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National Forum on Global Education confirms the importance of global education and education for sustainable development

Brdo pri Kranju, 16 May 2018 – Today, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport hosted the National Forum on Global Education (GE) and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). Slovenian and foreign experts, representatives of governmental and non-governmental organisations and educational institutions discussed the importance and different aspects of GE and ESD. The Forum affirmed the need to strengthen this field and the wide interest shown by a great variety of stakeholders.

 

In his introductory speech, Minister Erjavec emphasised the importance of GE for the Ministry. He explained that GE is our investment in the future, our contribution to the eradication of poverty and reduction of inequality, to sustainable development from an economic, social and environmental perspective and to respect for human rights. State Secretary at the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport Dr Andreja Barle Lakota underlined the importance and the role of ESD, and stressed that it is one of the main goals of education in Slovenia. ESD has been included in school legislation since 2008, and is implemented in school curricula through a wide and complex spectrum of activities. She devoted special attention to the need for a transparent and comprehensive analysis of this field and for modernisation of the current national Guidelines for Education for Sustainable Development adopted in 2007. Director of Global Education Network Europe (GENE) Luisa Teotónio Pereira presented the work of GENE, and stressed that GE and ESD support the understanding of the world we live in and making the right decisions that may contribute to the creation of a better world for all of us.

 

These addresses were followed by an expert discussion on several concepts of education and ESD. Further discussions offered an opportunity to interact with key stakeholders and understand their activities and challenges in the field of GE and ESD. Furthermore, it was noted that in Slovenia there are many different stakeholders dealing with these topics in various ways. The last part of the Forum was dedicated to values, knowledge and skills, which are indispensable for ensuring that we all take more tolerant, righteous, joint and sustainable actions. The discussion emphasised the importance of an integrated and comprehensive approach to implementing ESD and GE goals. It is fundamental that education and the development of values, knowledge and skills be implemented in pre-school and school institutions' daily life, not just in their curricula.

 

The Forum was attended by 140 participants, which confirmed that many different organisations and individuals are indeed deeply interested in the topic and that there is a need for this type of discussions. At the same time, the Forum provided an excellent opportunity for networking, as it brought together the academic sphere, teachers, NGOs, government agencies, youth organisations, ministries and representatives of several companies. The Forum was organised by both ministries and by the National Education Institute, Centre for European Perspective, Humanitas Society, Forum for Equal Opportunities, SLOGA, a platform of non-governmental organisations, and the Slovenian National Commission for UNESCO. The Forum is part of the programme of GENE, which is co-funded by the European Commission. Some other activities will be carried out within the support programme this year, which will contribute to the development of the field in Slovenia.