Arjen Wals was invited to speak at the so-called high level technical meeting at UNESCO's Global Education Meeting in Brussels (December 3-5) about the interlinkages between education and development.
Central during the meeting were six of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): number 4 (quality education), number 8 (decent work and sustainable economic growth), number 10 (reduced inequality), number 13 (climate action), number 16 (peace and good governance) and number 17 (creating partnerships for achieving the goals). One of his messages was that all the SDGs would be considered in their inter-related and ‘interdependent-ness’ but he also pointed out that more education does not automatically lead to a more sustainable world. We need to ask ourselves: what kind of education is needed to help people live more lightly (e.g. within planetary boundaries), equitably and meaningfully on the Earth? He pled for more systemic whole school approaches that also connect schools better to society and the communities of which they are part. During the meeting the importance of TVET and lifelong learning in realizing sustainable development was emphasized as well.
The meeting was also attended by H.H. Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands and Queen Mathilde of Belgium who opened the Ministerial session.
Click here for more information about the UNESCO meeting.