When we speak of education for sustainable development, we do so under the umbrella of training people to achieve global integration and awareness, taking into account a triple perspective: economic, social, and environmental.
Sustainable development implies a balance between the survival needs of current generations in terms of resources and the preservation of the environment. Such vital and sustainable harmony is aimed at ensuring the needs of future generations as well. In other words:
“live today without harming tomorrow.”
To this end, different institutions have found in education the perfect framework to contribute to equal opportunities, the reduction of poverty (and the consequent improvement of nutrition), and the defense of ecology.
In this sense, the priority is spreading knowledge in disadvantaged schools and ensuring inclusive, equitable, and quality education. This is because the starting point is to help promote access to learning opportunities:
- for all people,
- in their different geographical areas
- and in their various stages of life.
At Smowltech, we feel aligned with equality-oriented actions precisely because our proctoring system guarantees access to education through the digital system.
“Thanks to technology, we go far and contribute with online education to sustainable development.”
Education for sustainable development today
This movement of demand and respect must be supported by initiatives undertaken at the global level. Only in this way, with international collaboration, can the success of the egalitarian spirit be guaranteed.
This requires the cooperation of citizens and, above all, those in power who can put the necessary means on the table.
We are talking about the governments of different countries and organizations. Some, such as the UN and UNESCO, promote this spirit through the SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals), ESD (Education for Sustainable Development), and the 2030 Agenda.
SDGs and quality education
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals encompass food security, well-being, sustainable energy, biological diversity, justice, etc.
They are ambitious points where the idea we have already mentioned above converges but in a more concrete and developed way.
|1. End poverty in all its forms everywhere in the world.|
|2. End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture.|
|3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all ages.|
|4. Ensure inclusive, equitable, and quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.|
|5. Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.|
|6. Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.|
|7. Ensure all access to affordable, safe, sustainable, and modern energy.|
|8. Promote sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work.|
|9. Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization, and foster innovation.|
|10. Reduce inequality within and between countries.|
|11. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable.|
|12. Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.|
|13. Adopt urgent measures to combat climate change and its effects (taking note of the agreements reached in the forum of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change).|
|14. Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources for sustainable development.|
|15. Protect, restore and promote the sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss.|
|16. Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, facilitate access to justice for all, and build effective, accountable, inclusive institutions at all levels.|
|17. Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.|
Of all of them, we focus on two general ones in which our company is directly involved. We are talking about equality and sustainability.
Let’s take a look at both.
E-learning and equality
On the one hand, distance education helps make everyone eligible to receive basic knowledge (and even higher education). This is possible because neither the educational system moves to the student nor vice versa, but through digitalization both communicate at a distance.
In other words, there are no geographical limits or boundaries for learning. Likewise, there is no need for infrastructure. Not only to access the contents but also to take the evaluation tests (in this case with online exams).
On the other hand, both online and traditional education, if they are of quality, help the student to know the environment and understand what is happening, being part of the society in which he lives and, therefore, giving him wisdom and tools to collaborate in the development. In short, it is the competence of “learning to learn.”
Education for sustainability: how to contribute to the environment?
Current Education includes in its pedagogical programs subjects and concepts of sustainable development, including respect for the environment, in an increasingly widespread manner.
In addition, educational institutions contribute to ecosystems and biodiversity with two practical actions:
- Responsible consumption of resources from the classrooms with energy savings and waste and material reduction.
- Incorporating tools such as SMOWL reduces the environmental impact by saving paper, reducing physical space, avoiding travel (and therefore CO2 emissions), and accumulating people.
Conclusion: tomorrow is today
At Smowltech, we understand education and sustainable development as programs that seek answers to current and future problems so that society advances from the triple perspective mentioned at the beginning: economic, social, and environmental.
Education for sustainability and equality is necessary for us to move forward together in the present because, when we talk about time, tomorrow is closer than it seems.
Therefore, there is no reason to delay education for sustainable development. It is necessary and urgent to include in the educational systems concepts such as sustainable and conscious consumption, climate change or global warming, biodiversity, and poverty reduction so that people have intellectual tools to contribute and enjoy a healthy present and future.