Minister for Education takes part in World’s Largest Lesson

20th September 2017

DUBLIN, 20 September 2017Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton TD today took part in the World’s Largest Lesson along with secondary school students at Santa Sabina Dominican College in Sutton, and UNICEF Ireland, and in support of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs (also known as Global Goals)).

UNICEF and its partners launched World’s Largest Lesson this week, as part of a commitment to inform Irish people about the SDGs adopted by the UN General Assembly in September 2015. The SDGs will end extreme poverty; fight inequality and injustice and tackle climate change.

Using the World’s Largest Lesson’s creative and educational resources, students from the age of 9 have a unique opportunity to learn about the Global Goals, The global initiative, now in its third year, offers all Irish schoolchildren the chance to put A Focus on Food and sustainable consumption in 2017 by engaging in an ‘Evaluate your plate’ exercise.

Minister for Education and Skills, Richard Bruton TD, said he was delighted to support such an innovative learning programme: “It is my ambition as Minister to make Ireland’s education service the best in Europe within a decade. Programmes such as these, led by UNICEF Ireland, provide an excellent opportunity to evaluate our progress towards that goal.

My Department’s National Strategy on Education for Sustainable Development 2014-2020 aims to ensure that our learners are equipped with the relevant knowledge, skills and values that will motivate and empower them throughout their lives to become citizens who make informed actions and decisions for a more sustainable future, at local, national and indeed global levels.

It is great to see programmes such as the World’s Largest Lesson complement and enhance our own work in this area and I would like to thank everyone involved in organising this event, particularly the students who participated so eagerly this morning.”

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 the key targets included in the Goals, such as promoting gender equality, ending extreme poverty for all people everywhere, tackling climate change, and giving all children the opportunity to gain a quality primary and secondary education.

The World’s Largest Lesson provides a unique opportunity to foster global citizenship in schools. 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. This year’s lesson helps students to draw connections between the Global Goals and their own lives and invites them to make a pledge to help meet the Global Goals.

UNICEF Ireland Executive Director Peter Power said: “World’s Largest Lesson is a global initiative, meaning millions of young people all over the world are having the same conversations that we had today. The power that brings to achieve change is inspirational, just like the brilliant young activists I met at Santa Sabina. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) form the very core of UNICEF’s work on children’s rights. If we are to build a world where children and both prioritised and protected we must deliver on our commitment to achieve the SDGs by 2030. There is no more important goal.”

Mr Power continued: “I would like to thank the Minister for Education & Skills, Richard Bruton, for his clear dedication to the SDGs, and to children.”

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.

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

NOTES TO EDITOR

*NOTE* For photos (NO FEE) please contact UNICEF, or your picture desk

 

About the Sustainable Development Goals

In September 2015, all 193 members of the United Nations adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), or ‘Global Goals’ as they are commonly known. This ‘Agenda for 2030’ is comprised of 17 Goals to drive development over the next 15 years by collectively ending extreme poverty, tackling climate change, and fighting inequalities. Each Goal offers clear and measurable targets for countries and citizens to respond to the call to action to meet the Goals by the year 2030.

About World’s Largest Lesson

World’s Largest Lesson introduces the Sustainable Development Goals to young people everywhere and unites them in action. World’s Largest Lesson and UNICEF are partner organisations. In 2017, World’s Largest Lesson takes place in the week beginning 18 September.

For more information, including images and video visit World’s Largest Lesson website

To join the conversation about SDGs, hashtag #WorldsLargestLesson #TeachSDGs #GlobalGoals

About UNICEF

UNICEF is the United Nations’ organisation for children. It was established after World War II to help refugee children. Today UNICEF fights for children’s rights and promotes child well-being. UNICEF Ireland opened in 1962. It is funded by voluntary donations.

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ENDS

For more information, please contact: Aedin Donnelly, Communications and Media Manager for UNICEF Ireland | aedin@unicef.ie | Tel: +353 1 809 0281 | Mob: +353 85 1395272