Education for Sustainable Development

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The United Nations were alarmed by environmental, social and human development problems and got a lot of conferences and summits on how to cope with the situations. Many proposals and agendas were made for attaining sustainable development globally but it didn’t attain its success for it has been focused on political agenda and education was not reflected in the strategies on achieving sustainable development. It was in 1992 Earth Summit that they found out that education itself among citizens were lacking for the success of sustainable development. Education was the missing link and the Philippine Agenda 21 (PA 21) is the country’s response to fulfill its commitments in the 1992 Earth Summit in Brazil. The government and key sectors of society agreed to implement an action agenda for sustainable development Sustainable Development is defined as “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generation to meet their own needs” by the Brundland Commission. Its advocacy is relevant in the Philippine context for it’s about a high quality of life that is ecologically sustainable. Education for sustainable Development has relevance in the Philippine context for our laws, acts, policies and government programs have relations on the proposed agendas in the UN. The PA 21 re-orients education towards sustainable development and it’s implemented in both formal and non-formal basic education and deals with the issues on educating for Sustainable Human Development. Unsustainable development is driven by a range of interactive political, economic, cultural, environmental and global forces

The image of society that guides Philippine Agenda 21 characterizes a significant number of modern societies today, some of which recognize that the key actors in any critical and principled partnership or conflict regarding sustainable development are the government, business, and civil society. To humanize development, there must be interplay of market forces, state intervention, and civil society participation.

The UNESCO’S Decade of Education for sustainable Development focuses on ensuring patterns of sustainable development with an offer of achieving a high quality of life to all to both present and future generations. The DESD is situated with Millennium Development Goals (MDG), Education for All (EFA), and United Nation Literacy Decade (UNLD). These three global initiatives aims for an improvement in the quality of life especially to those who were oppressed, deprived and marginalized citizens for the fulfillment of their human rights including gender equality, poverty reduction, democracy and active citizenship for everyone.

The MDG provides us a set of tangible and measurable development goals within which education is a significant input or indicator. On the other hand, EFA focuses on providing educational opportunities to everyone for it’s a fundamental step to reach the success that we are aiming for. The UNLD is promoting key learning tool for all forms of learning and reduces the illiteracy rates which causes the unsustainable life. While DESD is concerned for all of these three global initiatives for it focuses on the broader context.

The UN believes that through education, success for sustainable development would be attained globally as well as locally for it makes us citizens aware on human development as well as on the things around us. Through education, our ignorance to the reality and on the consequences of our actions were eased. We gain knowledge and life-long skills as we deal on our everyday life and as we face whatever struggles in life.

Education for Sustainable Development is indeed a broad concept and generally thought to have three components; the environment, society and economy and these areas were intertwined. To fully understand what sustainable development is, it is included and integrated with the subject areas taken by the learners for their awareness of...
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