The High-Level Steering Committee on Sustainable Development Goal 4 on education, convened by UNESCO, has issued a call to action for countries to adopt novel indicators aimed at assessing the implementation of green education and digital access to learning opportunities for all.
To advance these vital priorities, UNESCO organized a meeting of the High-Level Steering Committee on Sustainable Development Goal 4 on education on Thursday, 8, and Friday, 9 December. The gathering took place at UNESCO Headquarters, under the joint leadership of Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO’s Director-General, and Julius Maada Bio, the President of Sierra Leone. This gathering came as a follow-up to the Transforming Education Summit (TES) held in September 2022 in New York, during which the UN Secretary-General entrusted the Committee with the crucial task of ensuring and monitoring the effective fulfillment of countries’ commitments made at the Summit.
The Committee urges world leaders to endorse the six calls to action that were put forth at the Summit. These include embracing the green and digital transitions, advancing gender equality, focusing on foundational learning, addressing education in crisis contexts, and promoting equitable and efficient education financing. Of utmost importance is the aspiration to make all children and youth climate-ready, enhancing schools’ digital connectivity, and expanding students’ access to online learning content. The Committee strongly appeals to world leaders to accelerate progress in these areas, adhering to the agreements reached at the Transforming Education Summit.
In order to translate the calls to action into tangible plans, the Committee has introduced new indicators to measure green and digital education at the national level. It also calls on countries to build upon the Sustainable Development Goal benchmarking process by setting their own national targets for both green and digital education. These benchmarks will gauge the progress each country aims to achieve by 2025 and 2030, representing the transformative outcomes countries aspire to see from the Summit. Specifically, countries could assess the number of schools accredited for their green practices and the extent to which national laws, policies, and standards incorporate climate education. On the front of digital transformation, countries could gauge the extent to which every school and child is connected to digital solutions.
By adopting and implementing these indicators and targets, countries can make significant strides towards greener and digitally inclusive education, ensuring a brighter and more sustainable future for all.