In order for the United Nations (UN) to draft a framework for education, representatives from different Asia Pacific countries were invited to share their inputs in Thailand this year.
Dr. Jestoni Babia, dean of the USJ-R College of Education, was picked as one of the Philippine representatives. He went to Bangkok, Thailand on September 16 to 20, together with a Cebu Normal University delegate. The meeting was set to create a framework for Educational Sustainable Development (ESD) Initiatives in the Asia Pacific.
Educational Sustainable Development is a movement in the whole world initiated by the United Nations Education Scientific Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
According to Babia, the goal of ESD is to reorient and to enable the society to prepare for the future generations through formal education. ESD is anchored to support the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), which is targeted to be achieved in the year 2030.
ESD is captures three components. These components are composed of the three major problems in the society which are: (1) social, (2) environmental, and (3) political. Babia said that all these aspects should be integrated into education.
The Philippines is yet to integrate ESD because the country’s lawmakers, according to Babia, do not know much about ESD and SDG.
Despite this, USJ-R already has ESD courses in teacher education. Babia remarked that this makes the University of San Jose – Recoletos the only university in the Philippines which integrated ESD as a curriculum. He added that a representative of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) wants to make USJ-R a benchmark icon when the time comes that a bill requiring ESD integration in all schools will be submitted in the legislative branch of the government.
“ESD is important because it is a global activist movement. We want our future generation to leave a harmonious life. What will happen to the next generation if this generation will not work for it?” said Babia.
On the last day of the meetings, Babia was recognized by the South East Asian Ministers Education Organization (SEAMEO) and UNESCO as an ESD fellow. This makes him an advocate for ESD in Southeast Asia.
Written by Frence Debbie M. Nombrado (LIACOM INTERN)
University of San Jose - Recoletos
Year Founded 1947