Civil societies, volunteering, environment and consumption: These were the main foci of workshops during the UN Conference. Education did not feature in any of them.
Bärbel Vogel, one of the participants, pleaded for an inclusion of the concept of “sustainable education” into the final declaration of the UN Conference.
But what does “sustainable education” mean? Just like a lot of terms at UN conferences, they are often vague and full of multiple meanings. Bärbel Vogel tries a definition using a very personal example:
She says that is why we need to reform the education system.
Bärbel Vogel says sustainable education also means teaching children to be responsible citizens in other domains as well – like the environment.
Kathy Kaaf, European president of the women’s organization Soroptimist, agrees. But she says sustainable education is not just for children. NGOs use their projects to build adult knowledge, especially in technical fields.
Kaaf says it is not enough to give trainings and courses, but to revisit the curriculum from time to time.
For adults, the term also means ensuring that effective projects keep track of participants – and help them take the next step.