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National workshop on Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship held in Islamabad

Islamabad, 18 February 2017: UNESCO Islamabad in collaboration with UNESCO Head Quarters and Asia-Pacific Centre of Education for International Understanding (APCEIU), organized a three-day national workshop for education stakeholders to raise awareness and understanding on the concept of Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship Education. Aimed at ensuring that all learners are provided with the knowledge, attitudes and skills to promote sustainable development and global citizenship the workshop gathered representatives from the Ministry of Federal Education and Professional Training, provincial/ area education officials, civil society organization, research institues, academia and youth.

UNESCO is striving for mainstreaming the SDG-4 (Quality Education) in Pakistan with all its associated targets including 4.7 which emphasis "to ensure that all learners are provided with the knowledge and skills to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture's contribution to sustainable development".

The workshop was facilitated by UNESCO Islamabad with the technical support of UNESCO HQs and APCEIU and was conducted in a highly participatory manner through presentations, group work, engaging games and activities to help the participants not only to understand the concepts but also to internalize them in their respective plans and policies.

During the workshop, the participants were introduced to the concept of Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship Education, its mainstreaming in formal and non-formal education through system wide interventions such as policy revision, teacher training, curricula reforms and pedagogical support. The workshop enabled the participants to deliberate and identify strategies and mechanism to provide learners with key knowledge, skills, values and attitudes required for peaceful and sustainable societies.

Working groups of the workshop shared some good practices and suggested to embark on participatory programmes for engaging in the communities and societies to ensure that education acknowledges the key role that culture plays in achieving sustainability, and to promote an interdisciplinary/multi-stakeholder approach to ensure ESD and GCED at all levels and in all forms of education, including through human rights education and training, promoting a culture of peace and non-violence.

The workshop concluded with the following key recommendations regarding education policies, curriculum and teachers training.

Education Policies: Call for ensuring the reflection of the ESD and GCED in the new draft 2016 Education Policy and its linkages with teachers training, curriculum and assessment with a clear plan of implementation and dissemination strategy by involving different stakeholders at national and provincial level.

Curriculum: Call for sensitizing curricula developers and reviewing existing curriculum - both students and teacher with respect to introducing the concept of ESD and GCED through a participatory approach and collaboration among the Federal Ministry of Education, National Curriculum Council, higher education commission and provincial/area governments.

Teacher Education: Call for reviewing the pre-service and in-service teacher education curriculum by adopting innovative approaches for improved capacity of existing and new teachers as well as rural teachers for the implementation of ESD and GCED through collaboration among the Bureau of Curricula, Higher Education Commission and National Curriculum Council.

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