Universitas Gadjah Mada, Unesco and The Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) have initiated the concept of sustainable development to be included in the curriculum and taught at higher education, schools, as well as community service projects. This is expected to expedite the achievement of 17 targets of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
This issue emerged in General Echo Workshop running in the seminar room of University Club UGM on Tuesday (20/3). The 3-day Workshop was joined by universiities and schools in Yogyakarta, among others UGM, UNY, UIN Sunan Kalijaga, Universiats Sanata Dharma, UAD, SMAN 8 Yogyakarta, SMKN 1 Depok, SMKN 4 Yogyakata, SMKN 6 Yogyakarta, and Education and Sports Agency Yogyakarta.
An initiator of the workshop, Dr. Ir Agus Maryono, said Unesco encouraged Southeast Asian universities to actively initiate the inclusion of the concept of sustainable development in the curriculum. “The concept of ESD (Education for Sustainable Development) has to be internalised into a syllabus of teaching and learning,” said Agus on the sidelines of the workshop.
Agus pointed out an example that one of the realisations of ESD concept in the curriculum was the less time for indoor learning, but more for outdoor. “There is more outdoor learning than indoor,” said the Civil Engineering lecturer.
Students also interact more with the society in understanding various problems and finding solution. The concept of ESD, according to Agus, emphasises on three pillars, namely, social, economic, and environmental. “Those three become three important pillars in the ESD concept,” he said. He added if this concept had run well curriculum, there would be indications that each activity done by lecturers, teachers and students was always connected to the sustainable development education concept.
Ushio Miura, Programme Spesialist of Unesco Bangkok, said education did not just transferring science and skills but also abilities to always think and orientate themselves at resolving social, economic, and environmental problems. “They have curiosity and willingness to do and learn to transforming themselves in the society,” he said.
Education concept of sustainable development, according to Miura, needed innovation and participation on the teacher’s part to motivate their students so they may play their role and part in the sustainable development programme.