Resolution on: Global Citizenship Education – Implementation of SDG 4.7

published 23 September 2019 updated 23 September 2019

The 8th Education International (EI) World Congress meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, from 21st to 26th July 2019:

(1) The 8th Education International (EI) World Congress meeting in Bangkok, Thailand, from 21st to 26th July 2019, notes that:

(i) in September 2015 the United Nations agreed upon the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs);

(ii) target 7 of SDG4 instructs governments to ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed 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; and

(iii) this is known as global citizenship education, or GCED.

(2) The key tenants of GCED, according to UNESCO, are respect for diversity, solidarity, and a shared sense of humanity. These elements together mean GCED supports peaceful, just and democratic societies that leave no one behind.

(3) Congress recognises that:

(i) GCED is vital to ensuring that all young people, no matter who they are or where they live, are equipped with the tools and knowledge to fulfil their role in the global community; and

(ii) it is important, both in terms of the instrumental role that it will play in realising all the SDGs. and the intrinsic value of learning about the world.

(4) Congress is concerned that affiliates and their governments are not prioritising SDG4.7 within national curricula. It is concerned that:

(i) too often, GCED is seen as an add-on and is not embedded within lessons;

(ii) the availability, quality and degree to which GCED is delivered is often a matter of the individual teacher, and not the education system; and

(iii) inconsistent delivery of GCED could undermine the delivery of the SDGs for all.

(5) Congress notes and celebrates the contributions to GCED by trade unions and their members, including:

(i) the production and distribution of education/teaching resources on, for example, Palestine and welcoming refugees to our schools;

(ii) the involvement of teachers in promoting GCED through school recognition, with student participation, in programmes such as Fairtrade Schools, Stonewall Champions, and the Equalities Award; and

(iii) the recent involvement of young people in action around climate change and the need for unions to engage with these young people and ensure these issues are taught in our schools.

(6) Congress mandates the Executive Board to:

(i) promote SDG4.7 and global citizenship education at the national and international level;

(ii) urge affiliates to include global citizenship education advocacy in their strategic plans;

(iii) call on governments to embed global citizenship education into the national curricula, and

(iv) raise the issue of SDG 4.7 at international fora where EI is present.