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Talents for sustainable development needed in the new era

2019-10-28GoldenBeeShi Gendong0

Shi Gendong, Executive Director of China National Working Committee for UNESCO on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
"Educational innovation is an effective approach to boosting the national sustainable development process; ecological civilization and sustainable development education is an important strategic theme to realize China's Education Modernization 2035."

In 2010, the Outline of China's National Plan for Medium and Long-term Education Reform and Development (2010-2020) identified "Due attention shall be paid to education in sustainable development" as a strategic theme, which also became a declaration of the responsible big power to unswervingly fulfill the international responsibility to promote sustainable development and education for sustainable development. In 2017, education for sustainable development was included into the 13th Five-Year Plan of National Education Development. It is an important milestone in the development of China's education for sustainable development.

Last year, more than 200 experts from China, the United States, Canada, Japan, the United Kingdom, France, and UNESCO attended the Summary Meeting of 20 Years' China ESD Achivements to summarize the achievements of China's education for sustainable development from 1998 to 2018, and discuss the direction of global education for sustainable development.
Looking back on the process of education for sustainable development in China, we have accumulated the following experience for reference:
-     More efforts on responding to the sustainable development trend of global and national society, economy, environment and culture and the needs of ecological civilization development to carry out top-level design of theoretical innovation and practical innovation.

-     More efforts on guiding practices by the theoretical development based on the cultivation of teenagers' literacy on sustainable development and the needs of educational reform and innovation.
-     More efforts on eliminating the drawbacks of "examination-oriented education" to create a talent training model to meet the needs of sustainable development of society and human and put forward solutions to ESD.
-     More efforts on the well-designed practice system with full participation for ESD, including the establishment of a scientific school-running concept, innovative curriculum content, the sustainable learning classes, the practice of sustainable lifestyle, and participation in the construction of a green society.

-     More efforts on the establishment of ESD cooperation space involving schools and universities, the government, the society, enterprises, etc., to gather all walks of life to cultivate a new generation of citizens with literacy on sustainable development.

-     More efforts on the association studies on the trend of international education development and the process of Chinese education reform and innovation to learn from the research achievements and successful experiences of the United Nations and other countries, enrich our own knowledge and practice, and contribute to China's wisdom in ESD by using distinctive theoretical research results and excellent cases.
Looking forward to the future, the promoters and practitioners of China's education for sustainable development, according to the deployment of the national strategy on vigorously promoting sustainable development and ecological civilization, and the UNESCO’s guiding document, Education for Sustainable Development Goals, will take the task of promoting national ecological civilization and green development as its mission at the new historical starting point of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, bear in mind the mission of education for sustainable development, and continue to advance and make new contributions to new education adapting to the needs of ecological civilization.

(Note: Wang Qiaoling, Secretary General of China National Working Committee for UNESCO on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and Deputy Director of the Institute of Lifelong Learning and Sustainable Development of Beijing Academy of Educational Sciences, also contributed to this article.)

(The Chinese version of this article is published on China Sustainability Tribune)
(Images in this article are from the Internet)
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