Minister for Education leads World’s Largest Lesson in Dublin school, empowering young people to advocate for change

23rd September 2016

*NOTE* Photographs available on request

DUBLIN 23 September 2016 – It was back to school for Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton TD earlier today. He was teaching the World’s Largest Lesson to a group of secondary school students in North Dublin on behalf of UNICEF Ireland, and in support of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs (also known as Global Goals)).

UNICEF and its partners launched the World’s Largest Lesson initiative this week, to teach Irish students about the Sustainable Development Goals that were adopted by the UN General Assembly in September 2015.

The global initiative, now in its second year, will take place in classrooms across Ireland giving schoolchildren the chance to invent, innovate and campaign for the Goals they care about, helping the world achieve the SDGs, and inspiring young people to get involved at community level.

Using the World’s Largest Lesson’s creative and educational resources, specifically tailored for learners ages 4-14, in English and Irish, schoolgirls and schoolboys will have a unique opportunity to learn about the Global Goals, how to be global citizens and how to take positive action in their community.

Schoolchildren in Ireland are joining millions of girls and boys across more than 100 countries who will also be taking part in the World’s Largest Lesson and learning about key targets the Goals have set, such as promoting gender equality, ending extreme poverty for all people everywhere, to tackling climate change, and giving all children the opportunity to gain a quality primary and secondary education.

“The World’s Largest Lesson teaches children about the Global Goals and engages them in the effort to achieve them – educating them about the challenges that are shaping their futures and encouraging them to drive change in their own communities,” said UNICEF Ireland Executive Director Peter Power. “Young people can help achieve the Global Goals by holding their leaders accountable for the promises they are making – and by holding themselves accountable for building a better future for everyone. We are honoured that Minister Bruton would lend his support, and the support of government, to the worldwide programme.”

The World’s Largest Lesson provides a unique opportunity to foster global citizenship in schools across the world. It supports student learning across a range of subject areas such as science, geography, citizenship and technology, and helps teachers explore important global issues such as human rights, poverty and climate change.

Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton TD, said he was delighted to support such an innovative learning programme: “I am delighted to be in Grange Community College in Donaghmeade today to launch the World’s Largest Lesson, together with UNICEF Ireland. This is a great initiative which teaches students all about the Sustainable Development Goals, which have been adopted by the UN. Thousands of students across Ireland will learn about what it means to be a global citizen and how to take action in their own local communities. I wish UNICEF Ireland Executive Director Peter Power and the team in UNICEF all the best as they roll out this great educational resource to schools across the country.”

This year’s lesson materials, which focus on Sustainable Development Goal 5: gender equality and empowerment of women and girls, include a teacher’s guide, and a new animation video by world-renowned education advisor Sir Ken Robinson, and introduced by the World’s Largest Lesson champion Emma Watson.

As a founding partner of the World’s Largest Lesson, UNICEF leveraged its global presence and networks, to play a critical role helping to bring SDGs’ messages in 25 languages to more than 500 million girls and boys in over 160 countries during the initiative’s pilot launch last year.

The World’s Largest Lesson is asking educators everywhere to share the #GlobalGoals for Sustainable Development with their students, and inspire a generation committed to making the Goals a reality by 2030.

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About UNICEF

UNICEF promotes the rights and well-being of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere. UNICEF has been operating for 70 years.

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To learn about UNICEF and its work for children visit https://www.unicef.ie/

Visit our website for more information about the World’s Largest Lesson

 For more information, please contact:

Aedín Donnelly, Communications and Media Manager for UNICEF Ireland | aedin@unicef.ie | Tel: +353 1 809 0281 | Mob: +353 85 1395272

Department of Education and Skills | press@education.gov.ie |Tel: 01-8892322

ENDS