Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) empowers children, adolescents and adults to shape their mindset and actions for a sustainable future. We must be aware that our actions today will have an impact on the lives and freedoms of future generations and people in other parts of the world. Education for Sustainable Development is an important aspect of education quality; it enables people to understand their own as well as the global contexts and to shape their actions accordingly. In addition, it conveys the values and principles that form the basis of sustainable development and underlines the complexity and interdependence of three spheres, the environment, society and the economy.
The United Nations declared the decade from 2005 to 2014 the ‘UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development’. Therefore the member states of the United Nations have undertaken to strengthen sustainable development and the corresponding education concepts, from kindergarten to higher education and extracurricular learning. In contributing to the UN Decade, which is being coordinated worldwide by UNESCO, GIZ has taken up the initiative to work with experts from India, Mexico, South Africa and Germany to develop a programme aimed at improving the implementation of ESD.
Whats the course about?
The ESD (Education for Sustainable Development) Leadership Training is an initiative by Germany’s Ministry for Economic Co-operation and Development (BMZ), implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).
Its purpose is to provide a unique exchange and learning opportunity for participants from Germany, India, Mexico and South Africa (countries of the ESD network initiated by GIZ) on ESD. The main topics of the ESD Leadership Training were defined during the network meeting in Howick, South Africa in November, 2010 among the representatives from Mexico, South Africa, India and Germany.
Climate change, poverty and injustice, food crises and overuse of natural resources, are challenges for politicians, entrepreneurs, consumers and everybody in every society. ESD is the strategy of the education sector to promote a coherent policy and its implementation in times of global challenges. It provides the necessary competences for making informed choices and link behaviour to knowledge and attitudes. Therefore the designing and implementation of ESD policies in curricula, teacher training, school management is a key priority to promote competences of students at all levels and modalities to achieve sustainable development. It also requires leadership from dynamic and knowledgeable professionals in government, research institutions, civil society and private enterprises to make the necessary changes happen.
The best of the best
Participants of the ESD Leadership Training are conceived as potential leaders in the field of ESD. They are selected from the most promising young professionals in government, research institutions and NGOs in the four mentioned countries. They will engage in this advanced training programme in a productive and self-reflective dialogue with each other as well as with partners in Germany, India, Mexico and South Africa. The ESD Leadership Training is part of the overall ESD Programme which intends to contribute to a thematic outline of ESD through the exchange of experts from four different countries, India, Mexico, South Africa and Germany. This is to increase the embedding of ESD into school and extracurricular educational areas by means of multipliers.
The main aim of the programme is to strengthen individual competences and institutional capacities for ESD of organizations, government, non-governmental and non – formal education in participating countries through conferences, networking and further education. The programme is intended to be participative and practically oriented but simultaneously it strives for l further conceptual development of ESD.