“Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.” -Nelson Mandela.
Education is an essential tool for promoting and achieving sustainable development. It promotes the development of the knowledge, skills, understanding, values and proceedings essential to create a sustainable world. Education plays a significant role in achievement of success and in shaping our future. It helps in making students a better citizen and a better human being and also helps in building careers and broadening our vision and thought processing. Countries thrive when their educational systems blossom. A quality education is that which facilitate and promotes human relationships characterized by righteousness, harmony and negotiated common interests which lead to greater justice, reverence and understanding. It is these qualities which strengthen both sustainable developments and a quality education.
Quality education has some guiding principles such as respect for human rights and commitment to intergenerational responsibility, respect and care for community of life, respect for cultural diversity, commitment to build locally and globally a culture of tolerance, non-violence and peace. (UNESCO, 2006, 16). Quality of education depends upon the learners, processes, contents and the learning environments. Quality education aims at academic excellence, improves academic standards, lifelong academic skills and applied learning. Quality education can only be achieved by bringing some radical change to guarantee superior planning.
Quality education is based on four pillars of education and provides skill for learning to know, learning to live together, learning to do and learning to be. It is the key for countries development and economic prosperity. It prepares people to embrace and adapt to the change but also to manage and influence it. It creates peaceful societies. Quality education in fact must understand the past, must be relevant to the present, and must have a vision to the future. It reflects the dynamic nature of culture and promotes equal opportunity in the present and fosters a sustainable future. A higher education not only trains you in choosing your field, but also helps you to think analytically, understand complex subjects, and have the ability to communicate them in an efficient way as well it instills important skills like self-discipline, and organization.
Education For Sustainable Development
Education for sustainable development promotes the development of the knowledge, skills, understanding of values and actions required creating a sustainable world. It also ensures environmental protection and conservation, promotes social equity and encourages economic sustainability. The aim of education for sustainable development is to help people make their own decisions and carry out actions to improve our quality of life without compromising the planet. It must be embedded in the curriculum in an interdisciplinary and holistic manner, so as to contribute to the values and principles that strengthen sustainable development. It helps to promote critical thinking; problem solving and all these develop confidence in addressing the challenges to sustainable development, allow learners to participate in decision-making on the design and content of educational programmes, address local as well as global issues and look to the bright future.
Education is essential for sustainable development and we need to learn the way to sustainability.Todays education is very crucial for creating solutions and finding new pathways for better future and it is this that promotes efforts to rethink educational programmes and systems. Sustainable Development is ‘development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’ (WCED, 43).
Sustainable development is not just about the environment. Education for sustainable development is a vision that helps people of all ages better understand the world in which they live. Knowledge of sustainable development and environmental awareness is a burning issue these days therefore it should be the first lesson for the child. The environmental education should be an essential part of the curriculum at every level i.e. primary to higher education. Thus, interdisciplinary and holistic learning for sustainable development should be embedded in the whole curriculum, not as a separate subject.
Education for Sustainable Development, therefore, is focused on giving people knowledge and skills for lifelong learning to help them find new solutions to their ecological, financial and communal issues. A Sustainable Society is the one that can continue over generations. It aims at improving the living standards and the quality of people’s lives, both now and for the future generations. All countries strive to ensure that citizens both in urban and rural areas have clean wind to breathe, safe pure drinking water and adequate supplies of energy. Agriculture and industry are the important sectors in which natural resources- land, river, soil, forest, sea and mineral deposit upon which they rely have to be used efficiently and responsibly.
Role Of A Teacher In Promoting Sustainable Education
Teachers play an important role in nation building as well as promoting sustainable education. They play a decisive role in forming, altering and establishing attitude and values. Change is a common phenomenon in each and every society; it happens more when they inch closer to any new thought, ideas and with new innovations and development. The role of formal environmental education in building society is to help students to nurture values and strategies for attaining sustainable development in their local communities while contributing at the same time to National and global goals.
Teacher should take a leading role in pursuing the action on sustainable development and environmental education, whether acting as individuals infusing environmental perspectives into their classes or collectively fostering environmental education (Dr. Anuj Kumar Sustainable Development: Role of Teacher to Protect Environment 83) through their educational institutions. Professionals in higher education can play one of the most decisive roles through innovative programme by finding ways to integrate interdisciplinary and system approach in their higher level courses.
Values And Educational Strategies
Value education is deep-seated in every tradition of Indian culture. Educational institutions play an important role in the promotion of value. Value education is a key feature of lifelong learning and it creates a strong learning environment that enhances academic attainment, and develops pupils’ social and relationship skills that last throughout their lives. It includes developing the appropriate sensibility ethical, intellectual, divine and the ability to internalize them in one’s life. Value education helps us to create the future we want to experience and sets the direction for one’s life. It awakens inquisitiveness, development of appropriate interests, attitude, principles and capacity to think and judge about oneself. Today, value education is being felt strongly and is the need of an hour. Once values are internalized in life, all the unconstructive aspects of life will automatically decline.
The traditional education paradigm of knowledge transfer from teacher to students is outdated and ineffective, as current century learning demands more creative, hands-on and flexible forms of teaching. Hence in order to keep up the students interest implementation of innovation based modules is essential. So as per the need, we have to plan for high-quality educational strategies. Some of the educational strategies we need to design are as specified below:
- To create an accessible learning environment that supports inquisitive learning and independent thinking.
- To expand skills and practical experiences by participating in research
- To have a high quality curriculum for flexible learning that ensures employability
- To make the campus ecofriendly and enrich it with advanced digital learning facilities
- To progress in quality learning by developing new evaluation methods
- To support wellbeing of students and staff by developing an organized community network that connects potential applicants, current students and alumni.
- To frequently appraise, revise and build upon the relationship and create a lifelong community
- To include a participative administration
- To extend and improve communications between staff and students by creating flexible administrative processes
Higher education system has played a major role in the development of society and the economy and in the coming decades that will provide sustainable employment opportunities and better standard of living for all. Innovation and new projects in educational sustainable development and across all related education sectors need to be encouraged and developed to engage civil society groups in actions toward a sustainable world. Unique efforts are to be made to promote and safeguard educational values as craving for knowledge, critical thinking and search for truth. They also help in inculcating human values such as, peace, tolerance, non violence, love, patriotism, social welfare etc, through education. Such an education will have an everlasting effect on achieving sustainable development.
This is perhaps more important in the era of globalization, where National and Traditional values are fast getting replaced by global and market values. The traditional education paradigm of knowledge transfer from teacher to a student is outdated and ineffective, as current century learning now demands more creative, hands- on and flexible forms of teaching. Hence in order to keep the students interest, implementation of innovation based classes is essential. So as per the need, we need to design for high quality educational strategies. Lastly, higher education develops and nurtures values.