How can we increase awareness of sustainable development throughout the whole of the education chain, and how should we work with schools to achieve sustainable development goals? These were questions addressed by the Icelandic government and the Nordic Teachers’ Council (NLS) at a summit in Reykjavik on 3 May.
The summit also was also the first joint meeting of the education ministers and heads of teaching unions. Nordic dialogue and co-operation are incredibly valuable because we are stronger together.
“We can talk about a Nordic model in education, which is based on trust, knowledge and the ability to think critically. This is something that can’t be taken for granted. We need to look after the model, and the Nordic countries can and should work together and stand together on this,” says Christer Holmlund, Secretary General of NLS.
This is something that can’t be taken for granted. We need to look after the model, and the Nordic countries can and should work together and stand together on this.
Need for more education about sustainable development
It is important that children and young people learn about the importance of sustainability and how to exert influence on their surroundings and the world. Sustainable development goals and competencies are already on the curriculum all over the Nordic Region.
There is broad agreement on the objectives and importance of education for sustainable development all the way from preschool to higher education and in lifelong learning. However, the framework conditions need to be in place to provide high-quality education.
At the moment, the education world faces challenges that impact on the ability to address sustainable development in depth as part of everyday life in schools and integrate the topic into various subjects. Challenges mentioned at the summit included the lack of teachers, inadequate opportunities for in-service training and discontent among children and young people.
The meeting quite simply stated the Nordic Region needs more teachers and that our teachers need better support, tools and better opportunities for in-service training. Nordic dialogue and co-operation can be an important factor in this process.
“Education is the key to unlocking the potential of our children and preparing them for the challenges of the future. It is important that we continue Nordic dialogue and co-operation with all of the stakeholders to highlight the importance of teachers and the invaluable contribution they make to shaping our children’s future,” says Ásmundur Einar Daðason, Iceland’s Minister of Education and Children.
Education is the key to unlocking the potential of our children and preparing them for the challenges of the future.
Building confidence in the future
In a world where anxiety and concern about global development have taken hold, children and young people’s ability to build confidence in the future is incredibly important – as is their commitment to sustainable development. Together we are strong and can better integrate aspects of sustainability into our education model. Children and young people are the future of the Nordic Region and the world.
“I hope this was just the beginning of a beautiful friendship as part of which we will work together to build Nordic confidence in a future that provides sustainable development for all current and future generations,” says Magnús Þór Jónsson, Chair of the Icelandic Teachers’ Union.
I hope this was just the beginning of a beautiful friendship, as part of which we will work together to build Nordic confidence in a future that provides sustainable development for all current and future generations.