By Jomo Paul
[www.inewsguyana.com] – The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has launched the Guyana leg of the Global Citizen Initiative, geared towards promoting the Sustainable Development Goals recently signed onto by 193 countries.
The new Goals replace the Millennium Development Goals (MGGs) and set a target to end extreme poverty, fix climate change and fight inequality and injustice everywhere by 2030.
From Monday 28 September, schools around the world will be teaching about the new Global Goals with the World’s Largest Lesson under the Global citizen initiative.
The Guyana Government has decided not only to adopt the lessons but has actually taken it to teachers in actual sessions in classrooms.
“Our actions now will affect that they inherit; so children must ensure that they hold duty bearers responsible…the world’s largest lessons provides a unique opportunity to foster global citizenship in Guyana and across the world,” said UNICEF representative Audrey Rodrigues.
Speaking at the launch, Education Minister Dr Rupert Roopnaraine stated that “Global Citizenship is an idea whose time has now come.”
“The genie is truly out of the bottle and there is no way to put it back in…The technology is at last available, the political will exists in truly democratic spaces,” said Dr Roopnaraine.
He said that of the 17 new goals adopted by the United Nations Charter, the most important one for all of the countries should be goal Number 4.
One of goal four’s targets stipulates that by 2030, all learners must acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development
“If we do not do what we need to do in education then frankly all the other efforts are a waste of time….without education, not any of the other goals we accomplished will be sustainable,” the Education Ministers stated.
Pointing to Guyana’s situation, he noted, that there is no other vital work that the government has to do than strengthening the education that it delivers to the nation.
Business Minister Dominic Gaskin speaking about the Technical an Vocational Career Fair noted that building skills and capacity to meet the needs of a growing economy is vital to economic growth and even more vital to a vibrant manufacturing sector.
“Guyana has recently signed on to the UNDP agenda for sustainable development, This commits us to achieving very specific human development targets…so the world has no time to waste,” said Gaskin.
He noted that employment and training feature prominently on the statute that Guyana has signed.
“Our Ministry recognizes the link between workforce and business so I am happy to be able to join this event this morning. I’d like to commend the ministry of education for taking this initiative…I hope that this is the first of more to come and not just a one off event,” said the Business Minister.
“If we are going to take the time to put in the work and utilize our creativity…there must be some way of taking that project to the next level cause ultimately it is to contribute to the development of this country,” he added.