
Contact: Kartikeya V. Sarabhai, firstname.lastname@example.org; Prithi Nambiar, email@example.com; CEE Director’s office: 079 26858011
Press release: Education systems could be better designed for inclusive prosperity, humanity and the planet
The 2016 Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report shows that education has the potential to propel progress towards all global goals outlined in the new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDGs). It shows that education will not deliver its full potential to catapult the world forward unless school participation rates dramatically improve, learning becomes a lifelong pursuit and education systems fully embrace sustainable development.
There is an urgent need for greater headway in education. India has the highest number of out of school adolescents of lower and upper secondary school age of any country in the world. On current trends, this means the country is not expected to achieve its global education commitments until 2085, leaving it over half a century late for the 2030 deadline in the Sustainable Development Agenda. India’s expected completion date is the same as the rate of progress in Iraq and Thailand, but five years later than Indonesia and ten years later than Iran.
The Report, Education for people and planet, shows the need for education systems to step up attention to environmental concerns. While in the majority of countries, education is the best indicator of climate change awareness, half of countries’ curricula worldwide do not explicitly mention climate change in their content. India is an exception, where currently some 300 million school students receive some environmental education.
“A fundamental change is needed in the way we think about education’s role in global development, because it has a catalytic impact on the well-being of individuals and the future of our planet,” said UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova. “Now, more than ever, education has a responsibility to be in gear with 21st century challenges and aspirations, and foster the right types of values and skills that will lead to sustainable and inclusive growth, and peaceful living together.”
Education systems need to ensure they are giving people vital skills and knowledge that can support the transition to greener industries, greener agricultural practices and find new solutions for environmental problems. This also requires education to continue beyond the school walls, in communities and the workplace throughout adulthood. Yet only 5% in India have ever attended literacy programmes.
“If we want a greener planet, and sustainable futures for all, we must ask more from our education systems than just a transfer of knowledge. We need our schools and lifelong learning programmes to focus on economic, environmental and social perspectives that help nurture empowered, critical, mindful and competent citizens.” said Aaron Benavot, Director of the GEM Report.
There is also an urgent need for education systems to impart higher skills aligned with the needs of growing economies, where job skill sets are fast changing, many being automated. On current trends, by 2020, there will be 40 million too few workers with tertiary education relative to demand. In India, only 7% of the poorest complete tertiary education by latest data. The Report shows this change is vital: achieving universal upper secondary education by 2030 in low income countries would lift 60 million out of poverty by 2050.
The Report shows that education systems can reinforce inequalities if not correctly designed. One corrective measure could be for governments to train teachers in inclusive education. In India, teachers gave worse scores to lower caste than higher caste children, suggesting that 20% of the performance gap between higher and lower caste students was attributable to caste-based discrimination. The Report calls on governments to start taking inequalities in education seriously, tracking them by collecting information directly from families.
Educating people so that they can interact with the justice system and access their rights is essential for a functioning justice system, which is critical for sustaining peaceful societies. This includes ensuring that judicial and law enforcement officers have sufficient training and capacity building. In Rajasthan state, India, lack of skills has been identified as a barrier to effective policing. Training police officers in behavioural skills has had significant positive effects on the quality of police work and public satisfaction. In police stations where all staff were trained, victim satisfaction increased by 30%, while fear of the police was reduced by 17%.
Education also has the potential to improve constructive political participation: In New Delhi slums, in India, during the run-up to the 2008 state legislature elections, door-to-door distribution of newspapers provided information about the candidates. The campaign increased the average voter turnout by 4% but also decreased by almost 20% the use of vote-buying.