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Education in the SDGs

By Danny Harrington, MD ITS Education Asia

An interesting article was published in the IISD SDG Knowledge Hub yesterday titled Towards Transforming Education Summit: Is Acceleration the Right Approach?

The authors argue that a number of struggles have been exacerbated if not overtaken by the various pandemic scenarios and that many places now should be reassessing and reimagining their education targets as a result. What always amazes me in these discussions is that very few people actually challenge the assumptions of what a national education system is or should be. I rarely see the even bigger question of whether government should even be involved at the curriculum and assessment level. Education is a highly specialized environment and government ministers often come to it with any number of biases. All over the world, education systems are dominated and shaped by political rather than educational and social criteria.

Added to this is the idea of how national education needs may very well vary along the development pathway. Perhaps governments can play a much more hands on role when the priorities are to get every citizen through 9 years of foundational education. Then it may well be the time to have governments step back and simply create frameworks within which the various actors - learners, industry, academia etc - can take a more open and flexible approach to what is provided and utilized.

Dulwich College Singapore

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