Last week’s GulfNews – essential reading I find – reported a “leading educationalist” as saying that …
“The UAE is among the top five countries in the world in sustainability education, inspiring students to take part in advanced sustainability coursework and sophisticated green practices.”
The G’News reported that Shaikh Sultan Bin Tahnoun Al Nahyan, Managing Director of the Emirates Foundation for Youth Development, and Humaid Mohammad Obaid Al Qutami, Minister of Education, signed a memorandum of understanding on integrating education for sustainable development into the UAE national curricula.
Maitha Al Habsi, Chief Programmes Officer at the Emirates Foundation for Youth Development, said that the scheme aims to embed sustainability into the UAE’s education system and curriculum for K-12 pupils in schools across the country. Al Habsi added that integrating this was not a one-off activity but an ongoing process of understanding local and global, social, environmental, cultural and economic trends and translating those into meaningful data and competencies for young people. She said:
“It is a unique initiative that contributes to promoting awareness of sustainability among young Emiratis and creating leaders capable of shaping a sustainable future”,
Al Habsi confirmed that the scheme will create sustainability citizens who …
- accept that they have a responsibility both as individuals and as members of society to act in a way that acknowledges the rights of future generations;
- will be able to explain why wasteful production and disposal is harmful to the environment and why they cannot continue indefinitely;
- will be able to assess the sustainability of their own lifestyle; and
- will understand the principles of sustainable living and the ways in which they can make a contribution.
Exactly; and in the UAE, there is much explaining, analysing and understanding to do.
Apparently, the other four of the top 5 countries are Australia, Canada, Finland, and New Zealand, but I’m wondering why Scotland didn’t make the cut, particularly as Canada and Australia have federal systems where not all provinces are equally excellent in ~ESD.